Category Archives: Brain Health

signs you have a concussion

I Hit My Head: Did I Suffer a Concussion?

Head trauma comes in different forms, but concussions are one of the most severe forms of brain shock. Let’s look at what a concussion is, how to spot one, and what to do if you or a loved one gets a concussion.

What is a Concussion?

A concussion is a brain injury that disrupts your normal brain function. Head trauma tends to cause concussions, but violent shaking of the head can also trigger a concussion, such as in a car accident. The fluid in your skull protects the brain from impact. Imagine your brain as fruit gelatin, where the gelatin protects the fruit from minor disturbances. However, if the dish suddenly accelerates or decelerates, such as falling into the floor, the cushion cannot withstand the impact, and the fruit becomes damaged. Concussions require medical attention because they do not always cause loss of consciousness, and it is possible to have a concussion and not even realize it.

What to Expect if You Have a Concussion

Some concussion symptoms will reveal themselves immediately, while others may not occur for hours or even days after the injury.  You may require diagnostic testing if you are experiencing signs, such as pressure in your head, headache, confusion, dizziness, nausea, vomiting, slurred speech, amnesia, or fatigue.  Depending on the severity of the concussion, you may experience concentration and memory problems, personality changes, heightened sensitivity to noises or light, depression, and even psychological irregularities.

immediate concussion symptomsWhat to Do if You Get a Concussion

If you have incurred a head trauma and are displaying even mild concussion symptoms, the first thing you should do is contact your medical professional and get a proper examination and diagnosis. A doctor might recommend imaging services as well, such as an MRI or CT scan. In severe cases, you could have bleeding of the brain, which can result in seizures and even death.  

Although there isn’t a specific treatment on how to treat a concussion, the usual approach for an injury of this type is resting, drinking fluids, and taking a mild painkiller. You can apply ice at the site of the injury to relieve some of the pain and to reduce any swelling. Overall, experts recommend reducing most activities and ceasing any athletics until full recovery. It’s also advised not to drive, operate machinery, or be alone for 24 hours after a concussion, as symptoms can still develop. Most people who sustain a concussion are back to normal within a week or two, though some may have long-term problems from the concussion itself or from injury to surrounding soft tissue. 

how to treat a concussionGet Checked Out by the Very Best

UrgentMED Network has 18 locations throughout Southern California, providing fast and professional service for a whole range of conditions. Our staff of highly trained professionals will evaluate and treat you. If you are indeed suffering from a concussion or need followup care, we work with excellent specialists in all areas where we can expedite referrals and get you the proper treatment. We accept most insurance plans, and you don’t need an appointment to come in for a checkup. We offer free parking and are open every day of the year. Visit us online to find an UrgentMED location near you.

migraines

Migraines: What They Are and How to Stop Them

More than 38 million people in the U.S experience migraines annually. Counter to common belief, a migraine is more than just a bad headache. It’s an extreme throbbing pain in the head, along with nausea, vomiting, and sensitivity to light and noise that can occur chronically. Some doctors feel that migraines are a neurological disease and others believe they are a neurological disorder or condition.

Either way, migraines can be excruciating and disabling. For more information about what migraines are and how to stop them, keep reading. 

What Causes Migraines?

Experts are still unsure of what exactly causes migraines. In the past, doctors believed that the dilation and constriction of blood vessels in the brain caused migraines. Medications developed for migraines focused primarily on the brain’s blood vessels. Now, more doctors believe that they are a neurological disorder that involves nerve pathways and chemicals. Given the variety of migraines and the varying degrees of irritation and discomfort they create, there are many hypnotized root causes for migraines, and no single one can explain every experience  It’s also true that migraines usually run in families, although other environmental factors contribute to their prevalence and occurrence as well. 

Just a Bad Headache?

A migraine is not just a bad headache. It’s a compilation of neurological symptoms including relentless throbbing usually on one side of the head. Only about one-third of migraine sufferers experience pain on both sides. A migraine attack can last anywhere from four to seventy-two hours, can occur as infrequently as once in a lifetime to as frequently as multiple times a day, and is often associated with these symptoms:

  • Blurry vision
  • Seeing colors or lights
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Fatigue
  • Insomnia
  • Dizziness
  • Numbness in extremities or face
  • Inability to engage in physical activity
  • Extreme sensitivity to sound & light
  • Anxiety and changes in personality

urgent care southern californiaTypes of Migraines

There are many types of migraines, but there are two main types. There are migraines without aura and migraines with aura. Aura can be described as seeing colors, flashing lights, blind spots, or zigzag patterns.

The most commonly experienced migraine is without aura. This type of migraine sufferer will experience all disabling symptoms except seeing colors or lights.

A migraine with aura includes seeing colors, lights, zigzag patterns, and blind spots, also including the other types of symptoms. Aura symptoms usually occur about an hour before the head pain starts and does not normally last for more than an hour.

Other less common kinds of migraines include:

  • Migraines without head pain (characterized by dizziness), 
  • Hemiplegic migraines (characterized by bodily impairment similar to a stroke), 
  • Retinal migraines (characterized by temporary loss of vision) 
  • Ice-pick headaches (characterized by sudden intense, and sharp pain), 
  • Cervicogenic migraines (caused by neck or spine issues), and 
  • Cluster migraines (sometimes termed “suicide headaches” due to the extreme pain they can cause)

How to Stop Them

Migraines are very often left untreated and are usually self-diagnosed. An effective way to treat your migraines is to keep a journal of each migraine you get, how long it lasts, and what you did to treat it. This can be helpful for your doctor to determine patterns that will better clarify your triggers and, therefore, the best treatment plan.

urgent care californiaThe best ways to stop migraines are to avoid triggers (i.e. stress), alcohol, skipped meals, caffeine, and bad sleep habits.

Medical treatments:

  • Triptans
  • Beta-blockers
  • Anti-seizure medications
  • Antidepressants
  • Botox

Natural remedies:

  • Ice packs
  • Supplements
  • Relaxation techniques
  • Herbs
  • Acupuncture

If you are experiencing a thunderclap headache, a headache with stiff neck, mental confusion, seizures, headache after an injury, new headache pain if you’re over 50 years, or headache after moving, coughing, or exercise, immediately visit a clinic or emergency room.

Get Migraine Relief from the UrgentMED Network

Migraines come with disabling symptoms that are incredibly painful, inconvenient, and stressful. Natural remedies can be effective, but if you are still experiencing severe migraines without long-term relief, move on to medical treatment from the UrgentMED Network. With no appointment necessary, visit or contact one of our 18 urgent care centers for migraine treatment and support today.