Concussions: What’s true and what’s not?

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Published: Jul. 22, 2022 at 4:41 AM CDT
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ORLANDO, Fla. (Ivanhoe Newswire) - Between 1.7 and three-million sports and recreation-related concussions occur each year. A concussion happens when the head and brain move rapidly back and forth and strike the inside of the skull. These injuries are complex – and often misunderstood.

Concussions are a hot topic in the world of sports. And while you may have heard a lot about these injuries lately – there’s also a lot of misinformation out there. Our first myth: a concussion always involves a direct hit to the head. In fact, whiplash, or a jolt to the body that shakes the head can also cause a concussion. Another popular myth:

“Some people still say it’s a bruise on the brain, and we know it’s not that. A concussion is basically normal imaging, so there’s no sign of bruising at all.” Explains Scott Zuckerman, MD, MPH Neurosurgeon, Vanderbilt University Medical Center.

You may have heard that you shouldn’t sleep after a concussion but this is also untrue. The University of Michigan Health says sleep can actually be beneficial. Another fallacy: you have to lose consciousness to have a concussion. Only about 10 percent of concussions involve loss of consciousness. And should you always go to the ER if you have a concussion? The answer is: not necessarily. If you have mild symptoms, you can be cared for at home and follow up with a doctor within a few days. Our last myth: you can return to sports as soon as you feel o-k.

“A lot of people think that you should fight through a concussion, but we know that these days that can be very dangerous and that can lead to severe traumatic brain injury.” Stated Doctor Zuckerman.

The rule of thumb: you shouldn’t return to play until you’ve been cleared by a medical professional.

Some common signs of a concussion include headache, nausea, sensitivity to light or sound, dizziness, sleep problems, memory problems, confusion, and changes in mood.

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