When it comes to concussions, how much do you know? Test your knowledge of concussions with these interesting myths and facts related to concussions.
MYTH: Helmets are an effective way to prevent concussions.
FACT: Concussions occur when the brain shakes inside the skull. The brain is surrounded by fluid and has space to move around, and no helmet can change that. So a helmet may help reduce the chances of concussion (and definitely of skull fractures), but nothing can truly prevent a concussion.
MYTH: My kid can deal with concussions after the game.
FACT: Your child has 1 brain, so we better take care of it. Research shows that continuing to play (even if there’s not a new blow to the head) can actually double recovery time. Is that really worth it? When it doubt, sit it out!
MYTH: If my CT or MRI was normal, there is nothing wrong.
FACT: Concussions generally do not show up on head imaging. There is usually no bleeding, swelling, or structural damage, so your brain probably “looks” normal. But at a microscopic level, there may be chemical changes, which contribute to the symptoms you are feeling.
MYTH: The harder the hit, the worse the concussion. And losing consciousness means it’s a REALLY bad concussion!
FACT: Research tells us that there is not a strong correlation between whether or not you lose consciousness and recovery time. In fact, depending on the situation, losing consciousness may even serve as a protective factor (especially if it was a traumatic event). While it is important for your doctor to know the details of your injury (including if you lost consciousness), he/she will also want to learn about your medical history and personal risk factors as they help develop a plan for your recovery.
MYTH: Speaking of recovery, I understand the best treatment is to sit in a dark room and wait for it to get better.
FACT: NO! Treatment is very individualized and depends on your specific symptom profile. But in general, concussion recovery takes a very active approach, and we try to get you back to your normal activities as soon as it is safe to do so. In fact, getting active and resuming your routine can help prevent post-traumatic anxiety, and will help speed up your recovery. Your treatment plan may include physical therapy, medications, counseling, school/work accommodations, and more.
MYTH: All concussions are the same.
FACT: There are several different “types” of concussions, and therefore no “one-size-fits-all” treatment approach. Your doctor’s job is to figure out which type(s) are happening with you, and then develop an individualized treatment plan to get you healthy as soon as possible.
About the WakeMed Concussion Program
WakeMed Concussion Program providers specialize in the evaluation, treatment and management of adults and children who have suffered from a concussion.