Myths About Concussions: Part Two

Medical experts address and dispel more myths about concussions in Part Two.

Myth: Concussions are primarily sports-related.

Fact: Concussions can occur anywhere, from everyday activities. One of the most common ways is to slip and fall, striking your head, or from the change in motion.

Myth: Seatbelts and shoulder harnesses prevent concussions during car accidents.

Fact: If your body is jolted back and forward, your head will probably suffer severe jolting, too. This can cause a concussion, regardless of whether your head actually strikes the dashboard or windshield. But make sure your seat belt and shoulder harness are properly fitted, to help minimize sharp, sudden movements during a motor vehicle collision. Many newer vehicles have seat belt tensioning systems to reduce body movement in a crash.

Myth: Suffering a concussion will cause permanent brain injury.

Fact:  The brain is pretty resilient, and concussion is a mild form of brain injury. Certainly, severe traumatic brain injuries can result in lasting brain damage, like memory, visual, functioning and emotional changes. That’s why it’s important to seek care when you experience a concussion.  But none of these things are expected in a concussion, because a concussion is a transient, or temporary, injury. In this case, it causes temporary loss of normal brain function.

Myth: I know someone who had permanent brain damage caused by a concussion.

Fact: Patients are sometimes misdiagnosed as having suffered a concussion when what they have is more severe. Their medical record shows a skull fracture and brain bleed, for example. These are severe traumatic brain injuries. Concussion might have also occurred, but the lasting brain damage was caused by these serious injuries.