Head Injury, Whiplash, and Post-Concussion Syndrome

Head Injury occurs when the skull slams against the windshield, the ground
or some other object. Injury to the head or brain can also occur without
direct impact to the head, as in severe "whiplash."  The compression,
twisting, and distortion of the brain inside the skull associated with this
impact or violent movement has the potential to cause localized as well as
widespread physical damage and electrochemical disruption throughout
the brain.  In addition, damage is often sustained to bone, muscle, and
vertebral tissues of the cranial (skill and scalp) and cervical (neck and
shoulder) structures.  Thus, head injury is the general term that refers to
potential injury involving the complex of cerebral, cranial, and cervical
structures.  Mild head injury, specifically, refers to trauma that results in
no loss of consciousness or only brief loss of consciousness, typically less
than five minutes.   

Post-concussion syndrome usually involved symptoms stemming
collectively from injury to the cerebral, cranial, and cervical areas.
Common symptoms of post-concussion include:

Headache and other pain
Dizziness or light headedness
Memory and concentration difficulty
Amnesia,
Sleep disturbance
Frustration and irritability
Periods of confusion or mental dullness
Emotional and behavioral changes
Loss of self confidence
Fatigue and weakness
Tinnitus or ringing in the ears
Visual distortions
Slow reaction time

Post-concussion symptoms usually become rather intense soon after an
injury. Many symptoms lessen or abate altogether with time - often within
one year from the injury. Usually, there are no abnormalities on routine
neurological examination or brain scan, making post-concussion syndrome
an often overlooked or under-diagnosed problem.  

The neuropsychologist performs a comprehensive evaluation and reviews
developmental and medical history, diagnostic test results, successful and
unsuccessful treatments, and emotional reactions in order to fully
understand the complex sequale involved in head injury. This
understanding, complex as it usually is, forms the basis for predicting,
prescribing, and achieving optimum clinical resolution.
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Traumatic Brain Injury