Top 5 Concussion Myths
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Top 5 Concussion Myths

Concussions are some of the most prevalent injuries seen in sports medicine. They are also some of the most dangerous. Why? Despite significant advances in research and education on concussive injuries, there still remains a lot of misinformation regarding their causes, diagnosis and treatment.

A type of mild brain injury, concussions can happen under a variety of circumstances and are not limited to sporting accidents on the field. A concussion can result from a fall off a bicycle, a car accident, being struck by an object, and other non-sports contexts.

In an effort to help people rethink the severity and potential dangers of concussions, let’s dispel some of the more common myths being perpetuated.

#1 – A concussion only results from a direct blow to the head

Any blow that sends enough force of impact directly to the brain can cause a concussion. For instance, a fall or sudden jolt to the neck, back or shoulders can shake the body with enough force to rattle the brain inside the skull. This sudden movement can cause serious damage to brain cells.

#2 – You must black out, or lose consciousness to suffer a concussion

Very few people actually lose consciousness after suffering a concussion. While passing out is a definite indicator of a concussive brain injury, no two concussions are the same, and there is a wide spectrum of symptoms that may present. Sudden headache, nausea, dizziness, balance problems, and ringing in the ears are common signs that point to a possible concussion.

#3 – The harder the blow, the worse the prognosis

The type and strength of blow sustained does not always have a direct correlation to the severity of the concussion, or the recovery time. “I have seen children who have fallen out of a two-story window and within a few days have fully recovered, while others who have simply been hit with a dodge ball in gym class can take a year to get better,” explains assistant professor of pediatric sports medicine at Washington University, Dr. Mark Halstead.

#4 – CT scans and MRIs are the only diagnostic tool

These high-resolution imaging tests are designed to identify bleeding and/or damage to the brain, but they are not particularly adept at diagnosing a minor concussion. Most doctors assess patients for concussive injuries by asking about their symptoms, looking for post-concussive physical signs and performing exams to evaluate things like vision, memory, concentration and balance.

#5 – Football is the #1 cause of concussions in children

In reality, there are more biking accident-related concussions in American children than any other type of sport. According to statistics, cheerleading and wrestling follow with the next highest concussion rates.

When it comes to this increasingly common brain injury, it absolutely pays to be educated and prepared. By understanding the wide spectrum of symptoms, you are more likely to recognize a concussion and seek prompt medical treatment. Long-term side effects from concussions are often traced back to poorly treated injuries or delays in treatment. Even mild TBIs can leave victims at risk for long-term damage and lengthy recoveries.

The bottom line is that concussions should not be taken lightly. Seek prompt medical evaluation and treatment, and if negligence is suspected, contact the Los Angeles traumatic brain injury lawyers at Ellis Law for a free consultation. We are proud to offer award-winning personal injury representation to residents throughout Southern California.

Additional Resources on Concussion Myths:

  1. Parents, 11 Concussion Myths That Could Hurt Your Child https://www.parents.com/health/injuries/11-concussion-myths/
  2. PsychologyToday, 7 Myths About Concussions https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/mental-wealth/201606/7-myths-about-concussions
  3. UPMC, NEUROMYTHOLOGY: DEBUNKING THE TOP CONCUSSION MYTHS http://rethinkconcussions.upmc.com/2016/10/concussion-myths-facts/