Concussions are brain injuries

A concussion is a type of traumatic brain injury—or TBI—caused by a bump, blow, or jolt to the head or by a hit to the body that causes the head and brain to move rapidly back and forth.

This sudden movement can cause the brain to bounce around or twist in the skull, creating chemical changes in the brain and sometimes stretching and damaging brain cells. These changes in the brain lead to symptoms that may affect how a person thinks, learns, feels, acts, and sleeps.

Healthcare providers may describe a concussion as a “mild” brain injury because concussions are usually not life-threatening. Even so, the effects of a concussion can be serious.

Get medical care for a concussion

A person with a concussion needs to be seen by a healthcare provider. Contact your healthcare provider as soon as you can if you think you have a concussion.

You may consider using telemedicine and telehealth services if you are unable to visit a healthcare provider in person. Your healthcare provider can identify whether these services are available to you.