Physical Symptoms of Concussion: Headache, Dizziness & Balance Issues

Physical Symptoms of Concussion: Headache, Dizziness & Balance Issues


Headache Frequent headaches are a common symptom
after concussion. Some people complain that their
headaches feel more like pressure than pain. Ways to manage and decrease headaches include:
Ensuring you’re getting enough sleep and rest. Taking breaks from demanding tasks before the headache occurs, for example when reading,
writing, paying your bills, or taking a break when at a group social event. Recognize that multi-tasking is also very demanding and can lead to headaches. Examples of multi-tasking are trying to prepare supper while talking to your family, or packing a
suitcase while watching TV. Multitasking can be overwhelming and ineffective. It can also help to limit activities that you know bring on headaches, such as exposure
to loud noise, or bright lights. Although headaches are common after brain
injury, be sure to eliminate other common causes of headache by staying well hydrated and drinking 4-6 cups of non-caffeinated
beverages a day. Eat regularly, reduce stress and tension and exercise as tolerated. If ever your headaches become more severe, speak with your doctor. Dizziness and Balance Issues Dizziness and balance difficulties are also
common following brain injury. Balance can be affected by many factors.
However, in the case of concussion, issues with vision and the vestibular system (which is part of the inner ear) can affect balance. When balance is an issue, stay safe by:
holding onto furniture, or the wall when standing up or hold onto railings when going
up or down stairs. Change positions slowly and in steps.
For instance, if you are lying down, sit-up on the side of the bed for a few seconds before
attempting to stand. Once standing, take a few seconds before
beginning to walk. Sit on a bench or a stool in the shower. Avoid walking in the dark. Use nightlights
in bedrooms, bathrooms and hallways. Be sure to speak to you doctor about your
balance, dizziness and your safety. Physiotherapy is often recommended as a
treatment option. Seek out someone with experience working with brain injury, balance and vertigo.

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