Concussion

A mild traumatic brain injury which occurs after sustaining an injury to the head through impact.  It may or may not be accompanied by a loss of consciousness.

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Women taking a moment

What is concussion?

Concussion is a mild traumatic brain injury which occurs after sustaining an injury to the head through an accident or an object forcefully coming into contact with the head. It may or may not be accompanied by a loss of consciousness. The concussion may disrupt the brain’s ability to process sensory information.

Concussion in sport

Concussion describes a head injury sufficient to disturb brain function on a temporary basis with no structural changes detected on the scan and is the most common form of head injury, both in sport and every day life.

 One concussion tends to lead to another if a competitor returns to play too soon. Symptoms become progressively worse on each occasion, which can not only impact on the current season, but also cause more long term implications. Retired American Football players have been particularly studied for the effects of concussion. The players are shown to suffer high levels of depression, Parkinsonism, suicide and early death.

In 2017 The International Conference on Concussion in Sport convened to bring consensus to the study, diagnosis and management of concussion. FIFA, the International Olympic Committee, and the International Rugby Board are included in the list of supporting organisations.

At HCA UK we work in partnership with the Institute of Sport and Exercise Health, who run concussion clinics for amateur and professional sportsmen and women.

More about the ISEH concussion clinic

Concussion FAQ's

Concussion signs and symptoms may impact physical, emotional and mental wellbeing, including cognitive problems.

Physical symptoms may include:

  • dizziness
  • headaches
  • imbalance
  • incoordination
  • nausea/vomiting
  • fatigue
  • sleep disturbances
  • double or blurred vision and sensitivity to light and sounds

Emotional signs may include:

  • irritability
  • restlessness
  • anxiety
  • depression
  • mood swings
  • aggression or reduced tolerance to stress

Cognitive impairment may include:

  • difficulty with remembering things
  • confusion
  • slowed processing
  • 'fogginess' and reduced concentration
If you are experiencing dizziness or balance problems following a concussion injury, it is important to be assessed and monitored by a consultant with training and expertise in the management of concussion, particularly when it applies to returning to sport.

Concussion can range from mild to severe, and even with mild concussions you will require a recovery period. On average, it takes approximately 7-10 days to recover from a concussion.

Your doctor may recommend a neurological examination, cognitive testing and imaging tests, such as an MRI scan.
The majority of mild concussions resolve in around a week with rest. We advise that you avoid mentally taxing activities while you recover.

A neuropsychologist may be helpful for managing changes in mood, anxiety, irritability, personality or behaviour following concussion. They can monitor your symptoms and advise on strategies to improve them, which will benefit your recovery and return you to your usual daily life and work.
Emilie skiing IMG_1387.JPG

Emilie's concussion story

A champion skier and avid student at the Apex2100 International Ski Academy, Emilie has suffered several bumps and scrapes and seriously injured her knee.


None of those however, compare to the six months she was suffering with a concussion.

Our Concussion locations

Institute of Sport Exercise and Health (ISEH)

170 Tottenham Court Road W1T 7HA London
The Harley Street Clinic

The Harley Street Clinic

35 Weymouth Street W1G 8BJ London
The Princess Grace Hospital

The Princess Grace Hospital

42-52 Nottingham Place W1U 5NY London
The Lister Hospital

The Lister Hospital

Chelsea Bridge Road, SW1W 8RH London
The Shard Outpatients

The Shard Outpatients

The Shard, 32 St Thomas Street SE1 9BS London
London Bridge Hospital

London Bridge Hospital

27 Tooley Street SE1 2PR London

Patient stories

This content is intended for general information only and does not replace the need for personal advice from a qualified health professional.