Concussions are serious brain injuries that can happen to anyone after experiencing a hard hit to the head. According to a recent National Public Radio report, about one in four people say they have suffered a concussion at some point in their lives. Although we can’t stop concussions from happening, we can improve how people recognize and treat concussions through education and spreading awareness. There are many misconceptions about concussions that often prevent people from taking steps to protect themselves and get the care they need. Here are five myths about concussions that everyone should consider so you know how to respond when a head injury occurs.

Myth 1: Concussions are only a problem in sports.

Fact: Concussions can occur with any trauma to the head or body that puts force on the brain. You can develop a concussion from a blow to the head, bumping your head when you fall, being shaken, or being injured in a car accident.

Myth 2: A concussion is strictly a physical injury.

Fact: A concussion is a complex diagnosis with physical, intellectual, emotional, and psychological effects.

Myth 3: It’s not a concussion unless you are knocked out.

Fact: Only about 5% of people lose consciousness when they get a concussion. Loss of consciousness does not mean that a concussion will be more serious.

Myth 4: You can return to sports right away after a blow to the head. 

Fact: Returning to play with a concussion can result in a more serious injury. No athlete should return to play after a head injury without being evaluated by a healthcare provider.

Myth 5: Equipment such as the right helmet can prevent concussions.

Fact: Although helmets are important, no football, hockey, baseball, bicycle or other helmet or headgear can entirely prevent concussions. However, helmets can decrease the severity of a head injury and may prevent skull fractures and bleeding inside the skull.

Concussions affect athletes, children, and adults of all ages. For most people, a mild concussion won’t lead to lasting damage. But being informed, understanding the signs and symptoms, and knowing when to seek treatment is key to an optimal outcome if a concussion has occurred. If you or someone you know has experienced a concussion, our specialists at Insight Orthopedics & Sports Medicine can help. Contact us today to learn more about our services and schedule an appointment.