The Long-Term Effects of Concussions: Understanding the Risks for Athletes and Non-Athletes

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Some people think of concussions as a sports injury, but they can happen to anyone. If you’ve had a concussion and don’t know how to recognize the symptoms, it’s important that you do. Say’s Dr. John Manzella, because concussions can be serious and long-term effects are possible, knowing the risks is one of the best ways to protect yourself from them.

How common are concussions?

Concussions are a common occurrence in sports. In fact, they’re the most common type of brain injury in high school athletes. However, concussions can also occur in non-contact situations and even result from a sudden impact to the head that doesn’t involve contact with another person.

Concussions are caused by an impact that causes the brain to bounce against the inside of your skull (the cranial vault). This sudden movement can cause bruising or bleeding inside your brain tissue and disrupt how it works–and there’s no way for you or anyone else to tell whether you’ve suffered one until after it happens!

Are all concussions the same?

No two concussions are exactly alike. Not only do the severity of each injury vary, but so do the symptoms and recovery time. For example, some people may experience headaches or dizziness while others don’t notice any symptoms at all after a concussion occurs. The same goes for how long it takes someone to recover from a concussion: some people can return to normal activities within days while others take weeks or months before they feel back to normal again!

What are the risks of a sports-related concussion?

Concussions are more likely to occur in contact sports, but they can also happen in any sport or activity. The most common causes of concussions are falls and blows to the head such as from a ball or another player’s body. Concussions can also result from hitting something with your head (e.g., if you fall while riding your bike). If a person has had previous concussions, each new one increases the risk of developing permanent brain damage.

Can you prevent concussions in your child, teen or adult?

While concussions are a serious health concern for athletes of all ages, there are some steps you can take to help prevent them.

  • Wear the proper equipment. Make sure your child is wearing a helmet when playing any sport and that he or she has the correct size for their body type.
  • Avoid high-risk sports. While it’s important for kids to participate in physical activities and build their strength, there are some sports that carry higher risks of concussion than others: football and hockey come to mind immediately here–but also soccer (heading), lacrosse (checking) and basketball (dunks). If you’re worried about your child getting hurt while playing these games, talk with him or her about other options like swimming or biking instead!


As we’ve seen, concussions are a serious problem for athletes and non-athletes alike. It’s important to understand the risks of concussion and how they can affect your child or teen over time. If you have any questions about your own health or that of your loved ones, please contact us today!

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