Myths about Concussions: Part One

Despite the fact that physicians have been diagnosing concussions for thousands of years (dating all the way back to the 10th century!), many myths about concussions and their treatment persist today. We asked medical experts in our community to address and dispel these myths. This is Part One of a three-part series on concussion myths and facts.

Myth: If I have been diagnosed with a concussion, I need to stay home and do absolutely nothing for several days.

Fact: Based on research, we have significantly changed the treatment plan and it does not include isolation and inactivity.

Myth: My brain never fully recovers from a concussion.

Fact: A concussion is a transient, neurologic state, meaning that in the majority of cases a concussion can and does get better. The important thing is to manage it appropriately.

Myth: When it comes to sports, concussions are going to happen. There’s not much that can be done to prevent them.

Fact: Sports are being studied to look for ways to reduce unsafe behaviors that can result in concussion. For example, in football, there are now changes where you can’t lead with your head and hit another athlete in the head. It’s important to know your sport, make sure you are getting trained appropriately and learn safe skills, such as safe tackling if it’s football. If it’s cheerleading, make sure you have spotters and mats whenever you are practicing. It’s basically being mindful of safety and reducing risk of injury and, with research, trying to understand how concussions happen.

For more information on traumatic brain injuries, including concussions, contact the Virginia Department of Health at https://www.vdh.virginia.gov/injury-and-violence-prevention/ or the Virginia Concussion Initiative at concussion.gmu.edu.

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