A concussion is a type of traumatic brain injury that is caused by a blow to the head or body, a fall, or another injury that jars or shakes the brain inside the skull. Concussions are a concern for young athletes in sports that involve contact. Signs and symptoms generally show up soon after the injury. However, you may not know how serious the injury is at first and some symptoms may not show up for hours or days. Monitoring an injured child or adult is essential to recognizing symptoms that require medical care. Diagnosing a concussion through the appropriate imaging testing, such as those done at Peninsula Radiology, is the most accurate form of diagnosis.
Common Causes of Concussion
There are many ways to get a concussion. Some common ways include
- playground injuries
- car accidents
- bike accidents
- Participating in any sport or activity such as:
Symptoms of a Concussion
It is not always easy to tell if you have a concussion. You don’t have to pass out (lose consciousness) to have a concussion. Symptoms of a concussion range from mild to severe and can last for hours, days, weeks, or even months. If you notice any symptoms of a concussion, contact your doctor. Physical symptoms of a concussion include:
- Nausea and vomiting
- Headache and pressure in head
- Fuzzy or blurry vision
- Sensitivity to light or noise
- Balance problems
- Feeling tired or having no energy
How is a concussion diagnosed?
You need to see a doctor if you have sustained an injury or blow to the head and are showing symptoms of a concussion. If a doctor thinks that you have a concussion, he or she will ask questions about the injury. Your doctor may test your reflexes and order a CT Scan or an MRI to make sure the brain is not swelling, bleeding or bruised.
Treatment for a Concussion
The treatment for a concussion involves resting and abstaining from all physical activity until your doctor has determined it is safe. Rest is the best way to recover from a concussion. Getting plenty of sleep and avoiding activities that are mentally and physically demanding will hasten your recovery rate.
Experts agree that the best ways to prevent concussion are to:
- Play by the rules. Teaching young athletes to respect and follow the rules of their sport is part of good coaching.
- Wear the appropriate equipment for your sport and wear it properly. Always close a chin strap if your sport requires a helmet; many concussions occur during practice.
- Examine the playing field for uneven areas or holes.
- Make certain that goal posts are padded sufficiently.
- Practice good sportsmanship. Teaching good sportsmanship is part of good coaching and good parenting; minimizing unnecessary aggression on the field.
- Learn and use proper technique for your sport. Some sports organizations have taken additional action to minimize the risk of concussion by limiting the number of contact practices allowed during the season.
If you’ve suffered any of the above causes of concussion and are showing symptoms, it is vitally important to seek medical care. Peninsula Radiology’s team of highly trained imaging professionals and medical providers are able to diagnose concussion after a thorough review of imaging tests. Contact us at (757) 989-8830 for more information.
Many patients may wonder what the difference is between a CT Scan and an MRI. In both imaging machines, the patient lies on a table and goes into a tube or doughnut shaped piece of diagnostic equipment after their physician has ordered the test. The image technique used will depend on what your health issues are.
Magnetic resonance imaging, or MRI, uses strong magnet and radio waves to produce clear and detailed diagnostic images of internal body organs and tissues. MRI is a valuable tool for the diagnosis of a broad range of conditions. The data collected from the MRI is reconstructed into a two dimensional illustration through any axis of the body. Bone is virtually void of water and therefore does not generate any image data. This leaves a black area in the images. MRI scanners are best suited for imaging soft tissue. Advantages in using an MRI include:
- MRI uses a magnetic field to produce images and has no known side effects related to radiation exposure.
- MRI has much higher detail for soft tissue structures.
- MRI offers the ability to adjust the sharpness of the black, white and gray of the images by making small changes in the radio waves and the magnetic fields. Different settings will highlight different types of tissue.
- MRI provides the ability to change the imaging plane without moving the patient.
- Contrast agents are used in both MRI and CT, however MRI contrast does not contain iodine.
The CT Scan
CT (computed tomography), also called a CAT scan, uses x-ray and computer equipment to produce cross-sectional images of body tissues and organs. CT imaging is useful because it can show several types of tissue, such as lung, bone, soft tissue and blood vessels. CT uses ionizing radiation to image the body. The advantages of a CT scan include:
- CT exceeds in imaging bone structures including bone density for osteoporosis.
- Some patients who have received certain types of surgical clips, metallic fragments, cardiac monitors or pacemakers cannot receive an MRI but can have a CT scan.
- The time taken for total testing is shorter in CT than for MRI.
- CT can be more comfortable for patients who are claustrophobic.
- CT is far superior at visualizing the lungs and organs in the chest cavity between the lungs.
Your doctor will determine which test is appropriate for achieving an accurate diagnosis for your condition. At PRA, our team of accomplished physicians have a wide range of sub-specialty, fellowship trained expertise, which allows them to provide our patients with outstanding care.
Peninsula Radiology Associates is committed to creating and maintaining the highest standards, which continue to surpass the expectations of our patients and our referring doctors. You can be assured you are receiving the most advanced and accurate imaging in Hampton Roads.
What is MRI?
Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is a noninvasive medical test that physicians use to diagnose and treat medical conditions. The MRI uses a powerful magnetic field, radio frequency pulses and a computer to produce detailed pictures of organs, soft tissues, bone and all other internal body structures. Detailed MR images allow physicians to see various parts of the body and determine the presence of certain diseases.
An MRI is a valuable tool for diagnosing a broad range of conditions including:
- heart and vascular disease
- stroke and other anomalies of the brain
- joint and musculoskeletal disorders
What is an MRI used to assess?
MR imaging of the body is performed to evaluate:
- Musculoskeletal System
- spine – disc herniation, spinal stenosis, spinal tumors
- soft tissue such as ligaments and tendons
- Organs of the chest and abdomen—including:
- coronary artery disease
- blood vessels
- damage caused by heart attack or heart disease
- biliary tract
- adrenal glands
- Pelvic organs including the bladder and the reproductive organs such as the uterus and ovaries in females and the prostate gland in males.
Physicians use an MRI procedure to help examine and diagnose or monitor treatment for conditions such as:
- tumors of the chest, abdomen or pelvis
- diseases of the liver, such as cirrhosis, and abnormalities of the bile ducts and pancreas
- inflammatory bowel disease such as Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis
- heart problems, such as congenital heart disease
- malformations of the blood vessels and inflammation of the vessels (vasculitis)
- tumors of the brain, developmental anomalies of the brain, vascular anomalies of the head (aneurysm)
- disorders of the eye
- disease in the pituitary gland
- certain chronic disorders of the nervous system and causes of a headache
An MRI of the brain and other cranial structures is clearer and more detailed than other imaging methods.
Early Detection of Breast Cancer
An MRI is a valuable tool in the early detection of breast cancer. In the early diagnosis of breast cancer, MRI is an alternative to traditional x-ray mammography. At Peninsula Radiology Associates, an MRI of the breast helps us to gather information about many different breast conditions that are not obtainable through a mammography or ultrasound. Breast MRIs are a valuable supplemental tool, but are not a replacement for a yearly mammography or ultrasound.
At Peninsula Radiology, we deliver the most comprehensive range of medical diagnostic imaging and interventional radiological procedures available on the Virginia Peninsula. Peninsula Radiological Associates is affiliated with the highly esteemed Riverside Health System. This partnership allows for the greatest level of expertise, technology and service to our patients. Call today to schedule an appointment (757) 989-8830.