Sports-related Concussions Overview

Learn More About Sports-realted Concussions

What is a concussion?

Concussion is a subset of traumatic brain injury (TBI), also called mild TBI, that is defined as a “complex pathophysiological process affecting the brain caused by biomechanical forces.”1 In other words, jarring or shaking of the brain caused by direct (or indirect) impact to the head.

Concussion can be caused by either a direct blow to the head, face or neck, or anywhere else on the body where the force of the blow is transmitted to the head.

What are the symptoms of concussion?

Symptoms of concussion usually appear rapidly (minutes to hours), are relatively short-lived and typically resolve spontaneously. The majority of sport-related concussions (80%-90%) will resolve in 7 to 10 days, although recovery may be longer in children and teens.

The diagnosis of acute concussion includes signs and symptoms of:

  1. Headache (migraine-type or tension-type)
  2. Slow reaction time, feeling in a fog
  3. Fits of crying or laughing (emotional lability)
  4. Loss of consciousness
  5. Amnesia
  6. Insomnia (inability to fall asleep, or stay asleep)

How common are concussions?

Children and teens are more likely to have a TBI, including concussion, than adults. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), an estimated 173,285 sports or recreation-related TBIs occur among children and teens (aged from birth to 19 years)—an increase of 60% over the last decade.2

Sports and recreational activities associated with the greatest risk of TBIs include:

  1. Bicycling
  2. Football
  3. Playground activities
  4. Basketball
  5. Soccer

Other high-risk sports include gymnastics and cheerleading.

Updated on: 11/19/15
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Sports-related Concussions Treatments