5 Common Misconceptions | CAN Recover

5 Common Misconceptions:

In today’s post, we’re going to talk about 5 common misconceptions people have about concussions and why they are false.


Assumption #1: It’s Only a Concussion if you Lose Consciousness

In the world of sports, and even beyond, it is a common belief that concussions and loss of consciousness are directly linked. However, individuals do not need to lose consciousness when they sustain a concussion. In the past several years, more research surrounding concussions has emerged. That research showed that the vast majority of concussions do not result in loss of consciousness. Research actually suggests that less than 10% of concussions result in loss of consciousness1. More commonly, individuals will feel dizzy or dazed.

Assumption #2: Concussions are Only Caused By a Hit to the Head

People tend to believe that one can only sustain a concussion if they have a direct impact to the head. However, that is not the case. Concussions occur due to a rapid acceleration of the brain, primarily rotational acceleration. While concussions typically come from a blow to the head, it can also occur if someone is hit in the face or chest2.

Assumption #3: The Effects of a Concussion are Short-Term

While 80-90% of concussions resolve within 7-10 days, every concussion and recovery is unique3. In some cases, the underlying effects of a concussion can last for years or have permanent effects. Some suggested long-term effects of concussions can include memory problems, depression, and other cognitive problems.

Assumption #4: All Concussions are the Same

No two concussions are the same, nor are their recoveries. The symptoms one experiences with a concussion can be different depending on a lot of factors. Some of those factors may include the force and location of the impact, history of concussions, time between injuries, and the severity of metabolic dysfunction. Each of these factors dictates how a person recovers from a concussion. One doctor has explained it along the lines of: A hit that your brother takes may take him 2 weeks to recover, while that same hit takes you two years. You each are completely unique, so your recovery is completely unique.

Assumption #5: You Know Right Away if Someone has a Concussion

While the signs and symptoms of a concussion are often present immediately following the injury, that is not always the case. Sometimes, signs and symptoms may not appear for hours, days, or weeks after the injury occurs. It is important for parents, coaches, teachers, and friends to realize that some concussion symptoms may not appear right away but still need to be taken seriously.

1(2013). Sports concussion statistics. Headcase. Retrieved from https://www.headcasecompany.com/.
2(2015). Sports medicine division FAQ. Boston Children’s Hospital. Retrieved from https://www.childrenshospital.org/.
3(2015). Concussion facts: did you know? Sanford Health. Retrieved from https://www.sanfordhealth.org/.