Brain Injury

What is a Concussion?

A concussion is a type of traumatic brain injury or TBI, caused by a bump, blow, or jolt to the head that can change the way your brain normally works. Concussions can also occur from a fall or a hit to the body that causes the head and brain to move quickly back and forth or side to side.

The term concussion comes from the Latin word “concussus,” meaning “to violently shake.”

Concussions are considered the “invisible” injury because they do not show up on current available medical imaging tests such as x-rays or CT scans. The effects of a concussion are often misunderstood or overlooked, which adds to the “invisibility” factor. Health care professionals may describe a concussion as a “mild” brain injury because concussions are usually not life threatening. Even so, their effects can be very serious.

Concussion and sports

Concussion guidelines are a rapidly changing field. Until just a few years ago, athletes were expected to “shake it off” and continue to play after suffering a concussion or a “ding.” (Sports Legacy Institute)

The most recent guidelines and consensus statements firmly state that no youth athlete should return to play the same day, and should not return after that day until they have been cleared by an appropriate medical professional.

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