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Concussion Symptoms That Will Rattle Your Brain | Springfield, IL

To the days of walking off an injury after a collision or fall, we have one thing to say:


We once ignored or pretended that concussions weren’t a big deal. That strategy didn’t go so well, and we had to sit through a whole movie about it.

As a chiropractor for concussions in Springfield, IL, I know concussions are much more widespread than we think. Every year, there are between 1.6 and 3.8 million sports-related concussions. That’s just sports related! We mostly associate concussions with famous athletes, and why wouldn’t we…


…but teenagers are actually the most at risk. And even though they think they’re the smartest people on earth, their brains are still developing, making a traumatic brain injury particularly troublesome.

The other age group that’s most at risk is infants and toddlers. Learning how to walk can be very trying.


Outside of athletes, 50% of concussions are from car accidents. The most important thing to know about a concussion is that symptoms may not appear for hours or even days after the injury. I know how much we love to wait around as a society, be cautious, take preventative measures, but the most important thing we can do is get a medical evaluation within the first 24 hours to avoid life-threatening complications.


Concussion Symptoms: Healthy Adults

  • Temporary loss of consciousness
  • Headache
  • Pressure in the head
  • Ringing in the ears
  • Confusion or brain fog
  • Memory loss
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Slurred speech
  • Fatigue
  • Delayed response
  • Mood and personality changes, including irritability and depression
  • Sensitivity to noise and light

Concussion Symptoms: Teenage Athletes

  • Brief loss of consciousness
  • Poor recall
  • Dazed and confused
  • Uncharacteristic clumsiness
  • Personality changes – irritability, anxiety, aggression, anger (different from the everyday teenage mood swings)
  • Headache
  • Neck pain
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Vertigo or dizziness
  • Changes in taste, smell, vision, and hearing
  • Fatigue (different than normal teenage malaise)
  • Inability to retain new information (different from normal teenage specialized hearing)
  • Slow reaction time

Concussion Symptoms: Infants and Toddlers

  • Crying when their head moves
  • Excessive crying for no reason
  • Irritability
  • Loss of interest in toys and activities
  • Changes in sleep habits
  • Vomiting or nausea
  • Bumps or bruises on their head
  • Clumsiness (more than a baby’s normal clumsiness, they so clumsy lol)
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Poor appetite
  • Tremors
  • Seizures

Concussion Symptoms: Potentially Life-Threatening


  • One pupil larger than the other
  • Can’t be awakened
  • Excessive drowsiness
  • Slurred speech
  • Severe muscle weakness
  • Numbness
  • Decreased coordination
  • Repeated vomiting
  • Convulsions
  • Seizures


Athletes need clearance before they get back out onto the court/field/rink/mat to avoid second impact syndrome – a second brain injury before the previous one has had time to heal. Our brains don’t respond well to this type of thing. Giving the brain time to heal is imperative for anyone with a concussion, not just athletes. Second-impact syndrome can lead to cerebral vascular congestion, cerebral swelling, and may result in death.


Mild concussion symptoms will usually resolve themselves in a few days or weeks.


Still, we want to find ways to ease the discomfort, preferably in a natural way. No one wants to be:


5 Natural Ways to Concussion Recovery

Healthy Diet and Nutrition

It’s always important to stay hydrated and eat well, we are what we eat, after all. During the healing process, it’s even more important to make sure we’re drowning ourselves in water and pigging out on mineral-rich food.

Processed foods and salty snacks, while naughty and delicious, are inflammatory and more difficult to digest, stealing energy from our immune system that it needs to focus on healing. Omega-3s are going to be your friend here. They help with depression and support healthy brain function.

Adequate Sleep

During the day, our body is focused on keeping us alive and out of trouble, dealing with the fallout of all our idiotic choices.


At night, as we dream, it can focus on healing.

Avoid Technology

Mental rest is just as important as physical rest. It’s ok to put down the phone while you’re recovering from a concussion, it’ll still be there when your brain is up for it again. Take a break from computers, video games, TV, and even reading, as the contrast in light and movement and the required cognitive function can cause symptoms to return or worsen.


Yes, even mindless TV that would seem not to require any cognitive function to watch. When you’re ready to get back to TomTom and the rest of the gang, reintroduce tech slowly. Studies show that people who limit cognitive function can heal in half as long. This is the perfect excuse to be a mindless freak during the recovery process.

Light Exercise

Obviously, we shouldn’t be hardcore hitting the gym right after an injury, but incorporating light-to-moderate exercise within a few days can reduce the risk of post-concussive syndrome. As long as no new symptoms arise, take a walk, do some yoga or pilates, or do a little light aerobic exercise.

Not this:


More this:


Chiropractic Care

Chiropractors are the non-invasive, preventative healthcare superheroes we all need. Structural problems require a structural solution. In a concussive injury, structural damage to the spine can interfere with our nervous system’s ability to function.

Misalignments in the spine can trigger pain, but more importantly, they can block the essential communication between the brain and the body. When the brain and body can’t communicate, we look something like this:


Chiropractic care can restore balance to the musculoskeletal system and optimize the nervous system for function and healing. Chiropractic adjustments, spinal decompression, and therapeutic exercises all work in tandem to address misalignments, heal spinal damage, and stabilize a healthy spinal structure. This will help with concussion recovery and prevent future injuries.

Remember, it is critical, vital, essential, non-negotiable to seek care immediately following an injury where you have even the slightest suspicion there could be a concussion. Don’t try to tough it out, it’s not worth it. Call us or schedule a time to meet with one of our amazing doctors. Don’t turn an accident into a chronic problem when the solution is so simple.

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