As an athletic trainer one of the most difficult tasks is convincing the athlete, parent, and coaches that their son or daughter is hurt. With a concussion everything “looks normal” most times (except for the cases of overt signs). Even with the signs that present most resolve rather quickly and again those affected by the head injury think everything is OK; it’s not like a bone is broken or there is imaging to SHOW an injury/problem.
For a long time researchers have been trying to identify what sign or symptom relates to prolonged recovery. Early on, 80’s and 90’s, the thought was loss of consciousness was the indicator; later to be not the case, and the understanding that one does not have to be KO’ed to get a concussion. Within the community we have used the term feeling “foggy” as a high indicator of prolonged recovery, but that is a very subjective symptom and really unproven, more observational. This might be changing as a very INITIAL study was released by Dr. Brian Lau of the UPMC in the American Journal of Sports Medicine. Continue reading