A concussion is an injury to the brain that causes problems with how the brain works. It can affect things like memory, balance, focus, decision making, and coordination.
A concussion is caused by a blow to the head or shaking of the head from things like:
Concussions are more common in men. Things that raise the risk of this problem are:
A concussion can cause symptoms that may last for days, weeks, or even longer. They may be start right away or a few hours or days after the injury.
Common physical problems are:
Other problems may be:
The doctor will ask about your symptoms and health history. You will also be asked how the injury happened. Others who saw the injury happen may also be asked about it. A physical exam will be done. This is enough to make the diagnosis.
The goal of treatment is to let the brain rest so that it can heal. This may be done with:
Steps will need to be taken to prevent a second brain injury. It can lead to serious problems.
To lower the risk of concussion:
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Family Doctor—American Academy of Family Physicians
Brain Injury Association of Canada
Ontario Brain Injury Association
Concussion and mild traumatic brain injury. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at:https://www.dynamed.com/condition/concussion-and-mild-traumatic-brain-injury. Updated November 1, 2018. Accessed May 13, 2020.
Lumba-Brown A, Yeates KO, et al. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Guideline on the Diagnosis and Management of Mild Traumatic Brain Injury Among Children. JAMA Pediatr. 2018 Nov 1;172(11):e182853.
Sports-related concussion information for athletes. Wesleyan University Athletic Injury Care website. Available at: http://athletics.wesleyan.edu/Performance_-_Care/concussions. Updated January 2007. Accessed May 13, 2020.
Traumatic brain injury and concussion. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website. Available at: http://www.cdc.gov/TraumaticBrainInjury/index.html. Updated March 4, 2019. Accessed May 13, 2020.
What can I do to help feel better after a mild traumatic brain injury? Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website. Available at: https://www.cdc.gov/traumaticbraininjury/recovery.html. Updated February 12, 2019. Accessed May 13, 2020.
2/21/2017 EBSCO DynaMed Systematic Surveillancehttps://www.dynamed.com/condition/concussion-and-mild-traumatic-brain-injury: Grool AM, Aglipay M, et al. Association between early participation in physical activity following acute concussion and persistent postconcussive symptoms in children and adolescents. JAMA. 2016 Dec 20;316(23)2504-2514.
Last reviewed February 2020 by EBSCO Medical Review Board Warren A. Bodine, DO, CAQSM Last Updated: 5/13/2020