Facts About Concussion and Brain Injury

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Facts about Concussion and Brain Injury: Where To Get Help

What Is a Concussion?

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.

Concussions Are Serious

Medical 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.

Because the brain is very complex, every brain injury is different. Some symptoms may appear right away, while others may not show up for days or weeks after the concussion. Sometimes the injury makes it hard for people to recognize or to admit that they are having problems.

The signs of concussion can be subtle. Early on, problems may be missed by patients, family members, and doctors. People may look fine even though they’re acting or feeling differently.

Because all brain injuries are different, so is concussion recovery. Most people with mild injuries recover fully, but it can take time. Some symptoms can last for days, weeks, or longer.

In general, recovery is slower in older persons. Also, persons who have had a concussion in the past may find that it takes longer to recover from their current injury.

This article explains what can happen after a concussion, how to get better, and where to go for more information and help when needed.

Medical Help

People with a concussion need to be seen by a doctor. While most are seen in an emergency department or a doctor’s office, some people must stay in the hospital overnight.

Your doctor may do a scan of your brain (such as a CT scan) or other tests. Other tests, known as “neuropsychological” or “neurocognitive” tests, assess your learning and memory skills, your ability to pay attention or concentrate, and how quickly you can think and solve problems. These tests can help your doctor identify the effects of a concussion. Even if the concussion doesn’t show up on these tests, you may still have a concussion.

Your doctor will send you home with important instructions to follow. Be sure to follow all of your doctor’s instructions carefully.

If you are taking medications—prescription, over-the-counter medicines, or “natural remedies”—or if you drink alcohol or take illicit drugs, tell your doctor. Also, tell your doctor if you are taking blood thinners (anticoagulant drugs), such as Coumadin and aspirin, because they can increase the chance of complications.

Danger Signs

In rare cases, a dangerous collection of blood (hematoma) may form on the brain after a bump, blow, or jolt to the head or body that may squeeze the brain against the skull. Call 9-1-1 right away or contact your doctor or emergency department if you have one or more of the following danger signs after a bump, blow, or jolt to the head or body:

  • One pupil larger than the other.
  • Drowsiness or inability to wake up.
  • A headache that gets worse and does not go away.
  • Slurred speech, weakness, numbness, or decreased coordination.
  • Repeated vomiting or nausea, convulsions or seizures (shaking or twitching).
  • Unusual behavior, increased confusion, restlessness, or agitation.
  • Loss of consciousness (passed out/knocked out). Even a brief loss of consciousness should be taken seriously.

Danger Signs — Children, Toddlers, and Infants

Take your child to the emergency department right away if the child has received a blow or jolt to the head and:

  • Any of the signs and symptoms listed in the Danger Signs & Symptoms of a Concussion list.
  • Will not stop crying and cannot be consoled.
  • Will not nurse or eat.

Symptoms of Brain Injury

“I just don’t feel like myself.”

Persons of All Ages

Most people with a concussion have one or more of the symptoms listed below and recover fully within days, weeks or a few months. But for some people, symptoms of concussion can last even longer. Generally, if you feel that “something is not quite right,” or if you are feeling “foggy,” you should talk with your doctor.

Concussion symptoms are often grouped into four categories, including:

  • Remembering and Thinking
    • Difficulty thinking clearly
    • Feeling slowed down
    • Difficulty concentrating
    • Difficulty remembering new information
  • Physical
    • Headache
    • Nausea or vomiting (early on)
    • Balance problems
    • Dizziness
    • Fuzzy or blurry vision
    • Feeling tired, having no energy
    • Sensitivity to noise or light
  • Emotional/Mood
    • Irritability
    • Sadness
    • More emotional
    • Nervousness or anxiety
  • Sleep Disturbance
    • Sleeping more than usual
    • Sleeping less than usual
    • Trouble falling asleep

Some of these symptoms may appear right away, while others may not be noticed for days or months after the injury, or until the person starts resuming their everyday life and more demands are placed upon them. Sometimes, people do not recognize or admit that they are having problems. Others may not understand why they are having problems and what their problems really are, which can make them nervous and upset.

The signs and symptoms of a concussion can be difficult to sort out. Early on, problems may be missed by the person with the concussion, family members, or doctors. People may look fine even though they are acting or feeling differently.

Young Children

Very young children (i.e., infants, toddlers, and preschoolers) often bump and bruise their heads. This can happen as a result of motor vehicle crashes, falls, getting hit in the head with a ball or toy, or from tricycle/bike accidents. Sometimes these events can be serious and result in a concussion.

Young children can have the same symptoms of a concussion as older children, but it is harder for them to let others know how they are feeling. In addition to the symptoms mentioned on page 5, call your child’s doctor right away if your child seems to be getting worse or if you notice any of the following:

  • Crying more than usual
  • Headache that will not go away
  • Change in the way they play, perform or act at school
  • Change in nursing, eating, or sleeping patterns
  • Becoming easily upset or increased temper tantrums
  • Sad mood
  • Lack of interest in usual activities or favorite toys
  • Loss of new skills, such as toilet training
  • Loss of balance, unsteady walking
  • Poor attention

Older Adults

Because concussions are often missed or misdiagnosed among older adults, be especially alert if you know that an older adult has fallen or has a fall-related injury, such as a hip fracture. Older adults may have a higher risk of serious complications from a concussion, such as bleeding on the brain. Headaches that get worse or increased confusion are signs of this complication. If they occur, see a doctor right away. Older adults often take blood thinners; if they do, they should be seen immediately by a health care provider if they have a bump or blow to the head or body even if they do not have any of the symptoms listed above.

Getting Better

“Sometimes the best thing you can do is just rest and then try again later.”

Although most people recover fully after a concussion, how quickly they improve depends on many factors. These factors include how severe their concussion was, their age, how healthy they were before the concussion, and how they take care of themselves after the injury.

Some people who have had a concussion find that at first it is hard to do their daily activities, their job, to get along with everyone at home, or to relax. Ignoring your symptoms and trying to “tough it out” often makes symptoms worse.

Rest is very important after a concussion because it helps the brain to heal. You’ll need to be patient because healing takes time. Only when the symptoms have reduced significantly, in consultation with your doctor, should you slowly and gradually return to your daily activities, such as work or school. If your symptoms come back or you get new symptoms as you become more active, this is a sign that you are pushing yourself too hard. Stop these activities and take more time to rest and recover. As the days go by, you can expect to gradually feel better.

If you already had a medical condition at the time of your concussion (such as chronic headaches), it may take longer for you to recover from the concussion. Anxiety and depression may also make it harder to adjust to the symptoms of a concussion. While you are healing, you should be very careful to avoid doing anything that could cause a bump, blow, or jolt to the head or body. On rare occasions, receiving another concussion before the brain has healed can result in brain swelling, permanent brain damage, and even death, particularly among children and teens.

After you have recovered from your concussion, you should protect yourself from having another one. People who have had repeated concussions may have serious long-term problems, including chronic difficulty with concentration, memory, headache, and occasionally, physical skills, such as keeping one’s balance.

Tips for Healing: Adults

Here are a few tips to help you get better:

  • Get plenty of sleep at night, and rest during the day.
  • Avoid activities that are physically demanding (e.g., heavy housecleaning, weightlifting/working-out) or require a lot of concentration (e.g., balancing your checkbook). They can make your symptoms worse and slow your recovery.
  • Avoid activities, such as contact or recreational sports, that could lead to a second concussion. (It is best to avoid roller coasters or other high-speed rides that can make your symptoms worse or even cause a concussion.)
  • When your doctor says you are well enough, return to your normal activities gradually, not all at once.
  • Because your ability to react may be slower after a concussion, ask your doctor when you can safely drive a car, ride a bike, or operate heavy equipment.
  • Talk with your doctor about when you can return to work. Ask about how you can help your employer understand what has happened to you.
  • Consider talking with your employer about returning to work gradually and about changing your work activities or schedule until you recover (e.g., work half-days).
  • Take only those drugs that your doctor has approved.
  • Do not drink alcoholic beverages until your doctor says you are well enough. Alcohol and other drugs may slow your recovery and put you at risk of further injury.
  • Write down the things that may be harder than usual for you to remember.
  • If you’re easily distracted, try to do one thing at a time. For example, don’t try to watch TV while fixing dinner.
  • Consult with family members or close friends when making important decisions.
  • Do not neglect your basic needs, such as eating well and getting enough rest.
  • Avoid sustained computer use, including computer/video games early in the recovery process.
  • Some people report that flying in airplanes makes their symptoms worse shortly after a concussion.

Tips for Healing: Children

Parents and caregivers of children who have had a concussion can help them recover by taking an active role in their recovery:

  • Having the child get plenty of rest. Keep a regular sleep schedule, including no late nights and no sleepovers.
  • Making sure the child avoids high-risk/ high-speed activities such as riding a bicycle, playing sports, or climbing playground equipment, roller coasters or rides that could result in a second bump, blow, or jolt to the head or body. Children should not return to these types of activities until the doctor says they are well enough.
  • Giving the child only those drugs that are approved by the pediatrician or family physician.
  • Talking with the doctor about when the child should return to school and other activities and how the parent or caregiver can help the child deal with the challenges that the child may face. For example, your child may need to spend fewer hours at school, rest often, or require more time to take tests.
  • Sharing information about concussion with parents, siblings, teachers, counselors, babysitters, coaches, and others who interact with the child helps them understand what has happened and how to meet the child’s needs.

Where to Get Help

Help for People with Concussion

“It was the first time in my life that I couldn’t depend on myself.”

There are many people who can help you and your family as you recover from a concussion. You do not have to do it alone.

Show this article to your doctor or health care provider and talk with them about your concerns. Ask your doctor about whether you need specialized treatment and about the availability of rehabilitation programs.

Your doctor can help you find a health care provider who has special training in treating concussion. Early treatment of symptoms by a specialist may speed recovery. Your doctor may refer you to a neuropsychologist, neurologist, or specialist in rehabilitation.

Keep talking with your doctor, family members, and loved ones about how you are feeling, both physically and emotionally. If you do not think you are getting better, tell your doctor.

For more information, see the resources listed below.

Help for Families and Caregivers

“My husband used to be so calm. But after his injury, he started to explode over the littlest things. He didn’t even know that he had changed.”

When someone close to you has a concussion or a more serious brain injury, it can be hard to know how best to help. They may say that they are “fine” but you can tell from how they are acting that something has changed.

If you notice that your family member or friend has symptoms of a concussion that are getting worse, talk to them and their doctor about getting help. They may need help if you can answer YES to any of the following questions:

  • Are any of the concussion symptoms substantially affecting their life activities (such as feeling restricted in their activities due to symptoms, performance in school or at work has changed, unhappy with life changes)?
  • Has their personality changed?
  • Do they get angry for no reason?
  • Do they get lost or easily confused?
  • Do they have more trouble than usual making decisions?

You might want to talk with people who share your experience. The Brain Injury Association of America can put you in contact with people who can help (listed in the resource section below).

Resources for Getting Help

“I thought I was all alone, but I’m not. There are lots of people out there who understand what I’ve been through.”

Several groups help people and their families deal with concussion and more serious brain injuries. They provide information and put people in touch with local resources, such as support groups, rehabilitation services, and a variety of health care professionals.

  • CDC’s Injury Center has created resources and conducts research to help prevent concussion and more serious brain injuries and improve outcomes for survivors. For more information contact CDC toll-free at 1-800-CDC-INFO (1-800-232-4636) or visit CDC’s Injury Center on the Web at www.cdc.gov/TraumaticBrainInjury.
  • The Brain Injury Association of America (BIAA) has a national network of many state affiliates and hundreds of local chapters and support groups across the country that provide help in your community.

    You can reach BIAA by calling the toll-free National Brain Injury Information Center at 1-800-444-6443.

    You can also get information through their website at www.biausa.org. Both the help line and the website can provide you with information about the BIAA affiliate closest to you.

  • The Defense and Veterans Brain Injury Center (DVBIC) works to ensure that active duty military and veterans with brain injury receive the best evaluation, treatment, and follow-up. You can reach DVBIC by calling toll-free at 1-800-870-9244 or by visiting their website at www.dvbic.org.

    For more information about TBI in the military, including an interactive website for service members, veterans, and families and caregivers, please visit: www.TraumaticBrainInjuryatoz.org.

From the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. www.cdc.gov.
Disclaimer: This information is not meant to be a substitute for professional medical advice. The reader is advised to always seek the advice of a physician prior to changing any treatment or to receive answers to questions regarding a specific medical condition.

Posted on BrainLine November 17, 2017. Reviewed March 27, 2019.

Disclaimer: This information is not meant to be a substitute for professional medical advice. The reader is advised to always seek the advice of a physician prior to changing any treatment or to receive answers to questions regarding a specific medical condition.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (2017, July 6). Traumatic Brain Injury & Concussion. Retrieved November 17, 2017, from www.cdc.gov

Comments (499)

Please remember, we are not able to give medical or legal advice. If you have medical concerns, please consult your doctor. All posted comments are the views and opinions of the poster only.

CAT scans, CT scans, MRIs, whatever, will usually not show a concussion unless you have structural damage as well. I’ve had several scans, but they don’t show anything unusual. I used to have migraines non stop and I’m sure our headaches were similar. I used to take Excedrin Migraine but it wouldn’t help. No pain medicine ever helped so I had to just suck it up. Half the time I got these headaches at school and I couldn’t leave to go home. I was told by my neurologist to only take one or two a week but I was taking one to two a day! I later had withdrawal symptoms. I recommend you don’t take medicine no matter how bad it hurts. Best thing to do is lay down in the dark. Hope you’re feeling better!

I got a concussion about a year ago. I was snowboarding and I landed on my head (twice) w the force of my full body weight coming down the mountain pretty quick. I immediately went back to school so I didn't fail my college classes (I actually passed w good grades). Now it is a year later and I don't feel much healed. I woke up this morning very dizzy and I get tension and concussion headaches quite frequently. MY only advice, let your brain heal! I didn't have much of an option bc I cannot afford to not graduate, but sometimes I wish I would have just dropped out. I have ptsd so this greatly affects how I heal. I wish I could go back everyday, bc life was hard enough before this concussion!

I understand, I fell down the stairs in my on campus residence in university the first saturday of last month (october 7th), i was knocked unconcious and was found by a student resident on the floor. I have managed to rest for two weeks but returned back on the third week not fully recovered. the thing is i visited my doctor last week and got lectured hard on how i should consider quitting this semester (i'm a double major with 5 subjects this semester, used to have 6 but dropped one after i found out that i can't handle all 6), as it is slowing down my recovery saying that health is important. the thing is i can't because there are alot of issues, and best way to sumit up, i have to graduate by the end of next semester or else i'm done for. now i'm cognitively feeling somewhat better, but physically i'm starting to get worse. I'm running myself to the ground everyday trying to complete assignments, just this week i haven't been able to sleep for two days trying to finish an essay (i still partly have some fogginess so it makes things difficult), by the end of monday's evening i looked like a "ghost" according to my mom. my mom tells me to "relax" but at the same time we both know i can't quit my courses, i still have to do them no way out. how can i "relax" and "heal" when i constantly have to worry about 5 subjects and loads of assignments in my head? I am torn between fatigue and mental breakdown every hour of the day and night

I suffered 3-5 concussions a year for a number of years from a violent abusive wife punching me in the head or using objects to inflict head trauma. It left me blind in my left eye, retina smashed up, and deteriorating loss of sight in my right eye. Also experience seizures on a weekly basis, loss of all sense of smell and taste from TBI. However, because I am not female no one gives a shit and still doesn't. Had I been female there would be no end to the help available. Police, courts, doctors could not care less. Why have laws against physical, mental and financial abuse if they are not applied?

I am having headaches that come and go. The right side of my head will hurt for a few seconds then the left side will start hurting for a few seconds then it goes away. I have been having migraines since I had my stroke in May 2016. Can anybody tell me what could be causing my headaches now and why they going from side to side. And they are sharp stabbing pains also. Can someone please help me with this.

I was attacked by 2 boxers while walking my dogs about 6 weeks ago.  I was knocked over by the boxers and was laying unconscious on the road for what I now believe was up to 5 minutes.  Two women came over and pulled the dogs off of me though I do not remember.  I didn't go to the doctor immediately.  Gradually over days, a very deep depression and insomnia hit me.  I had a CT scan and there were no blood clots or bleeding.  Over the past 6 weeks, I am struggling to resume my "normal" life.  I've been off work for 3 weeks.  My neuro doctor finally found a med I can tolerate so I can get some sleep.  I am 64 years old.  My neuro doctor told me it could take months for me to recover.  I feel so lost.

Everything will be ok! Scans will not show anything unless you have structural damage. Just know that depression, mood swings, irritability, etc. are common symptoms. I’ve had my concussion for 14 months and I’m doing extremely better! Recovery takes long, don’t be afraid of it. I used to wonder how much longer I could last but I just want to get better. Hope you’re feeling better.

I have systemic lupus and had major brain swelling years ago. Recently received a concussion, seems to be taking longer to recover. Could they be related?

I got into a drunken fight almost 3 months ago and believe I sustained multiple concussions.  I remember getting hit in the side of the head and don't remember much after that, other than being nearly choked out from behind.  I woke up to my head feeling different the following day.  It hurt to swallow for about 2 weeks but that went away. 

I have been battling a constant headache since then.  Sometimes the pressure, nausea and pain eases but my head always feels compressed.  It's as if blood vessels or nerves in my brain/cranium have been bruised, stretched, torn or damaged.  I also have tinnitus in my left ear.  The pain becomes unbearable when the unnerving tingling starts from the back of my head and radiates up and down to my forehead.

The burning behind my eyes are another story but that hasn't happened in a while.  Just when I think I'm getting better, my head takes a turn for the worst.  I have had 2 CT scans and an MRI with and without contrast.  Doctors tell me they show no abnormalities.  Before my unfortunate incident, I enjoyed working out and running now I pay for it later when I do.

Recently I've seen a neurologist and was prescribed pills for migraines and Gabopentin.  I think the Gabopentin makes my headache worse but helps me to sleep.  I'm thinking of having my neck looked at to see if there could be any damage there.  I have suicidal tendencies sometimes. 

I pray to the mystery that is the universe...with time and great belief, we will all return to our former and happier selves.

Just turned 30,


My symptoms are very similar to the person who commented they fell in the shower. I feel fine but when I lay down to sleep I get a tingly sensation in head and it's uncomfortable. I have to sleep on stomach. I went to urgent care but they told me I'm OK. I did not have CT scan. I'm not sure if I should go to emergency.

I was involved in a track and field accident. I did the no contact sport and always ignored the concussion mandatory meetings for all athletes. Now I have had a post concussion syndrome for almost 6 months. A long jumper hit heads with me at full speed which caused me to fall directly back onto the back of my head after hitting heads with him. In a way I got a double concussion. I blacked out only for a few seconds and was sent by ambulance to the ER. I have not been better since then. I would have been MVP and Captain of Cross Country this year and I can't even walk a mile without getting worn out. I am completely exercise intolerant. All I want is to be able to participate in my sport again.

I was a football and suffered multiple blows to the head. How long should I wait for the headache to stop or call it a concussion?

A week ago I fell in the shower: I hit the back of my head against the toilet (the impact point was between the skull's lower part and where the neck begins): the toilet lid broke and went flying (which I think helped as that released the impact energy some more instead of being absorbed back by my head): I did not lose consciousness; I just rested a few minutes sitting down in the shower, then finished washing and iced my bump right away. For a few days I kept icing my head; and the bump has subsided: it doesn't even feel sensitive anymore, even though it's still there. I have NOT once experienced nausea, vomiting, blurry vision, or loss of balance: none of that. My concentration and attention at work have seemed fine, but I have started feeling subcutaneous tenderness at the top of my head and some slight tingle-like headache (I am not sure how else to describe them- they do not impair my abilities, but they are there as a dull background pain). Clearly, I did some "damage", but  I am wondering if the headaches are part of the healing process or if I am deteriorating. Is it normal to feel this way? 

I just got hit in the exact same spot slipping down a few stairs. It doesn’t seem bad besides tenderness in the muscles at the top of my neck, and a continuous dull headache. It’s been a few years since your comment, how did your recovery go?

Three years ago I went head on into a tree with a snowmobile. I had a concussion, broken back two places, broken sternum, broken clavicle, bleeding on the brain.

At 30 mph I hit a 12 inch diameter tree straight on. My helmet skipped off the tree on impact wrapping my neck and shoulder around the tree while the snowmobile back end crushed me against it.

I was put on pain meds Oxycodone 5 mg -325 ,for the next three years for pain from shoulder and kneck (it took 8 months for the clavicle to heal, knocked out a 1 inch piece of bone).

Two months ago my doctor pulled me off the oxy due to the recent spike in addiction related uses. For three weeks I went without pain meds other than Tylenol, which I took to many trying to control the pain (similar to an earache but in the neck). I had acid reflux and seem to vomit a lot.

He ended up putting me on fentanyl patch for 24 hour pain control three weeks ago. To make a long story shorter I have been constantly vomiting, so I stopped using patch. I still seem to vomit almost every day.

I have narrowed down my constant vomiting to this: any excessive stress situation, I get motion sickness while driving, visual stimulation, excessive visual or sound activities will cause me to vomit non stop.

After the accident I couldn't watch TV, be in a room with more than one person, spent a lot of time in the dark. Any brain stimulation (dog barking) would cause me to almost instantly become nauseous for the first month.

I am concerned that the three years I was on the oxy may have masked long term issues that I now seem to be having.

I have been at the same job for 20 years and have to leave meetings due to extreme nausea. I blamed the patch for the sickness, but even though I am off it I seem to be getting worst.

I need help with this.

My husband and got into a car accident 3 years ago. I hit my head so hard on the windshield that it even the thick glass cracked. I was unconscious for a short while coz when I opened my eyes everything was white and blurred, and soon as I stepped down from the car I was dizzy, the guy who witnessed the accident offered me a monoblock chair to sit on. I had to put myself all together coz it really hurt, luckily my husband wasn't wounded badly because of the airbag. After a few minutes, we went to the nearest hospital to have myself checked-up at was told that should have an X-ray. The x-ray result showed that I should have a CT Scan and so I did. Everything was okay according to the doctors. However, as days passed, I would have minor headaches, my vision even got disrupted by small dots. I feel fine, I look well, until we found out that I was suffering from PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder), I had a lot of therapy sessions with my doctor then. I though everything was okay then, because I had my vision fixed with eyeglasses. Until today, I had a headache that's not usual, i can feel a lot of pressure from the area in my head that got hit 3 years ago. I would sometimes press that area and it's quite sensitive. Then for quite some time I can feel some tingling in my ears. Are these connected with the accident I had 3 years ago?

I was recently at the weight room and Coach decided we should add these ropes to the weight lifting stations. We had to pull up from the ground using the ropes. I kinda felt like we should not be doing this, so he said.. One person at a time, so I went ahead and took my turn. But instead someone didn't want to wait and came down with tons of weight on the bad and hit me as I was coming up. Gladly there was no cuts or black outs, but it's been 2 weeks and it's been getting worse, and we can't afford further treatment and staying at home pretty much sleeping and just trying to cope with it isn't enough. I hope it gets better

Sounds like he has one take him to the ER

Take him to the hospital. Better safe then sorry always

A couple of days ago my boyfriend was jumped by two guys he did lose consciousness but I'm not sure for how long. He has a few bumps on his head from being hit but the bumps don't seem to be going down quite yet. He says when he touches the bumps they  feel tender to the touch. I'm very worried  because he said he is feeling very tired and has a lack of energy, as well as a slower reaction to things. Not too bad but enough for him to see a slight change in behavior. After observing his activity  I have been seeing a bit of a change in him.  He is a little more calm than usual. There's a little bit of delay in how he comprehends things but that started 6 days later. He was also hit several times in the face. There is not bruising, just a lot of swelling. I know a lot of this is normal when you get in confrontations but after almost a week of healing, he is not showing signs of trauma. I know concussions can sometimes take time to show signs. I'm worried that the bumps are still tender and the fact that he did pass out. I'm trying to take him in but he wants to wait a couple more days because he said it's not that bad right now. What should I watch for over the next few days or do I just drag him to the hospital.

go to the hospital immediately. It could lead to a blood clot. You need to go. Some people think it will go away on its own? It might go away but I didn't go to the E.R and I wish I would have now because I still have symptoms 4 years later! I hope this information will help you. Good luck.

To the person above me who was bucked off: You had a concussion, no doubt. Please see a doctor. A few years ago I was tossed off my horse and I thought I was alright... The same thing happened.

I was bucked off my horse 4 days ago. Had my helmet on, thank God. Landed on a hard surface on my lower back. Kinda remember hitting my head but it was the pain in my lower back that had my full attention. Did not go to ER went on the trail ride after I got up. Here it is 4 days later, my back is still sore but I got up this morning feeling like I was going to throw up. Have had a headache pretty much all day. Trying to decide if I should go to ER or not. I have insurance but I hate hospitals.

I had a really bad fall off my horse 2 years ago where I fractured my sacrum and tore so many ligaments in my leg that I couldn't move it for about a month (it still acts up once in a while).  A few days after the fall I had the most intense headaches and nausea.  I never used to have headaches until this incident, but for about a year they were almost daily.  I was exhausted and could sleep 20+ hours a day.  I became forgetful (e.g. not knowing if I had used shampoo the moment after I had).  I had researched so much online but nothing helped until I came across an article about how concussions can prevent you from having restorative sleep.  I was in really good shape, but if I worked out my muscles would be so sore for days and my job included working with my hands that were now feeling arthritic and weak.  This article I read suggested a low dose of amitriptyline (10mg) before bedtime.  I started taking it a year ago and it gave me my life back.  I feel about 80-90% normal, but still get headaches and exhaustion if I push myself too much.  I hope this will also help someone else. 

Sounds like symptoms of a concussion. I hope she's feeling better.

6 months ago I got kicked in the head by my horse which resulted in an orbital floor blow out, which has no been repaired, the operation has gone really well and you could never tell I have had it done. However I am left with double vision on extreme gaze up and down which I can cope with, but its the changes I have noticed to my general self. Some days I feel great but today I feel spaced out like I didnt wake up very well, my speech is slow and my reactions are foggy, I'm forgetful and cant get my words out whilst trying to speak. Is this normal to change from one day to the next? Today I cried for the first time through pure frustration and worry that this is not normal? I can put things down and immediately forget where I put them. Apologies for any spelling mistakes I'm starting to feel low and hope I wake up better than today :-(

My daughter is 6 years old she got her first concussion at home today walking with a blanket on her head. She got knocked out she lost consciousness I called 911 immediately. She theny woke up really confused she vomited 3 times. Then came back to it when paramedics were working on her she was alert and was asking what happened to me mommy? I explained she tripped and fell and bonked her head and mommy has to call them here to make sure my princess is safe. She relaxed. She stayed awake the whole ambulance ride we arrived we were put in a room then 30 minutes later when the Nurse made her try and walk she vomited 4 more times. Is this normal to vomit that long after hitting her head? Also CT scan came back normal. They sent her home still nauseous still confused and not all there. Should they have kept her at least overnight to monitor her? We're home now I woke her 1 hour into her sleep to make sure she will wake up. She woke up really confused she was fighting me to not hold her hand on the way to the bathroom she even got lost on the way to the bathroom is this normal? If anyone has had a similar situation and knows anything about it please help. I am not familiar with concussions or head injuries. Thank you in advance

I'm dealing with a similar situation...

I fainted in my elevator and sustained a massive blow to my head, a 5" laceration to my scalp (8 sutures - instead of staples since I had to do MRI), and two fractures in my C4/C5.  Yep, the blow was so hard, my neck snapped back and literally broke my neck!  Luckily no serious brain damage, and luckily no spinal cord damage.  The fractures are slightly displaced but stable so no surgery needed, thankfully.  I'm in a hard collar x4 weeks and a soft x2 weeks, ruined summer :(  

Anyway, my concussion is awful.  I've had a few in my life (sports injuries) and nothing compares to this.  Sensitivity to sound and light, constant headaches, forgetfulness, dizziness, trouble forming sentences and communicating.  It's been 7 days with no signs of improvement and I sincerely hope it doesn't last much longer.  Concussion recovery is certainly varied depending on the person and injury.  Good luck to all, hope you don't suffer too badly.

When I was in child I came from a very violent family. I have suffered from multiple shots to the head. I'm now 60 and worry about them. I do go off on a regular basis -- anger then sadness. Can this be linked to all the shots I took to the head? I do have trouble doing things that were easy a few years back.

In my early childhood I was run over by a backing up car. I'm now 60 and I've experienced short term memory loss and I'm concerned about dementia now. Can that be a trigger for dementia?

I fainted, fell straight back and hit the top back of my head on the wood floor. Ambulance ride to the ER, 6 staples to close the gash. Solid 2 1/2 weeks of vertigo, serious fatigue, and getting overwhelmed by any visual stimulation, or too many people talking at the same time. It's been 4 weeks now, and am luckily feeling normal again with minor moments of vertigo and spaciness. 

Well it takes time recovering even if it's just a week or a few months. Some people have a really slow process with recovery. It's normal to have headaches and nausea after a concussion because it's your brain is still healing. It's important you rest even if it has been 6 months since you had the concussion. Since you had that concussion your brain is going to be more sensitive so you should be careful. If your headaches increase and get worse or you have nausea you should see a doctor. Hoping this helped.

Hi I'm 14 and I had a concussion 6 months ago and I am still getting headaches but they are gradually going away it just takes allot of time and my anxiety and depression I think have slowed the process down.

I was in a bad car accident. I had 2 places that were bleeding in my head. After it stopped the worst of the swelling and bruising went away but my eyes were black and my forehead. It's been 3 weeks and some of the feeling has come back but the top of my head is still numb most of the time. Every now and then I have feelings in head and forehead. It's going to be a long road but everyday is a little better.

The big organisations' have got us by the short and curly's! They have every device under the sun to evade compensating anyone injured who subsequently loses their job and ends up financially worse off. Firstly you have to prove you have been injured even if you have witnesses. Most NHS scans come back unremarkable, then all your past medical history is dragged out in the open with which they go through with a fine toothed comb. God help you if you've ever been depressed or suffered anxiety. Just to advise anyone in this situation. If you are truly suffering from headaches, balance problems, concentration problems vision problems and your NHS scans are unremarkable, please check  out the option to have an UPRIGHT MRI scan with a reputable organisation. (I went to a private clinic in London to have one of these after an NHS CT brain scan,  MRI brain scan and  MRI neck scan came back normal).  My upright MRI scan showed ligament damage - alar and transverse,  offset odontoid peg, hind brain herniation ( cerebellar tonsillar ectopia) and a kyphotic clivo-axial angle (which causes deformative stress on your brainstem) And  my thoughts on this last injury - could possibly be the cause of my persistent streaming sinuses. 

My fiancé had a concussion in 2013 and he's still suffering from it to this day. Almost everyday he has a headache, sometimes worse than others..and feels tired all the time. His sleep patterns are strange and he says he hasn't felt the same since his accident. I feel so bad, I wish there was something I could do to help him. We've seen a neurologist and audiologist..but basically led to nothing so far.

I recently fell and hit the back of my head on a metal bar, actually splitting it open and suffering a concussion. It's been 5 days now and I am still not remotely feeling like myself. I ended up being taken by ambulance and getting 5 staples in the gash in my head. Hoping to recover soon, in the meantime, I've had nonstop headaches, ringing in my ears, lethargy, and dizziness. I have taken it easy and not tried to over do it. I'm still in a fog like state, and hoping this goes away soon, my anxiety and depression are out of the roof. :( sending healing vibes to everyone going through the same thing right now. 🌻

Im am only 18 years old and this is my 5th concussion, i am on week 4 of recovery and still dont feel like myself and dont know how much longer it will take, i also have gotten anxiety from this last concussion and i cannot control it.... does anyone know how much longer this will take or what i should do to feel healthy?

I am happy reading all these comments and knowing that i am not alone. This is a battle we all need to make it through and have faith and beat. Dont give up. I know from personal experience just how much life can change and how hard life can be after a brain injury. My story began All the way back in December of 2006. I was 16 at the time and took martial arts classes. One night i was sparring with a much older man and did not have head gear on. We had boxing gloves on and i got popped a bunch of times in my head that made my neck snap back. I did not black out. I remember going home and going right to bed with a major headache. I then remember waking up in the middle of the night with my head numb and throbbing. It was the worst headache i have ever had. I told my parents and saw the Dr soon after and had a ct scan done. The scans came back normal but this was now weeks after the initial injury. Well, hear i am. A decade later. At 26 years old in 2016 sitting at my computer at 2:02am because i have a splitting headache and can not sleep. Ever since that night for the past decade i have had horrible "jolt" like pains that come and go along with a "brain fog" type feeling and head pressure. I have had good days and bad days but its ben about six months now that i have been in my house unable to work or function. I have 0 social life now and can not even lay down in my bed without feeling pain and discomfort. These "jolt" pains feel like being stung by a bee inside your skull multiple times a minute throughout the entire day. No exaggeration at all. I have gotten an occipital nerve decompression surgery and multiple injections to see if it would help but unfortunately nothing had helped. I have thought multiple times about offing myself to escape the pain and suffering that this has brought me. I dont know if i will ever be the same. We can not give up though. We need to keep faith and fight this. Stay strong my friends. You are not alone.

I wanted to post an update to my last post. My accident was March 26 2016, I posted about my falling on my face/forehead in a driveway. After 2 months I am feeling 90 % better. I was so out of sorts in the beginning- total haze and hopelessness for the me I had lost. The first 4 weeks were awful. But slowly I've been returning to my pre fall brain function. I wanted to give everyone hope! I still have headaches - get tired easy and know my processing speed is slower. But the haze is gone and I continue to see improvements. Part of my personality shifted, I'm not sure if that is going away or that old me is coming back. But I'm hopeful I can adjust to the different me. I have lots of encouragement around me. Although most everyone doesn't get that I am still experiencing difficulty. I just realize I have to make adjustments for me. Still I am thrilled with how much better I am. 

Keep the faith!

I was punched in the nose 2 weeks ago. The ER said it was fine. The next day I went to another doctor. That resulted in a CT scan. That was fine but then a sports medicine specialist said it was a concussion (4 days after). Now, 2 weeks later I still haven't returned to life and I'm just really sad. And to top things off my head hurts bad, I can't sleep, my vision is messed up and the kid who did it was only suspended for 3 days and I will miss more than 2 weeks.

Almost 2 weeks ago I tripped and hit headfirst into a plastic barricade around a steel roof support at work. I may have knocked myself out for a few seconds but am not really sure. I couldn't feel or move my hands for about 5 minutes then started feeling "shards of glass" in both my arms from shoulder to wrist. At the time, a flashlight was shined in my eyes and I was told my pupils dilated normally. I was taken to the ER and diagnosed with 4 compressed discs in my neck. Nothing about a concussion. As days went by I kept having issues like nausea, vomiting, dizziness where my vision blackened, confusion, memory lapses, and I almost passed out. Went back to the ER 10 days later with a diagnosis of post concussion syndrome. I always though I had to have hit hard enough to have caused a concussion if I had 4 compressed discs but no one thought to make sure. Now just a matter of time waiting to fully heal and have neck surgery.

I was involved in an accident at work where I went face first into basically a jagged wall.  I was never given a concussion test. About a month later my problems started.  I didn't feel right, I kept telling people I felt off axis and tilted to the right.

It took about 5 months, but I finally got a CAT scan. They decided it was sinus related.  By now I was having serious balance problems, my eyes were going in and out of focus, and I couldn't actually explain to people what I was experiencing.  I told people it felt like I had a stroke.

Well while no one could figure out what was wrong with me, I had developed severe anxiety and depression.  I was doing Balance physical therapy, and it definitely helped my dizziness and tilted feeling.

It's been over 2 1/2 years now, and I'm not able to keep down a job, I have serious memory problems, lack of interest, I've become isolated from any friends or family, and I suffer from these weird, almost seizure like, episodes. It feels like I'm being hit by some weird force field trying to knock me off balance and into the ground.

I've seen a neurologist, who told me I have post concussion disorder, but shouldn't I be getting better?  If anyone has had similar problems for this amount of time and improved, please let me know what you did for treatment.

Thanks PB

I know this is years later, but your story stood out to me the most. Long story short, I got hit Head on by a state plow And it has been a little over a year for recovery. Day of the accident I was discharged without being diagnosed with a concussion..or anything for that matter. Family member had to bring me back since I didn’t wake up for 17 hours. My life has not been the same. My ear sounds like a broken speaker, my eye vision goes blurry, migraines every night, light sensitive, noise sensitive, can’t focus, stars, I have everything that everywhere says “seek immediate medical attention if experiencing these symptoms”. Sad part is, I have been and I still haven’t found answers. I can’t hold a job, and I think the worst parts about all of this is the judgement I get from my significant others family due to the fact that “I don’t have a physical disability”. And another major thing I don’t feel like me, I feel like a different person wearing someone else’s skin.
I am curious though, have you heard of any other experiences? Has your experience gotten better? How are you doing?

Yes. It is the most horrible thing I have ever been through. Post Concussion for 10 months. Although I have good days. And I was an athlete before this.... if I go to the gym and do even the simplest exertions I am back to square one for several days. Balance.. dizzy. Etc. This is the worst.. worst.

My 15 year old daughter recently was diagnosed with 2 separate concussions within 7 days. She has seen several doctors and has been pulled out of school and advised to have no activity. For the past 2 weeks she has been sleeping 18-22 hours a day and has been in severe head pain every day. The last day and a half she has seemed to be making a dramatic turn for the better. Less severe headache and much more energy. She seems to have returned to herself almost overnight. Is it normal to have such a quick reversal in symptoms? Definitely not complaining, just seems odd she would turn around so quickly.

About 2 and a half years ago, I was in a small accident on an ATV. Unfortunately, I came out with 11 skull fractures and a severe concussion. Now, I continue to have a ringing in my ear and have very sharp pain through out my fractures. The only treatment that has ever helped me is a constant pressure on my fractures ( usually just me holding my head ) and a warm bath. Other than that, there has never been anything I can find to help with my pain.

I was hit on the side of my head just above my ear by a thrown softball while playing in a coed game.  While running to first, the second baseman threw it and I was knocked to the ground.  This is my first head injury and I am a go getter type of person that doesn't give in to pain.  This has thrown me for a loop. I feel for anyone who has gone through this.  I am going on two weeks since the injury and I am still not myself.  I am still very bruised and sore where I was hit.  I get sharp pains in the side of my head and back behind my eye and temple area.  Still a little dizzy if I move to quickly and my memory is not working to well.  Getting my words out is almost like I have a stutter at times.  I cannot seem to find what I am trying to say.  Very frustrating.  I definitely will sympathize with anyone going through this. 

Hello I have a Friend that goes through some of these issues. I'm glad I look up this article on brain concussion after a fall. I had noticed changes in him & didn't know why. Now I understand. To hear all the stories really gets to my heart. I am so sorry for your accidents. GOD will keep all of you in his hands. Keep the FAITH. I am PRAYING for you all .Thank you again for helping Me to understand.  JSM