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Concussion Facts: Did you know?

  • Current research suggests that there is approximately 1.6 to 3.8 million recreational and sport-related concussions each year in the U.S. and the number of people being treated for these injuries has increased greatly in recent years.
  • Immediate removal from practice or competition after sustaining a concussion (or if a concussion is suspected) is a MUST.
  • An estimated 40% of athletes are returning to play sooner than current guidelines would suggest. An athlete should not return to play until cleared by a licensed health care provider trained and experienced in the evaluation and management of concussions.
  • Most sport-related concussions (more than 90%) occur without loss of consciousness.
  • A concussion is an "invisible" injury. It cannot be seen. The only way to check for a concussion is by assessing the signs and symptoms and performing functional testing such as ImPACT testing, balance testing, occulomotor testing, etc.
  • Just because imaging of the head (MRI/CT) is negative, does not mean a concussions was not sustained.
  • Signs/symptoms of a concussion may not show up until several hours or days after the injury occurs.
  • Research suggests that 80-90% of concussions will resolve within 7-10 days; however some athletes who sustain a concussion may have symptoms that last for weeks, months, or even longer.
  • Most concussions happen in collision sports (i.e. football, wrestling, hockey), however, a concussion can be sustained in any sport and at any level of competition. Therefore, ALL those that are involved in athletics (i.e. players, coaches, parents, officials, etc.) need to have a general knowledge of concussions and be aware of their signs/symptoms.
  • Kids generally require longer recovery time after sustaining a concussion due to the fact that their brains are still developing.
  • After suffering a concussion, an athlete is 3-6 times more susceptible to suffer another concussion compared to an athlete who has not suffered a concussion.
  • If an athlete is not fully healed from the first concussion and suffers a second concussion, recovery can be prolonged or the likelihood of having long-lasting effects can occur. In very rare cases, brain swelling, permanent brain damage, and even death can occur.
  • Neurocognitive testing, such as ImPACT testing, is not meant to be tool to diagnose concussions. It also should not be used as a substitute a thorough medical evaluation/treatment. It is only one of the tools used to assess for a concussion. An athlete who is suspected of having a concussion should always be evaluated by a licensed healthcare provider before being cleared to return to activity.