Concussions and the Brain: If You Don't Use It You Lose It

walk-in urgent careOur brains are fragile and our skulls are not made of steel. You’d think this was common knowledge, but with the way many of us treat our bodies, it’s a fact that might be worth repeating.

Sometimes we forget that we’re mere mortals with breakable bones and a delicate gooey center. We slam our bodies against other bodies and immovable objects in contact sports, and we swivel and slide across ice rinks on an impossibly thin blade. Some people take more risks than others, and unfortunately, these risks often land daredevils in the emergency room with a nasty concussion.

So, because it’s always better to be safe than sorry, let’s talk about concussions.

What is a concussion?
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) defines a concussion as a type of traumatic brain injury caused by a jolt or blow to the head. They can also be caused by whiplash -- when a blow to the body forces the head to rapidly move back and forth, causing the brain to bounce around the skull.

What are the symptoms of a concussion?

The most common signs of a concussion include:
  • Headache
  • Dizziness
  • Nausea and/or vomiting
  • Blurred vision and light sensitivity
  • Sensitivity to noise
  • Difficulty concentrating and/or memory loss
  • Confusion and disorientation
Don't "Walk It Off," Walk-In Urgent Care

So, what should you do if you have a concussion?

If you or someone else is suffering from any of the symptoms listed above following a nasty bump to the head, it is essential that a doctor analyzes their urgent medical needs. In most cases, it is best to take the patient to a walk-in urgent care clinic rather than a hospital emergency room, because waiting time will be much shorter at urgent care centers. Research shows that roughly 60% of all urgent care centers have a wait time of less than 15 minutes, and 65% have a physician on-site at all times. At a walk-in urgent care clinic, a physician or physician assistant will evaluate the patient and treat them accordingly.

Be smart and be safe. It’s really that simple. Remember to treat your body with care and respect, and if you have to pinch yourself every now and again to remind yourself that you’re not invincible, do it.