Concussion Myths

With the start of the upcoming school year approaching, so is the beginning of contact sports seasons, such as football and soccer. An influx in sports seasons creates greater susceptibility in sustaining a concussion. These days, most schools and sports programs provide appropriate baseline testing and education, but sometimes the facts regarding concussions are misunderstood. Knowing the facts can be crucial in providing proper identification and recovery! Here are a few of the common myths about concussions:


#1 – You have to hit your head to get a concussion.

Concussions can occur in many ways other than a direct blow to the head. For example, concussions can occur from whiplash during a car accident or from being shaken violently.


#2 – Wearing a helmet will prevent concussions in contact sports.

While helmets can prevent injuries, such as a skull fracture, the fluid that surrounds and supports the brain can “slosh” around enough to cause brain injury.


#3 – You have to lose consciousness for an injury to be considered a concussion.

According to the American Association of Family Physicians, fewer than 10% of concussions include loss of consciousness. However, up to 95% will experience a headache.


#4 – Symptoms of a concussion will develop right away.

Sometimes symptoms of a concussion will not show up for a few hours to days after an injury. Watch for any changes in behavior or symptoms including, headache, nausea or vomiting, dizziness, blurred vision, light sensitivity, fatigue, confusion, or trouble concentrating.


#5 – Someone needs to wake you up every hour if a concussion has occurred.

Sleep is crucial in allowing the brain to heal! Disrupting a sleep schedule can contribute to a slower recovery.


If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with a concussion, physical therapy can be helpful in the recovery process! Call to schedule an evaluation with a physical therapist at any of our convenient Hulst Jepsen locations or ask about our Return to Play program!

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Amanda Whitlock, MSPT, ATC