Otago Polytechnic

You can help someone recovering from concussion.

There is a growing awareness of the consequences of concussion. A knock on the head is not uncommon in the course of playing sport but can occur in other situations. The resulting symptoms commonly last for a week or two, but for some recovery takes longer and the biochemical changes in the brain may mean an increased susceptibility to further concussion.

Phil Handcock, a Lecturer in our School of Sport, Exercise and Health, initiated a study of university PhysEd students about the advice they received about returning to their sport. It became apparent that the issues went much wider than getting back into sport; some had fairly significant problems with persistent symptoms affecting their studies and life in general. Yet because it's such an invisible and temporary disability for most, it's very difficult to access support services.

If you know someone who has had a knock on the head, be aware that it will have affected their ability to realise something's wrong. Concussion affects people differently - they might be more forgetful, more withdrawn, more irritable, sensitive to light or sound, or suffer vertigo. As a friend, family member, or lecturer, encourage them to seek help and advocate on their behalf.

HEALTH & WELLBEING

February 2020

Image credit: Nick Farnhill, used under Creative Commons licence CC BY-SA 2.0