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03 5335 3200

What is a Concussion?

Allied Health Care for the Ballarat Region

What is a Concussion?

by Chris Stewartchris-stewart

A concussion is defined as a complex pathophysiological process that affects the brain, typically induced by trauma.   This can be occur by a direct blow to the head, face, neck, or a blow to the body, which can create a force that can shake a person’s brain. Concussion is an evolving injury, which can change over the first few hours – sometimes over a few days. In most cases, symptoms have resolved within seven days after injury.

Recognising concussion is important for correct management and prevention of further injury.  Concussion can sometimes be difficult to detect. The symptoms and signs can be varied, non-specific and subtle.

Often though, there are clear signs that an athlete has sustained a concussion.

  • Headache
  • ‘Pressure in the head’
  • Neck pain
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Dizziness
  • Blurred vision
  • Balance problems
  • Sensitivity to light
  • Sensitivity to noise
  • Feeling slowed down
  • Feeling like ‘in a fog’
  • ‘Don’t feel right’
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Difficulty remembering
  • Fatigue or low energy
  • Confusion
  • Drowsiness
  • Trouble falling asleep
  • More emotional
  • Irritability
  • Sadness
  • Nervous or anxious


If there is any doubt about whether an athlete has sustained a concussion, that athlete should not be allowed to return to the sport field that day. The diagnosis of concussion should be made by a medical practitioner with experience in concussion management before returning to play.

Athletes with suspected or confirmed concussion should remain in the company of a responsible adult (sport trainer etc.) and not be allowed to drive. The athlete is strongly advised to avoid alcohol and check all medication with a trained doctor.

Once the diagnosis of concussion is made, immediate management is physical and cognitive rest. This can include rest from school and work.   Most of the symptoms last 7 – 10 days, a gradual return to work or play should be developed in consultation with a doctor.

Those under the age of 18 years of age may take longer to recover, requiring a more conservative approach to concussion.   Return to learning should take a high priority over return to sport.

concussion-pictureChris Stewart is a Senior Physiotherapist at Lake Health Group, Ballarat

(Photo courtesy The World Today)


Lake Health Group will recommence small group exercise classes for groups of 4 in our studio on the 6th of July.

For members and people in group classes who cannot attend the clinic, please arrange an appointment with Jamie or Josh so that a home program can be implemented until you are able to attend group classes.


Please note we are continuing to follow strict COVID-19 risk minimisation procedures.

If you are showing flu like symptoms including:

Sore throat



Shortness of breath

OR have travelled overseas and/or been in close contact with someone who is a confirmed coronavirus case within the last two weeks.

Please do not come into the clinic and call 5335 3200 to cancel your appointment.

This is extremely important for the health of all clients and staff.

We thank you for your patience at this time.

Updated 2nd  July 2020