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 (402)

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

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

My 13 year old daughter jumped over a cement wall that separates my house from my neighbors. When she jumped over her foot got entangled in the vines and she fell over the wall slamming her head on the concrete. I saw the whole thing and I ran over, I thought for sure she split her head open, but she didn't. She was dazed, staring into space and was quiet. I monitored her for the next 15 minutes when she began to become very sleepy, had ringing in her ears, she was dizzy, walking sideways and complaining that she felt like she was going to puke. I took her to the ER and she was diagnosed with a concussion. It has been a week, but she is still not herself. She still has ringing in her ears, is extremely sensitive to light, is on nausea medicine and still has headaches. She is a very active child, but now she is careful, can only go to school for half days and is a little more sensitive. I hope she continues to heal and becomes more like herself. It was a very scary night for me, especially when I witnessed the accident.

A very concerned parent, but this article has helped, but also made me more concerned about her.

Hi everyone, I had a concussion over 6 months ago - I was hit in the prefrontal cortex region. I still have lingering memory issues what is really bothersome is that I have dysphagia. My neurologist says it is not from the concussion but I had not had this symptom  until after my concussion. Anyone else have this issue. It is definitely cause by the concussion!

What was the right treatment for you?

My concussion changed my life. I was a type A functioning executive that turn into a mild mr individual. Nothing worked n nothing made sense to me. The doctors didn't know what was wrong n I lived in hell for 3 years until I received the right treatment. Before getting the right treatment I tried to kill myself because I couldn't get used to a person that needed assistance from others. It's been almost 7 years and I still haven't fully recovered. I pray for everyone that's on this unpredictable journey with me

I’m so sorry to hear, I can fully understand how you feel. I went from a mother of 4 boys, self employed, never said no to anything anyone needed. Cooked all homemade meals, baked, worked incredibly long hours & fully involved in all my families lives. Until I fell & hit my head 2xs:( no one understands why I’ve changed, why I walk with a cane(balance loss) why now they all need to help. It’s so upsetting that my husband thinks tough love is what I need. A hug & some love could go a long way, instead I feel my whole family no longer cares for or about me. Broken-hearted mom

I have had 3 concussion in my life the last concussion my words were not comings out right the last one was the worst. I still have problems remembering what I had just said

Two weeks ago I fell and broke my nose.  I almost immediately had a headache; however, I attributed it to my nose and nothing else.  Since I really didn't want an assessment about my nose, I didn't go for medical attention.  In retrospect, I really should have.  The headaches have not stopped; I am forgetting things; I feel lost inside myself at times; my sleep pattern has fallen apart. Yesterday, I went for my yearly physical, and wouldn't you know it? I not only broke my nose but I also got a concussion when I fell.  The information here and the posts from other people have made me feel less alone with these symptoms.  Very much appreciated.

I understand how you feel. My Concussion occurred on 2/27 from a car accident. I hit the left side of my face twice. Which resulted in me having my first Concussion, it left me with a ringing ear, sensitivity to lights and sounds along with a ringing ear. Its the worse thing I have ever experience. I felt like someone who was special and not in a good way. My children, boss all wanted the old me back, quick in learning and multi-tasking. That person went away for a while, I too wanted my old self back. Its been almost two months and I am doing better. Its a process and pray to never get another Concussion.

On April 7th, the vehicle I was in was hit from the side by another speeding vehicle, the impact caused me to smash my head off the window and knocked me out for a few minutes. When I woke up I was hanging side ways in my seat, while the other 3 passengers were trying to get out. Apparently we were hit so hard that on top of our vehicle flipping on its side, we slid 10 feet and hit a 3rd vehicle, which stopped us from hitting a telephone pole. We are lucky to be alive, considering how bad the crash was (all 3 vehicles totaled) but i have been dealing with a concussion since. I didn't know how long the symptoms would last since I have only had 1 other concussion (in 7th grade, now a junior in high school) I found this article to be very helpful. Thanks.

My son suffered a severe concussion and broken collar bone after a long board accident. He suffered with debilitating headaches for 3 years that robbed him of his teenage years. Then an amazing doctor suggested physical therapy. That treatment ended his headaches almost immediately and he is now functioning normally again! If you continue to have headaches, look into this. The PT used devises on his head and neck to stimulate the muscles. Don't give up hope. I wish we had known about this sooner!

I tripped and fell flat on my nose and forehead in driveway stone. I thought I broke my nose at the time, but it wasn't broken and I had only a small scratch. So it didn't look like much and I brushed it off. I stared with a headache that lasted for about 3 days. Again I didn't think much of it. It was over a weekend and I just took it easy treating the headache with Advil.  When I returned to work I felt completely out of sorts. Like I was in a fog- or a dream. I told my husband when I got home how off I felt and he suggested I go to the doc. I put it off, but by the next day I was completely forgetting what I was doing or about to do next. My head was in a fog and all I wanted to do was sit there and veg out. Not anyway to perform in my life as a professional and mom. I went to the doc and she said yes it sounded like a mild concussion. She recommended resting through the week and weekend and seeing her again first thing the following Monday. For close to 2 weeks I was in a complete brain fog. I felt like someone picked me out of the old me and put me in a new person with a brain that couldn't remember anything short term or follow multiple steps in a process. I was in a waking dream state. I also had these new emotions to deal with. They were completely raw and I was unable to filter them. I'm a yoga and meditation teacher and I normally operate in zen mode. Now I was being set off with anger and sadness that was uncontrollable. God bless the poor football players that say this happens to them and they haven't even has any training in meditative practices to help them through this. 

A visit with a neurologist said since my headaches were not constant and I could move all my body parts- she wasn't worried that it was a serious brain injury. She said the brain fog should lift in time ( anywhere from 2 weeks to 6) and instructed me to try and start my regular routine. She said it would gradually improve. 

Well I did return to work on week 3.  The fog is lifting some day by day. Everyone at work is being very understanding at this point. They weren't getting it at first when I first reported I'd be taking some time off. They are so use to depending on me for so much - they and my family ( kids and husband) want for me to be me again they just keep forgetting my current limitations. It's hard on everyone.

I have hope things will get better, but I do feel like a different person. I wonder if I'll recover completely or have lasting symptoms as most people on this site describe. It's exhausting  trying to get through my day. My moods and emotions are wearing me out along with the energy required to focus on tasks. But work and routine does feel good to get my mind out of focusing on the dizziness or helplessness that this brings. 

It's sad that I had no idea how common a brain injury is and how debilitating it is. We need more research, support and education for even the docs on this. 

With that said I am feeling better than week 1, so onward I go even if I have a different brain and set of emotions. Thanks to all that shared their story here. It was the support I needed. 

Two weeks ago, March 20th, I fell on my sidewalk and landed on my left eye and forehead.  I applied ice and took some pain meds, thinking I'd be okay.  My glasses were ruined, of course.  Two days later, as I tried to work, the words on my computer monitors were blurry and my headache increased.  It scared me enough that I finally gave up and went to the ER.  They, of course, did the CT scan and said no broken bones or skull fracture, but a definite concussion.  Dr. said to rest the next two days in a dark room, no TV, no computers, no movies, and no reading.  His explanation was that with a concussion your brain is injured and bruised and the best way for it to heal itself is with non-stimulative rest.  Made sense to me.  I did exactly what he said.  Of course, I'm still displaying  the bright colors of bruising, but it's looking better.  My forehead is sore to the touch and I can't get rid of this headache though, which prompted me to research concussion recovery time and found this site. It was helpful to read what others have written post their concussions.  The most bizarre thing was yesterday afternoon, I suddenly smelled exhaust fumes while sitting in my living room.  I thought I was going nuts.  It was helpful to read that others have experienced the same thing that they described as Phantosmia.  I am considering acupuncture if my headaches do not cease by the end of this month.  Thank you to those who posted here. 

it is helpful 

I hit my head really bad sledding on January 25, 2016. I've been to my primary doc and the neurologist. Had a ct scan. Everything is normal but I'm still having terrible, debilitating headaches. I can't function like I use to. It's very frustrating!!! My Dr is referring my to physical therapy. Don't know if it will help but at this point I will try anything!! I don't know who else to turn to or who else can help! Any suggestions????

I want to thank Gabrilla for the online research group. Good information good techniques. Also very nice to know I am not alone in the world and my brain isnt "normal" but is certainly not unique. There are others who struggle daily and understand

I sustained my fourth concussion in August of 2012. That one and one that I sustained when I was around 9 years old both knocked me out for several minutes.  Having had three concussions under the age of 15 and then having had a fourth one in my late thirties has really made for a challenging recovery. It's now been 3 1/2 years and my condition continues to deteriorate. I know that in the 'early' days and then weeks after the fourth concussion in 2012, the Brain Injury Specialists told me that if things didn't resolve themselves within 6 months that I would be experiencing symptoms long term, possibly forever. That has certainly turned out to be true. I continue to experience all of the classic PCS symptoms on a daily basis with some of them having actually gotten worse since the 2012 concussion. I truly feel sorry for anyone that is in this situation.

May God Bless You all and provide you with comfort and peace. I know that may not sound particularly helpful given the situation, but you need to keep your faith especially in times like these.

My last piece of advice is to all the parents out there. Please consider the risks involved before enrolling your child in a contact sport. That's how I got my three childhood concussions which helped make my last one so damaging and devastating. It's not like I was ever going to play in the pro's, so what was I doing out there? I have children of my own and I wouldn't even think of risking their future by enrolling them in a contact sport given what's happened to me and so many others.   

PHANTOMIA, I have been diagnosed with post concussion syndrome since the first week of January 2016. That is a side effect and coincidentally my phantom smell is exhaust as well. I do get others rarely with exhaust being the main one. I've gotten somewhat better in my recovery. 6 weeks ago I couldn't use the apps on my phone, watch TV nor look at a computer screen. I couldn't read without the words in a book, magazine or computer making me dizzy, confused and not be able to comprehend. I'm still recovering. Anxiety and emotions are my current hurdle but I'm better then I was. Can't emphasis enough TAKE YOUR TIME GETTING BACK TO YOUR JOB OR ROUTINE AND NO ALCOHOL OR RECREATIONAL DRUGS!!! Personally, I made the mistake of going back to work too soon and having a celebratory night out ASSUMING I was recovered and now I have headaches, a bit emotional and can be anxious. Hope this helps. We're not alone!!! It does get better!!!

On New Years Eve I was working a rave at a local venue. I went on my lunch break. As I was walking to go see some friends of mine that were working I started to get dizzy. I thought nothing of it just maybe hungry. I went and grabbed some food, came back and started talking to a friend of mine that I was with. Went off my break. From what I was told, about twenty minutes later my co-workers said I just fell over on the asphalt and cracked my head open... (Mind you I, don't remember any of this.). All I remember is coming off my break then waking up in the ER room on a gurney in a neck brace. They ran CT scans. Luckily, everything came out okay and I didn't need stitches or staples. About a week later, I was walking to the store and started to feel the same dizziness. I turned around and came back home. I still get frequent dizziness but most of all I still have really bad headaches. It usually starts where I cracked my head open then goes to the front of my head then the back.  It has taken me almost 2 months to set-up an appointment to see a neurologist. It has been my third one in 7 months.

Hi there, I fell out of my bed from 38 inches smack onto my belly. I hit my temple I area the leg of piece of furniture. My eye was black and swollen for 10 days. I did not go to the doctor. I think I got a concussion too. Now I am left with smelling exhaust fumes when I am sitting and relaxing. I've done a lot of research and come to the conclusion it's called Phantomia, can be caused by head injury. Did you have this? Do you know anybody that's had this? Looking for some answers.

On December 8, 2015, i was shopping at Walmart. I reached to get a 6-pack Pyrex glass container. It fell on my nose. My nose had two-inch cut and bled. I had a headache for a month and I went to see doctor three times. Doctor said it would go away in several weeks. My headache went from top left of my head and I had neck and shoulder pain. I woke up every morning, my head was heavy, I did not have energy for the day. I went to see acupuncturist. He said I had blood stagnation after injury My headache got better 80% after four times acupuncture.. I continue to have acupuncture for 10 times. I think my headache will go away (as my acupuncturist said). If someone has headache or neck and shoulder pain related to head injury, try acupuncture it might help. I went through my headache more than a month. I understand how you feel.

I had a concussion a year ago, from wrestling with a friend. and I didn't get knocked out or anything, but I had a major one. I was very depressed, and I couldn't think at all, everything was wrong, it was like I was someone else. but my dad didn't care at all. I saw a doctor 6 months after, but they said I was fine. to this very day, I'm foggy minded and it feels like I'm always dreaming. and everything is bright and loud. but every day, I'm out skating because my concussion will NEVER be better, and it sucks. :( when I die, I hope that I'll be in heaven, concussion free...

My 12 yr old son has been skating (skateboarding) since he was 5-1/2. Many bruises, split lips, gashes to legs. 4 days ago he got his first, hopefully last, concussion. Even with a wonderful pediatric visit & doing everything he says (rest, NO activity for 2 wks, walks through the neighborhood etc at 3 wks, gradual normal activities like skating, at 4-5 wks) I still see he's different. He's calmer. Quieter. Which are expected. But as a mommy of 5, all on my own, it's secretly hard to watch 😢. But I know it takes time, and patience. Hugs & rest. One brain. One life. Hang in there all others going through this. Please see a Dr. if you've been injured. I'm at keeliekalay@gmail.com if anyone needs to talk.

I'm 14 years old, almost 15 and over two years ago I was in a soccer collision which resulted in a mild concussion. I did the normal protocol and just rested for a few weeks and it was about two months after the blow that I was starting to feel better that I went back to school, but my first day back I got hit in the head with a soccer ball (I wasn't even playing) and I've been going down hill ever since. For grade 7 and 8 I was at school for about one month, either meeting with a tutor or attending one 50 minute class a day. My first week of high school I tried going to school for the whole day, but I just couldn't do it, so then I tried half a day but once again, I couldn't handle it. I can't even one class so now I stay at home all day everyday. It sucks. I can't hang out with my friends, I can't take my dog for walks, I can't even walk around in the mall for more than 20 minutes without getting really dizzy and sore. I've tried just about everything in the book but nothing seems to be working. It does make me feel better reading all the comments knowing I'm not completely alone

I am a 45 year old who decided to let my husband hold a horse for me so I could get on. She reared as I was getting on and threw me 15 feet before I landed on my head and back of neck. (Ouch) Knocked the air out of me and I did not think I would every breathe again.  I got up and walked back to the house and laid down. ( I know you are not supposed to do that).  Woke up and felt fine and then the dizziness came. I am not talking about feeling nausea. I am talking the world spinning so fast I would almost fall over. I had these for at least 9 months.  I never went to the doctor but they did finally disappear. I just concentrated on stopping the world from spinning and it got better and better every day.  I am not advising you should not go to the doctor at all! Just telling you my experience. 

Hello I am commenting on a time while I was drunk and flipped over my stair railing falling 15 ft onto my head. I was knocked out for 2 minutes and when I woke up, it was only for moments. (I think I was actually awake after I woke from unconsciousness but I was definitely out of it not remembering anything going in and out of consciousness). When I was taken to the hospital i was told I was lucky to be alive. I had fractured my skull in 3 places and had a severe concussion. I had nerve swelling that was made apparent to me 2 days after the incident.  Thought wow, the top of my forehead feels like rubber. Boom. That was it. Facial paralysis on the entire right part of my face. A few days later we found out that I tore the lining of my brain. I was leaking cerebral spinal fluid out of my ear!! I was hospitalized for 18 days and was finally able to put a stop to the spinal fluid leak. To this day, about 6 months after the incident, I have very minimal face paralysis besides in my lip. I have made almost a full recovery besides the fact that I have about 5% paralysis in my face still and my hearing has gotten significantly worse since I fell 15 ft into my head. By the way I forgot to mention I broke my collarbone and the doctor said no sling. Now I have a 100% healed collarbone In the 100% wrong spit. Haha. Thank god I'm still here!  

This article was really helpful. I got a mild concussion a week ago today. I did a face plant on our front walkway after missing a step. I got up right after the fall. Put ice one my nose. My son helped me clean up the cuts and put bandaides on. I felt alittle dizzy but okay. I dozed through the night and put on ice. My husband drove me to Redimed the next day. I was diagnosed with a mild concussion. I rested and slept for the next few days. Missed 2 days of work. My employers are supportive of me feeling better before returning to work. I returned on a day with a light schedule then it was the holidays. The article described periods of not feeling quite right: fuzzy feeling, sensitivity to sounds and lights. I have been having all of these. I was rechecked by my doctor on Tuesday. He said as the article said the symptoms would come and go. I do have a question. The article mentioned ringing I the ears. I have tinitis already. But now the ringing is louder and more constant. Should I go had it checked again? Thank you for the article it answered my questions and clarified what I am going through. Judy H.

Thank you

I hit my head very hard doing work around the house about a month ago. It left a big bump on the back of my head, but I also had a sinus infection at the time, so I attributed the initial nausea and headaches to that. However, the headaches and nausea persisted long after the sinus infection was gone, so I went to the doctor. He told me that I had a mild concussion and that simply resting and relaxing should help me get better. It has been a month now since my visit to the doctor, and I still have nausea and headaches every day. I have also felt more emotionally unstable and almost as if I have been a different person since I hit my head. I'm also in college and had a 4.0 gpa until this happened. However, after the concussion my memory and concentration are nowhere near where they were before, so my classes have obviously been a struggle since. I'm just hoping that someday I can think, feel, and live as I did before my TBI. What bothers me though is that there is no sure way to tell when of if that is going to happen, and even if I do get better, if I will ever be my normal self again. It is comforting to read these other posts though and know that I am not alone, and I wish everyone going through the same thing the best of luck.

I'm glad I found this article, and all of your stories!  Thank you for sharing.  Helps me to feel better about lingering symptoms of TBI that I am still experiencing after a serious rollover car accident I had 4 months ago.  I was having intense vertigo and nausea for about 8 weeks after and I am still having issues with dizziness and balance.  Also still having difficulty concentrating, finding words and moving much more slowly than I am used to.  Definitely did not think that I would still be having these issues months later.  I hope everyone continues to heal and rest as much as possible!  I've been taking fish oil supplements and also a mushroom called Lion's Mane, which are reported to help the brain heal after TBI.

I've been to this site twice now in the last week. 7 days ago I was unloading a box from the trunk of car and the strap I was pulling up on to get it over the trunk lip broke. I flew backwards about 51/2 feet landing on my back and hitting my head on the concrete driveway. I was taken to ER by ambulance. CT scan was done but everything was ok. I'm still dizzy, tired and have headaches. I'm 59 years old. The article and the comments have helped me alot to understand. They have since done MRI with contrast that showed bruising on brain and soon I'll be seeing a neurologist. I never thought much about bumps on the head until now. It has taken on a whole new meaning.  Pam T.

I am going through this right now, so I'm googling to find things out as my doc haven't been too much help. 5 days ago I was pushed down hit my head on concrete I think I actually don't remember, not sure if I lost consciousness but the head ache dizziness nausea constant feeling like my head and face is swollen with fluid, my partner is looking out for me but I don't feel right, I don't feel normal and I told my doc this but he just said we can do a scan but it's so expensive and in not sure if it's something really wrong or just normal concussion? I just feel groggy, tired, sad, sore all the time and can't do my normal fitness stuff or anything physical as I get a wave of off balance dizziness to the point of falling if someone or something doesn't catch me. I just don't know what to do should I wait it out? Or see the doctor again?

I fell down the stairs basically in my head Hittng the back of my head losing consciousness for a few moments. I went to the ER and was diagnosed with a concussion. It's been over a week since it happened and I have dizzy spells rolling over in my left side laying down. I don't have them hardly at all standing up. Is thus normal? I have to go back to wk tomorrow.

I had a concussion and three weeks later I hit it again and have another concussion.. I've experienced every symptom except vomiting.. My head Felt like it was doing a little better then the headaches come back strong .. I don't know if this is normal?? Almost two months of hell... Any thoughts from others who have had concussions on top of each other would be great . Thx Keri

Very cool that there is 5 years worth of comments on this board. Sad so many of us struggle. The most frustrating part is no one really knowing what to do to help you. I am 32 now and got my TBI 16 years ago. I always assumed my violent temper, short memory, and being easily confused was just who I am. But when a man in his early 30s forgets where he is driving to and has to pull over to remember or goes to the hardware store and forgets why he went there than its time we as a country wake up and recognize the severity of what is going on. I know I am not alone and that makes me happy. And I love all the medical personel taking TBIs so seriously. (To them I want to say thank you). But if we dont push our insurance to help us, or cant feel nothing but shame to talk about whats going on, or are too afriad to tell our families cause we dont want to worry them there is a problem in America. Continue to speak up people. Own your problems and fight through them. Lets all help each other find new ways to function and help our loved ones understand we are how we are but dont mean to be and we want to be loved and helped! God bless everyone

I had a concussion 3 years ago and I know it can affect spines to. My 7th grade year of football I got hurt again with a bruised muscle this is my 8tg grade year the season over but not my back y hadn't it recovered? Could it deal with my concussion 3 years ago? Can I still be affected

I've had issues since 2011. First with constant panic attacks and headaches, eyes hurting along with my neck. Now 5years later still have headaches, panic attacks and can't enjoy a cup of coffee much less a glass of wine without my head feeling like it's going to explode and my heart feeling like it's going to beat out of my chest. so frustrated with my doctor and neurologist who just shrug their shoulders and don't have answers. Just want to get back to me.

I know this article is old. But it and many of the comments really touched. me. I had traumatic brain injury as a little girl. I walked up behind my father who was kneeling of the floor building something. The hammer hit my head. Nothing was done. Back then there wasn't a lot of info on concussions. You just watched the person and kept them awake for several hours and then let them sleep an hour at a time, make sure you can wake them up and so on. In my case I don't really know what all was done. I do know I was never brought to the hospital. Fast forward several years. I'm in 2nd or 3rd grade and the school wanted to test me for learning disabilities. My father was furious. Said I wasn't trying hard enough. I would learn something, only to forget it by the time I got home and was unable to complete my homework because I didn't know how to solve the problems or complete the assignment. Fast forward to adulthood... I'm 46 and still forget everything. Names, places, the order of which things happened. It's awful. I was actually in my 30's before I was diagnosed with the brain injury I had received as a child. I saw a neuropsychologist who mapped my brain and did all these tests that took days to complete. Knowing what's wrong with me doesn't really help. I was diagnosed, but no treatment was ever offered other than the neurofeedback that was discontinued because my insurance said it was experimental. So now I'm pretty much left on my own and told to find a way to work around my difficulties without any suggestions as to how or where to look. I would not wish this on my worst enemy....

It's been a year since my concussion, is it normal to still feel soreness & tenderness in the area where I got hit. I also get these pains & burning sensation that shoots through my head that's been going for a while, but now it seems to be spreading down from my neck into my shoulders. Ive had neck pain since the injury, but never felt it in my shoulders.

I am Ally and I survived domestic violence were I was beaten almost daily for 8 months mostly toy head this was in 1988 I left him in 1989...today I suffer from awful headaches and I am tiered all the time and my moods always up and down now

I've just turned 20 and I've been concussed 3 times this year (I'm a very clumsy drunk) the latest was yesterday when I fell down the stairs and lost consciousness and ultimately had a CT scan after being taken to A&E. My head (and body) are in so much pain and I never realised just how long it could take to recover and now I'm scared I'll be unwell for months. It's also bad because I get really bad hangovers often where I vomit a lot all day, and so if I had symptoms of worse damage to my head than initially thought, ie vomiting, then I wouldn't know :/ so far I'm ok though, I used to think it was funny and 'classic clumsy me' that I'd always hit my head but now I realise it's very serious and I feel so stupid..

Hi I just happened to run across this site. Back in 2011 I fell and hit my head on concrete floor. No clue how long I was and have no memory of what happened days after.  Had no family here as I had just moved.  I know I made it to my apt.  My son who has Asperger"s  panicked and did not do anything.  Not his fault.  What sucks more is that I am a retired EMT.  I could not speak and just laid on the floor.  Really that is all I remember. I have really bad memory loss my family said my personality has changed and I forgotten how to do stupid things like how to spell and math ya fun.  I have since hit my head 2x times.  I don't have insurance.  The last time I went they took me to trauma as I could not move or speak.  I heard everything but it was like my body was in the off position.  MRI came back clear so they said I was faking it.  I didn't ask for meds so I wasn't there for that.  My memory has gotten worse and I get angry very often now.  Seeing a therapist who runs a hospital and he said that the ER was full of it that I have a TBI.  I am sure if I had insurance things would have been done. - No I am not a free loader my husband's work does not offer it.  I now have a $15k bill for being told I was faking it.  To think I am a retired medical professional makes me sick.  How many other people are treated this way?  Oh and yes this sounds good thanks to word.  People expect me to spell like poop but they forgot about spell check.  Sorry I am venting.  I cry a lot because people get upset with me because I can't answer things fast enough etc.

With God all things are possible.. its a long journey but with God on our side we will heal and come back to normal . Trust in God and pray about it all the time

I am 45. About 3 years ago I hit my head in a fall and was diagnosed with a mild concussion. In about 10 days I was back to normal. 6 days ago I just hit my head on the corner of a cabinet. A "dork" move. Nothing terrible, just bump on the head and immediate headache. Only the next day felt nauseous, off balance, not myself, etc. Now I lack concentration. Working on my computer is difficult - find reading a challenge. Still not myself, with a little head pain. So maybe something that seems like a little bump on the head can lead to a mild concussion - if you've had one before. I could have had other concussions from early on as a child (I can think of 2 incidents with stitches), and a car accident where I had whiplash - but I don't remember being diagnosed with a concussion for either of these. 

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