The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) defines concussion as a traumatic brain injury (TBI) caused by a bump, blow, or jolt to the head or by a hit to the body that causes the head and brain to move rapidly back and forth. This sudden movement can cause the brain to bounce around or twist in the skull, stretching and damaging brain cells and creating chemical changes in the brain.
A concussion is generally referred to as a mild traumatic brain injury or mTBI. There may be signs of injury to the head, such as bruising or cuts, or there may be no visible injury. A person does not necessarily pass out after a concussion.
Medical providers may describe a concussion as a “mild” traumatic brain injury because concussions are usually not life-threatening. Even so, all brain injuries – including concussions – should be taken seriously. Remember:
- A concussion/mTBI is an injury to the brain, not just ‘seeing stars’.
- Most students and athletes will recover completely within 2-3 weeks if given the proper periods of rest and a gradual return to activities.
- After sustaining a concussion, it is very important to avoid any activity that places one at risk of sustaining another concussion.
Click the links below to navigate through and continue reading about symptoms, treatment, and life after concussion. To help educate others about concussion, click here to download our concussion infographics and fact sheets.