4 Common Signs of Concussions


With football season coming to a close you might think the risk of an impact injury like a concussion would be on the decline for winter sports. However, more than 23,500 concussions result from playing winter sports every year, a third of them occur among children. Most take place while skiing or snowboarding, but many winter sports including basketball, hockey and wrestling are also prone to concussions.

It’s important to be able to recognize the signs and symptoms of concussions in order to prevent further injury. Symptoms generally show up soon after the injury but some symptoms may not reveal themselves for a few hours or even days after the event. You should check for signs of a concussion right after the injury occurs and continue to monitor their progression for a few days after the incident.

The most common signs of concussions fall into four categories:

  • Cognitive – Difficulty thinking clearly, concentrating or remembering new information are common signs of a concussion.
  • Physical – When a concussion occurs, physical symptoms such as headaches, blurred vision, dizziness and nausea, sensitivity to light and noise, difficulty with balance, and lethargy have been reported.
  • Emotional – Unusual irritability, sadness, nervousness or sadness are more subtle signs to watch out for.
  • Sleep – Irregular sleep patterns like trouble falling asleep or sleeping more or less than usual are also signs of a concussion.

If you suspect a concussion has occurred have a professional test for a concussion right away. Your doctor, team athletic trainer, or physical therapist can perform these tests and help guide you to a safe recovery.

Dustin Blevins, DPT, CSCS