Sport-related concussion is a traumatic brain injury caused by biomechanical forces (direct blow to the head or elsewhere on the body with forces transmitted to the head). It results in a functional disturbance, rather than a structural injury. Therefore, standard brain imaging tests (i.e., CT and MRI) show no abnormality. Symptoms are usually rapid in onset, but may take minutes to hours to develop. Loss of consciousness may or may not occur. Rarely are there external signs of head trauma.
If sport-related concussion is suspected, it is generally recommended to rest, avoid use of electronics, drink plenty of fluids, and eat a healthy diet. It is imperative to be seen by a specialist to confirm the diagnosis of sport-related concussion, evaluate for the presence of other injuries, and to receive proper treatment for your particular condition(s).
Sports-related concussions don’t always happen during business hours. If you sustain a concussion at a time when you can’t see your usual concussion specialist or primary care physician, a walk-in or urgent care clinic is your best bet to get concussion care fast.
However, not all concussions are created the same. A concussion showing only mild symptoms can be taken care of usually at an urgent care or walk-in clinic. But if you’re experiencing more severe concussion symptoms such as loss of consciousness, amnesia, vomiting, or seizures, you need to call 911 or be transported to a hospital emergency room right away.
A concussion clinic provides specialized concussion care in a multitude of ways. Physicians at a concussion clinic are best able to assess symptoms both physical and cognitive because they have the tools, technology, and concussion specialists on staff to do so. Unlike an urgent care clinic, a concussion clinic has the ability to start concussion treatment right away.
Also, insight from a variety of different types of practitioners may be needed for assessment and treatment of a concussion. Concussion clinics typically have a variety of providers on staff to avoid the hassle of referring a patient out to several different offices. Treatment for any ailment always works best when it’s easy for the patient to stick to. Having all the treatments and practitioners a patient needs in one place helps patients adhere to their doctor’s recommendations so they can achieve faster, more complete healing.