Dr. Marianne Sturr is the medical director of Bacharach’s brain injury program.
A concussion is the result of a blow or jolt to the head or hit to the body. The impact causes the head and brain to rapidly move back and forth. As a result, it can cause the brain to bounce or twist in the skull, creating chemical changes in the brain and sometimes stretching and damaging brain cells.
“Athletes suspected of having a concussion need to be monitored at all times,” said Dr. Marianne Sturr, the medical director of Bacharach’s brain injury program. “It is important to monitor the subtle changes of a concussion, which can sometimes be missed.”
What Are The Signs Of A Concussion?
There are a number of signs of concussion, for example vision problems, nausea, tiredness, dizziness, headache, moodiness, and balance problems.
Most high schools have begun to perform pre-season Impact testing on all their athletes. The Impact test establishes a baseline reading at the beginning of the season. Therefore it can used for comparison and can help diagnose a concussion if an athlete subsequently sustains a hit to the head.
“Concussions need aggressive treatment,” said Dr. Sturr. “You don’t want to re-injure the brain during the healing phase. Usually that is 7 to 10 days. Most importantly, doing so could escalate the concussion to a moderate brain injury. The younger the athletes are, the higher the risk of damage because their brains are still developing.”
New concussion laws are protecting New Jersey athletes. Recently, state legislators broadened protections for high school athletes who participate in intramural or recreational sports. The state’s athlete head-injury safety program will now include intramural and recreational athletes. This means that coaches and trainers will have to undergo special head injury and concussion diagnosis training. Athletes suspected of having a concussion must be pulled from the activity until they are cleared by a physician.
Most concussions resolve on their own in a matter of days or weeks. In cases where the symptoms persist and interfere with school and other activities, Bacharach’s concussion therapists can help. Concussion management may include a variety of treatments . There is vestibular therapy for balance issues, cognitive therapy for inattention and physical therapy for strength and musculoskeletal issues.
For more information on Bacharach’s Concussion Program call 609-652-7000.