A Concussion is a Brain Injury. Here’s Why That Matters

A concussion is a traumatic brain injury (TBI). A concussion can be caused by a blow to the head, but they can also happen when you hit the ground or an object. If your head hits something with enough force, it can cause bruising and bleeding in your brain. This is called a coup-contrecoup injury because it happens when the force causes your brain to move back and forth inside your skull during an impact. That movement causes bruising on both sides of your brain and sometimes cuts through nerve fibers that connect different areas of the brain together explains Dr John Manzella.

What is a concussion?

A concussion is a type of brain injury that happens when your head suddenly and violently hits something, like the ground in football. Concussions can happen in any sport but are most common in contact sports like football, hockey and lacrosse.

It’s important to note that concussions are not just the result of one hit; they happen over time as you continue to play while injured. If a player gets a concussion during one game or practice session — even if he or she doesn’t lose consciousness — it can lead to long-term problems if he or she continues playing before being fully healed.

Concussion symptoms

  • Headache.
  • Dizziness and balance problems. Y
  • Nausea
  • Blurred Vision
  • Sensitivity to Light
  • Weakness in arms or legs (called ataxia)

What causes a concussion?

A concussion can happen in a number of ways. These include:

  • High-impact sports, like football or hockey
  • Falling down and hitting your head
  • Being hit by a ball or other object to the head (for example, if you’re playing baseball and get hit by a hard ball)

How long does it take to recover from a concussion?

If you’ve ever wondered how long it takes to recover from a concussion, let us first assure you that recovery is possible. Concussion symptoms can take several months to go away completely, but with proper treatment and support, most people do recover within this time frame.

The length of your recovery period will depend on the severity of your concussion. Milder injuries tend to heal more quickly, whereas severe ones may require months—or even years—of rehab before symptoms are fully resolved. A variety of factors affect how long it takes your brain to heal after a concussion:

Who is at risk for having a concussion?

You can think of a concussion as a type of brain injury, which means that anyone can get one. However, certain people are more likely to experience one. Athletes and others who participate in contact sports have an increased chance of experiencing concussions because they’re often involved in physical activity that puts them at risk for head injuries. Concussions also occur more commonly among older adults; it’s estimated that 1 in 7 people over age 65 will experience at least one concussion during their lifetime.


As we’ve seen, concussions can have serious effects on the brain—and our lives. But we also know that there are many ways to prevent this injury, including wearing a helmet on your bike ride home and avoiding contact sports. If you think you might have sustained one of these injuries, it’s important to seek medical attention right away so that your doctor can prescribe treatment options or refer you to specialists who can help manage your recovery process.

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