Concussions are very common in the cycling world. You have to be aware of this injury. That means knowing the signs and symptoms, and what you have to do to treat it. We’ve gathered all the necessary information about getting concussed. So you can be prepared on your travels.
What is a concussion?
A concussion is a traumatic brain injury caused by a bump, blow or jolt to the head. Or by a strong hit to the body. You can lose consciousness and have temporary cognitive symptoms. Even worse, it can cause brain damage. It’s always best to get professional medical treatment. That means visiting a hospital as soon as possible.
What are the signs and symptoms?
If you’re concussed, you can experience a headache or pressure in the head with nausea and vomiting. Along with dizziness or blurred vision, sluggishness, or fogginess with confusion or concentration and memory problems. You might have slower reaction times, stumble around, or even lose consciousness.
If in doubt, stop riding.
It’s not always easy to diagnose a concussion. Especially because symptoms can be delayed up to hours after the incident. There are major risks of riding with this injury. If you suspect you’re concussed, get off your bike immediately and sit it out. Have someone help you get home or to a hospital. Use an ice pack to reduce swelling and take acetaminophen to manage the pain. Rest as much as possible for the first 24 to 48 hours. Avoid looking at your phone or TV as much as possible the first 48 hours. Also watch out for difficulty staying awake, loss of consciousness, repetitive vomiting, or bleeding from the ears. These symptoms require immediate medical attention.
Rest and recover.
Refrain from light physical and mental activities for the first 24 to 48 hours. Get back to them gradually. Start with light aerobic exercise, like walking. Then progress to full training and competition. You might experience balance issues, dizziness, tiredness, mood changes, or memory problems during recovery. Some cases require specialist care or rehabilitation.
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