Concussions Q&A

Concussions services offered in Belle Meade, Nashville, TN

Around five in 10 concussions are undetected, according to the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC). At Advanced Sports Medicine in Nashville, Tennessee, Jim Johnson, MD, strives to minimize the long-term effects of concussions. The sooner you seek treatment for a concussion, the more likely you are to make a full recovery. To learn more about concussions, call Advanced Sports Medicine today or schedule an appointment online.

What are concussions?

A concussion is a severe brain injury that occurs when the brain shakes against the skull. Traumatic blows to the head from sports injuries, car accidents, or sudden falls are the most common causes of concussions. Without treatment, a concussion can cause long-term brain damage.


Not all concussions cause obvious symptoms. You can have a concussion without knowing it. That’s why Dr. Johnson recommends visiting Advanced Sports Medicine for a comprehensive evaluation after any head injury.

What are the symptoms of concussions?


Understanding the warning signs of concussions is the only way to ensure you receive proper care for your injury. Symptoms of concussions may include:


  • Headache
  • Nausea
  • Ringing in the ears
  • Blurred vision
  • Drowsiness
  • Vomiting
  • Dizziness
  • Brain fog
  • Confusion
  • Dizziness
  • Slurred speech
  • Delayed response
  • Forgetfulness


If you have a concussion, you may experience sensitivity to light, sleep disturbances, and changes to your sense of taste and smell. Concussion symptoms may last for days, or they can continue for several weeks.

What causes concussions?

A forceful blow to the head is the most common cause of a concussion. The cerebrospinal fluid inside your skull normally protects your brain from injury. The brain is sensitive and vulnerable to damage without that protection. A sudden injury to the head can rattle the brain and cause it to collide forcefully with the inside of your skull.

As a certified ImPACT® concussion consultant and former United States Air Force surgeon, Dr. Johnson has seen concussions result from sports injuries, car collisions, falls, and other sudden accidents.

How are concussions diagnosed?

When diagnosing a concussion, Dr. Johnson asks detailed questions about your symptoms and reviews your medical history. He also may also perform a full cognitive test and vision and hearing screening. Dr. Johnson also tests your balance, coordination, strength, and reflexes to gather the information he needs to diagnose a concussion.


If necessary, he may also order imaging scans, such as magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), to evaluate your brain function. Dr. Johnson knows how to diagnose and treat a concussion promptly to minimize the impact on your physical and cognitive capabilities.

What are the treatments for concussions?

Depending on the severity of your concussion, Dr. Johnson may recommend:


  • Pain relievers to reduce discomfort
  • Activity modifications 
  • Rest
  • Physical therapy


A concussion requires complete physical and mental rest. If you have a concussion, bright lights from video games, television, or loud music can trigger your symptoms. Refraining from these activities may help accelerate your recovery.


To learn more about concussions, call Advanced Sports Medicine today or schedule an appointment online.