A concussion is a type of brain injury. It's the most minor form. Technically, a concussion is a short loss of normal brain function in response to a head injury. But people often use it to describe any minor injury to the head or brain.
Concussions are a common type of sports injury. You can also have one if you suffer a blow to the head or hit your head after a fall.
Symptoms of a concussion may not start right away; they may start days or weeks after the injury. Symptoms may include a headache or neck pain. You may also have nausea, ringing in your ears, dizziness, or tiredness. You may feel dazed or not your normal self for several days or weeks after the injury. Consult your health care professional if any of your symptoms get worse, or if you have more serious symptoms such as
- Trouble walking or sleeping
- Weakness, numbness, or decreased coordination
- Repeated vomiting or nausea
- Slurred speech
Doctors use a neurologic exam and imaging tests to diagnose a concussion. Most people recover fully after a concussion, but it can take some time. Rest is very important after a concussion because it helps the brain to heal.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
- High School Football Players Suffer More Symptoms After Concussion (05/02/2016, HealthDay)
- Previous Mental Distress May Slow Concussion Recovery (04/20/2016, HealthDay)
- Cold Weather Can Spike Football Injuries, Study Finds (03/31/2016, HealthDay)
- More News on Concussion
- What Are the Signs and Symptoms of Concussion? (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)
Prevention and Risk Factors
- Brain Injury Safety Tips and Prevention (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)
- Can a Dietary Supplement Treat a Concussion? No! (Food and Drug Administration) Available in Spanish
- Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research)
- FAQs about Baseline Testing among Young Athletes (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) Available in Spanish
- Post-Concussion Syndrome (Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research)
- What Can I Do to Help Feel Better After a Concussion? (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)