Princess Anne has been hospitalised with a minor head injury and concussion, Buckingham Palace announced today. 

The King’s 73-year-old sister, was walking on her Gatcombe Park estate in Gloucestershire yesterday when she was hurt.

The Olympic-medal winning horsewoman was given medical care before being taken to Southmead Hospital in Bristol for tests, treatment and observation.

The palace said the Princess Royal was left with minor wounds to the head, believed to be consistent with a potential impact from a horse’s head or legs.

Concussion is a common injury, but experts warn, despite its potential severity, it can often be dismissed. 

The King's 73-year-old sister, was walking on her Gatcombe Park estate in Gloucestershire yesterday when she was hurt. The Olympic-medal winning horsewoman was given medical care before being taken to Southmead Hospital in Bristol for tests, treatment and observation. Pictured, Princess Anne arrives by carriage on day three of Royal Ascot at Ascot Racecourse last Thursday

The King's 73-year-old sister, was walking on her Gatcombe Park estate in Gloucestershire yesterday when she was hurt. The Olympic-medal winning horsewoman was given medical care before being taken to Southmead Hospital in Bristol for tests, treatment and observation. Pictured, Princess Anne arrives by carriage on day three of Royal Ascot at Ascot Racecourse last Thursday

The King’s 73-year-old sister, was walking on her Gatcombe Park estate in Gloucestershire yesterday when she was hurt. The Olympic-medal winning horsewoman was given medical care before being taken to Southmead Hospital in Bristol for tests, treatment and observation. Pictured, Princess Anne arrives by carriage on day three of Royal Ascot at Ascot Racecourse last Thursday

The palace said the Princess Royal was left with minor wounds to the head, believed to be consistent with a potential impact from a horse's head or legs. Pictured, the Gatcombe Park estate in Gloucestershire where the incident happened (file picture)

The palace said the Princess Royal was left with minor wounds to the head, believed to be consistent with a potential impact from a horse's head or legs. Pictured, the Gatcombe Park estate in Gloucestershire where the incident happened (file picture)

The palace said the Princess Royal was left with minor wounds to the head, believed to be consistent with a potential impact from a horse’s head or legs. Pictured, the Gatcombe Park estate in Gloucestershire where the incident happened (file picture)

Concussion is a common injury, but experts warn, despite its potential severity, it can often be dismissed

Concussion is a common injury, but experts warn, despite its potential severity, it can often be dismissed

Concussion is a common injury, but experts warn, despite its potential severity, it can often be dismissed

However, if not treated properly, it can leave a much longer lasting impact.

Here MailOnline explains everything you need to know about the condition and its crucial warning signs. 

What is concussion? 

A concussion is an injury to the brain that results in temporary loss of normal brain function. 

The brain, which has the consistency of firm jelly, hits the hard sides of the skull, and the impact may even cause bleeding. 

There may not be a visible head injury, nor obvious harm to the brain — concussion can occur without structural changes detectable on MRI or CT scans. This makes it a complex injury to diagnose and manage.

It can be caused by direct trauma to the head, such as from falling, getting hit, sporting injuries or being in an accident. 

They can also occur as a result of rapid acceleration-deceleration of the head, such as in whiplash injuries or blast injuries.

What are the key warning signs?   

Mild head injuries can leave people with a range of concussion symptoms including dizziness, fatigue, nausea, confusion or an inability to process or retain information.

Other common signs include sensitivity to light and not being able to sleep well. 

Around one in ten cases also involve losing consciousness, brain injury charity Headways, says. 

Experts have long advised not to solely rely on this as an indicator of concussion. 

According to the NHS, disturbances in vision, such as ‘seeing stars’ or blurry vision or a delay in answering questions immediately after the head injury are frequent signs. 

Symptoms may also not present up to 48 hours after the incident. 

When should I seek medical advice? 

After suffering concussion, it is important to be accompanied by a responsible adult, if possible. 

While unlikely, there is a small risk of developing complications.

The health service urges people to visit A&E if they have lost consciousness following the incident or suffered memory loss, however brief. 

Persistent headaches, changes in behaviour, such as irritability, being easily distracted or having no interest in the outside world, are other indicators you should attend hospital. 

Additional key warning signs to include a loss of balance or problems walking, vomiting after the injury, sudden deafness in one or both ears and clear fluid leaving the nose or ears. 

This could be cerebrospinal fluid, which surrounds the brain. 

In rare cases, a dangerous collection of blood — known medically as hematoma — may form on the brain after a bump, blow, or jolt to the head that may squeeze the brain against the skull. 

Danger signs include one pupil larger being than the other. drowsiness or inability to wake up and repeated vomiting or nausea, convulsions or seizures.

A concussion is an injury to the brain that results in temporary loss of normal brain function. The brain, which has the consistency of firm jelly, hits the hard sides of the skull, and the impact may even cause bleeding

A concussion is an injury to the brain that results in temporary loss of normal brain function. The brain, which has the consistency of firm jelly, hits the hard sides of the skull, and the impact may even cause bleeding

A concussion is an injury to the brain that results in temporary loss of normal brain function. The brain, which has the consistency of firm jelly, hits the hard sides of the skull, and the impact may even cause bleeding

How long do symptoms last? 

In many cases symptoms resolve themselves within a few days or weeks. 

However, problems can persist for some people for months before resolving themselves eventually.

One Canadian study, published in BMJ Open Sport & Exercise Medicine, found between 80 to 90 per cent of concussions are short term, with all symptoms dissipating within 28 days. 

However, in a few cases, recovery can take months, especially if recovery has been ignored or rushed. 

Research by the University of Cambridge last year found almost half of people (45 per cent) with concussion still show symptoms of brain injury six months later. 

Involving 108 patients who had a mild traumatic brain injury, the scientists compared their MRI scans, looking at how different areas of the brain coordinate with each other and compared them against scans from 76 healthy volunteers. 

Writing in the journal Brain, the team also said the most common symptoms six months later were fatigue, poor concentration and headaches.

How is concussion treated?  

While there is no single treatment for concussion, with appropriate medical care and plenty of rest, most people will make a good recovery. 

This will look different for each person but the NHS advises to always apply a cold compress — such as a bag of frozen veg wrapped in a towel — first to the injury to reduce swelling.

Never, however, place ice directly on the skin as it’s too cold.

This compress should be applied every two to four hours and be left in place for 20 to 30 minutes.

Medication like paracetamol may also help control pain.  

But non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) painkillers like ibuprofen or aspirin should not be used as these can sometimes cause bleeding at the site of the injury.

Concussion sufferers should also try to get plenty of rest and avoid drinking alcohol or taking recreational drugs.

In rarer cases, people with longer term concussion symptoms, post-concussion physical therapy can help relieve headaches, neck pain, and balance issues. 

Source: Mail Online

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