For Individuals/Families

What is a concussion?

A concussion is a type of traumatic brain injury 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 (e.g., as a result of a fall, sports injury, motor vehicle accident, etc.). This sudden movement can cause the brain to bounce around or twist in the skull, stretching and damaging brain cells resulting in chemical changes in the brain. Concussions may also be referred to as “mild” traumatic brain injuries because they are usually not life-threatening. Even so, the effects of a concussion can be serious.

Source: What is a Concussion? – Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Some people experience a brief loss of consciousness (not exceeding 30 minutes) while others do not but may feel dazed, in a fog or confused. Concussions can rarely be detected on standard diagnostic imaging tests, such as CT scans.

Source: Guidelines for Concussion/Mild Traumatic Brain Injury & Persistent Symptoms, Third Edition, For Adults (18+ years of age) – Ontario Neurotrauma Foundation 

For more information and links to resources, visit our concussion resources page.