Concussion services offered in Agoura Hills, CA

A concussion is sometimes described as a mild brain injury, but it’s a serious injury. At Primary Care Sports Medicine in Agoura Hills, California, Nina Yaftali, DO, a board-certified sports medicine physician, takes a comprehensive approach to concussion care, including an evaluation with the practice’s sports neuropsychologist in addition to her examination. A sports concussion may heal quickly, but it requires proper treatment to prevent complications. For expert concussion care, call the office or schedule an appointment online today.

What is a concussion?

A concussion is a traumatic brain injury (TBI) that occurs from a direct or indirect blow to the body that causes the rapid back and forth movement of the head and brain. That force of movement causes the brain to bounce around in the skull, potentially stretching or damaging brain cells and changing brain chemistry.

Though a concussion temporarily impairs neurological function, MRIs and CT scans may not show any damage to the brain. Most concussions resolve within 7-10 days; however, recovery time in children and adolescents is longer. 

Concussions are a common sports injury. Having one concussion increases your risk of having another, which can lead to long-term complications like permanent brain damage. 

What are the symptoms of a concussion?

Concussion symptoms vary, and they may not appear right away. 

Common concussion symptoms include:

  • Loss of consciousness (LOC)
  • Confusion
  • Foggy thinking
  • Headaches
  • Dizziness 
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Sensitivity to light
  • Poor balance 
  • Difficulty communicating 
  • Change in sleep habits

People with a concussion may also have some memory loss of the events right before and right after the injury.

For the record, not everyone who has a concussion loses consciousness.

What happens during a concussion evaluation?

Dr. Yaftali does a comprehensive evaluation when you come in with concerns about a concussion. The evaluation includes a visit with a sports neuropsychologist. They use the ImPACT® concussion test to help diagnose and manage concussions.

ImPACT evaluates multiple areas of brain function affected by concussions, such as memory, processing speed, and reaction time. Dr. Yaftali uses the results of this test to assess the severity of the brain injury and monitor recovery.  

The sports neuropsychologist at Primary Care Sports Medicine specializes in neurocognitive assessments and provides personalized recommendations for when it’s safe to return to work and school or sports.

What are the treatments for a concussion?

Dr. Yaftali and the practice’s neuropsychologist customize treatment plans for concussions based on the severity of the injury. However, rest is the primary treatment, including physical and mental rest.

Dr. Yaftali provides specific instructions about what you can and cannot do when recovering from a concussion. It may include no physical activity, along with limited amounts of reading, watching TV, and playing video games until your symptoms resolve.

About 2-3 days after your injury, Dr. Yaftali may have you start low-intensity aerobic activity under close supervision, gradually increasing the intensity of the exercises as your symptoms improve.

Once you fully recover from your concussion, you may resume your usual activities as advised by Dr. Yaftali.

For expert concussion care, call Primary Care Sports Medicine or schedule an appointment online today.