Concussion Myths




  • You can only be concussed in “contact sports”
  • You need to lose consciousness or memory to be diagnosed with concussion.
  • A normal brain scan means you’re cleared to play.
  • You’re OK to play once the headache has gone.
  • A player that has sustained a concussion is up to 3 times more likely to sustain
    a second concussion in the same season (Guskiewicz et al, 2000).
  • There is currently no known cure for concussion but the passage of time.
  • Injuries to the brain are the most common cause of death in athletes (Mueller &
    Cantu, 1990).


  1. All symptoms must have cleared.
  2. You should have a normal neurological examination.
  3. Your computerized brain function tests must have returned to baseline or be
    within normal limits.
  4. You should undergo a sports-specific return to play exercise programme without
    symptoms recurring.
  • Although more likely in contact and collision sports such as rugby, football and
    boxing, concussion can occur in nearly any situation; we have treated cyclists,
    cricket players, motor racers, horse riders, water polo players and even ballet
    dancers! Suspect possible concussion with any direct or indirect blow to the
  • Only about 8% of cases of concussion involve loss of consciousness (Oliaro et
    al, 2001); Concussion may present in many different ways depending on the area
    of the brain most affected; these may be obvious signs such as blacking out,
    vomiting or confusion, or more subtle symptoms such as poor concentration or
    personality changes.
  • CT scans and most MRI scans are not sensitive enough to detect the changes
    taking place in a concussed brain; you may still have serious injury with a
    normal scan.

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