Navigating teen concussions: A compassionate approach with Cotlew St. Osteopathy.

Adolescents is a time of vitality, but it also comes with its share of risks, including the potential for concussions. At Cotlew St. Osteopathy, we recognise the unique challenges teens face when navigating the complexities of concussion recovery.

What is Concussion and what does it look like?

A concussion is a mild traumatic brain injury that occurs when there is a sudden and forceful impact to the head, causing the brain to move within the skull. While concussions are considered mild, they can have significant effects on cognitive and neurological function.

The cause of concussion is head trauma. Most commonly from a direct blow or a jolt to the head. This can happen in various situations for teenagers such as sporting injuries, falls, car accidents, and fighting.

There is quite a list of symptoms that teenagers may likely experience, including:

Physical – headache, neck pain, dizziness, nausea, vomiting, sensitivity to light or noise, blurred vision, and balance issues.

Cognitive – confusion. difficulty concentrating, memory problems and slowed reaction times.

Emotional – irritability, mood swings, anxiety, and depression.

Sleep disturbances – trouble falling asleep, excessive sleep and disrupted sleeping patterns.

Cotlew St. Osteopathy offers a multidisciplinary approach when it comes to the management of concussion. Parents, the school, sports coaches and other health modalities all need to be aware of your teens return to school/work/sports management plan for concussion injuries. This is because each concussion is unique and open communication between the modalities will likely give the best outcome. Osteopathic techniques are available to help alleviate concussion symptoms, particularly that of neck pain, headaches and postural issues related to the musculoskeletal system. Cotlew St. Osteopathy is dedicated to supporting teens through the journey of concussion.

Return to sport framework

In 2024 the Australian Institute of Sport (AIS) released its position statement on concussion in sport; with a recommended graded return to sport framework for community and youth. This entails no competition sport for a minimum of 3 weeks.

The AIS report recommended rest for 24-48 hours post-concussion, after this a return to activities of daily living only (ie no sport). On day 3 or 4 having an evaluation by a health professional, then if cleared the introduction of some basic skills in sport, with a return to full capacity at school or work by 1 week. Slowly activities and intensity within your sport is increased, if there are no symptoms. Competition level sport doesn’t happen until 3 weeks post-concussion and only if you have been symptom free for 2 weeks prior.

Some individuals experience lingering symptoms beyond the typical recovery period, leading to post-concussion syndrome. These symptoms may persist for weeks or months after the incident and can have a debilitating effect on teenagers. Assessment and evaluation should always be sort for these cases.

Cotlew St. Osteopathy

Frequently Asked Questions

Concussion is generally assessed based on a case history and assessment of signs and symptoms. There is also a Sport Concussion Assessment Tool 6 (SCAT6) or a Child Sport Concussion Assessment Tool 6 (SCAT6) for 5–12-year-olds, that are used in conjunction with the case history. Some cognitive tests and neurological tests, including balance tests may be used.  Generally, however x-rays, scans or MRIs are not indicated for concussion alone but may be used to rule out any other potentially serious conditions.

Yes, teenagers may downplay symptoms due to concerns about missing out on activities or fear of being sidelined. Creating a supportive environment and highlighting the importance of reporting symptoms is crucial in concussion management.

Cotlew St. Osteopathy

Cotlew St. Osteopathy is dedicated to supporting teens on their journey to recovery after a concussion.

With a wholistic and compassionate approach, we aim to empower teenagers to resume their active lives with confidence. If you have concerns for your teen’s concussion, reach out to Cotlew St. Osteopathy, for guidance and support.

Concerned about a teen’s concussion? Schedule a consultation with Victoria at Cotlew St. Osteopathy today.