What is concussion?
Concussion is a traumatic brain injury resulting in a disturbance of brain function. There are many symptoms of concussion, common ones being headache, dizziness, memory disturbance or balance problems.
Loss of consciousness, being knocked out, occurs in less than 10% of concussions. Loss of consciousness is not a requirement for diagnosing concussion.
Typically standard brain scans are normal.
What causes concussion?
Concussion can be caused by a direct blow to the head, but can also occur when blows to other parts of the body result in rapid movement of the head, e.g. whiplash type injuries.
Who is at risk?
Concussions can happen at any age. However, children and adolescent athletes:
- are more susceptible to concussion
- take longer to recover
- have more significant memory and mental processing issues
- are more susceptible to rare and dangerous neurological complications, including death caused by a single or second impact
Athletes with a history of two or more concussions within the past year are at greater risk of further brain injury and slower recovery and should seek medical attention from practitioners experienced in concussion management before return to play.
Onset of symptoms
It should be noted that the symptoms of concussion can present at any time but typically become evident in the first 24-48 hours following a head injury.