A concussion occurs when there is a head impact or body jostling which results in trauma to the brain or an increase in the fluid that surrounds the brain.

Mild symptoms are usually: headache, difficulty concentrating, fatigue, dizziness, and difficulty sleeping.

A concussion is more severe if there are: memory losses, mood changes, reduced concentration, speech changes, difficulty at school/work, and lingering balance changes.

A mild concussion should heal within 7-10 days. Symptoms can persist longer if there have been multiple concussions, or if it was a moderate to severe incident. Age, diet, and physical condition can also be factors.

The above chart shows a basic protocol for Return to Play decision making. For schooling or work activities, follow the same 24h rule: at onset of symptoms, request modified activities or duties that allow participation without causing a flare up. Once performing these activities without symptoms for 24h has occurred, it is recommended to take another step towards normal participation.

Some concussion related symptoms, such as headache, insomnia, and dizziness, can be related to the muscles and joints of the neck, as well as the actual concussion. Because there are overlapping symptoms, it is possible that Massage Therapy treatments to the muscles and joints of the neck can help resolve these symptoms. Massage Therapy is also an excellent tool for managing stress and any other muscle pains throughout recovery.

It is recommended that sessions begin at 45 or 60 minutes, and depending on the situation, be scheduled 1-3 times in the first week, and tapered off from there.

For more information regarding Return to Play guidelines, please visit Concussion-U - a resource created by medical students at the Memorial University of Newfoundland.