Do you think you may have a concussion?  These tests will assist in detecting concussion symptoms and its severity.

What is a Concussion?

Detecting a Concussion

A concussion is the result of a direct or indirect force to the head which causes a disturbance in brain function. Concussion normally only lasts for about a few days or weeks. However, it sometimes may require emergency treatment with some people having longer-lasting problems.

In normal circumstances, signs of a concussion should start to show within just a few minutes or hours of a head injury. However, it may not always readily appear. Occasionally, signs of a concussion may not be so obvious for some days. This is why it is advisable to properly examine a person who has had a head injury for signs of concussion.

Detecting a concussion.

Immediate Memory:

To detect if an individual who has suffered from a head injury has a concussion, you can test the person’s immediate memory to see if they recognize basic things. To do this you can list a group of words and then ask the individual to mention those words in no particular order. If the individual is unable to fully recall the words, proceed to a second trial and when they still can’t then it is possible they have a concussion.

Single leg stance:

The single leg stance is a test that is done to determine balance. It is done by asking injured individuals to stand on their non-dominant foot. The dominant leg should be held in approximately 30 degrees of hip flexion and about 45 degrees of knee flexion. Stability should be maintained for about 20 seconds with the individual’s hands on the hips and eyes closed. You will then proceed to count the number of times the individual moves out of position. Move out of this position. Stumbling frequently indicates concussion.


read to the individual a string of numbers and when you are done, ask the individual to repeat them back to you backwards, in reverse order of how you read them to him. E.g. if you say 7-1-9, they would say 9-1-7.” inability to properly say it indicates concussion.

Delayed Recall:

This test is to be performed after completion of the Balance and Coordination Examination. In thirst, ask the individual to say as many words as possible from the previous words you said to him.

Double leg stance:

First, ask the individual to stand with feet together with hands on hips and with eyes closed. The individual must try to maintain stability in that position for 20 seconds. Count the number of times he/she moves out of this position.

Tandem stance:

Ask the individual to stand heel-to-toe with the non-dominant foot in back. His/her weight should be evenly distributed across both feet. Individual should try to maintain stability for 20 seconds with hands on hips and eyes closed. Proceed to count the number of times

After conducting these trials, if the patient fails majority of the trials, chances are that he/she has a concussion and it is serious and seek medical advice immediately.

If you, or someone you know is recuperating from a brain injury, you may like to visit our page about how gait and movement biofeedback may help speed recovery.

Peter Barrett

Peter Barrett


Peter designs and builds biofeedback products for gait and movement in the orthopaedic and stroke rehabilitation spaces. These devices are programmed for ease of use with built in help touch screens. In all cases data is transferred wirelessly to ensure patient safety.They can store and display data in real time so as to monitor the patient’s overall progress.

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