Concussions are classified as a mild traumatic brain injury and are caused by a blow or sudden jolt to the head. When you get a concussion, your brain essentially gets bounced around inside your skull. When the brain is jolted, it can cause chemical changes, inflammation, and may affect your normal brain functions. After a concussion, many patients report that they have headaches, problems with concentration, and even mood changes. Concussions are usually temporary, and the effects will eventually subside with physical and mental rest.

Concussion Testing

If you have had a recent head injury or may have suffered from a concussion, your practitioner at Spine & Sports Wellness Clinic will use concussion testing to assess your brain function. Concussion testing includes questions about the injury, concussion symptoms, and a physical exam. Your doctor may also check for changes in brain function by checking your vision, hearing, memory, balance, concentration, or coordination. Each of these functions can be affected during mild brain injuries such as concussions.

If your doctor deems it is necessary, they may also order a CT scan or MRI to get a better understanding of your brain’s health. These additional tests can help your doctor determine the severity of your concussion and what the best treatment plan may be. The most common treatment method for concussions is getting plenty of rest; however, patients will need to rest both physically and mentally to ensure they are allowing their brain the time it needs to heal.

Complete Neurological Exams

Neurological exams are a full assessment of both the sensory and motor responses of a patient’s body. Neurological exams are used to determine if the nervous system has been impaired in some way. These complete exams look for any neurological deficits or abnormalities that may be affecting your motor function or senses. These exams are most commonly used as a screening function to determine if further tests need to be carried out. Once the patient has been thoroughly tested, it is up to the doctor to look through these findings and determine if they relate to common neurological disorders such as neuropathy, Parkinson’s disease, or motor neuron diseases. Once the underlying causes have been identified, your doctor can help determine the best course of treatment for you.

What happens in a complete neurological exam?

A neurology exam begins the moment a patient steps through the door at Spine & Sports Wellness Clinic. Our skilled practitioners will observe the patient for any speed or coordination issues while moving through reception and into the room. The patient’s attitude, posture, and responses will also help the doctor determine any abnormalities. While running through the assessment, the patient’s demeanor is just as important as their answers. Watching for abnormal speech, use of language, mood, or unusual posturing may further indicate potential disorders.

Other questions and physical assessments check certain neurological functions, including:

  • Mental status
  • Motor system
  • Muscle strength
  • Sensation
  • Reflexes
  • Cranial nerves

For more information on concussion testing or complete neurological exams, or to schedule an appointment give us a call at (806) 356-7291.