When it comes to concussion, ‘When in doubt, check it out’

Varied symptoms, stigma mean condition can go untreated

As a former competitive hockey player and junior hockey coach, Trevin Sewell knows firsthand about the risks associated with concussion and the implications of such an injury.

After sustaining concussions himself, and experiencing longterm, previously undiagnosed issues such as depression, he has become an advocate not only for prevention and proper treatment, but also reducing the associated stigma.

More concussion awareness needed

A broader community discussion is important to help athletes, workers and others report potential head injuries and allow themselves the time and space to heal, says Sewell, a counsellor and sports psychology practitioner with New Horizon Health Care and Sports Injury Clinic.

“It’s not only about treating people and helping them return to health, it’s about raising awareness,” Sewell says.

With concussion treatment recognized by Complete Concussion Management, New Horizon offers evidence-based concussion care, from pre-season baseline testing to concussion treatment and rehabilitation. Collaborating with primary care physicians to co-manage concussions, practitioners help patients and athletes safely return to work, school and play.

Varied symptoms can lead to missed diagnosis

It’s not only the major concussions that can cause problems and long-lasting symptoms, including many you might not immediately associate with a head injury, Sewell notes. Beyond more well-known symptoms like headache, vertigo and nausea, common issues he sees include sensitivity to light, mood changes, loss of appetite and fatigue.

“Regardless of whether the injury was big or small, you can come in and talk to someone, and see if further testing might be warranted,” Sewell says. “If you have any doubt, check it out – come speak with someone.”

Testing can range from simple eye movement tests to cognitive tests to conditioning tests, depending on the individual and where they are in their recovery.

With practitioners also trained in disciplines such as physiotherapy, chiropractic, New Horizon’s concussion patients also benefit from a multi-disciplinary approach to healing and wellness, Sewell notes.

“They won’t let people return to school, to work or to sport until their condition is where it should be.”

Located on 101 – 8056 King George Blvd. in Surrey, the clinic is open Monday to Thursday from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., Friday from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Saturday from 2 to 6 p.m. to offer patients a flexible schedule. Treatment is often covered by extended healthcare, or in the case of an auto injury, ICBC. New Horizon also has a medical doctor on staff who treats chronic pain and is covered by MSP.

To learn more, visit online at newhorizonclinic.ca or call to book today at 604-629-4671.


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