Mild brain trauma

A temporary injury to the brain caused by a bump, blow or jolt to the head that usually lasts a few days or weeks

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.

Concussion FAQ's

  • What are the signs and symptoms of concussion? icon plus

    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
  • How is concussion diagnosed? icon plus

    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.


  • What are the treatment options for concussion? icon plus

    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'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 specialists

We're proud to work with leading neurological and sports medicine experts, who have a wide range of experience in diagnosing and treating concussion, in adults and younger children.

Our locations

From complex sports injuries to diagnostic tests and procedures, we provide exceptional sports medicine care across our network of hospitals, outpatient centres and specialist clinics.

Book an appointment

Our team can help with any enquiries or you can make an appointment with one of our experienced consultants.

Call us today

020 7079 4344
This content is intended for general information only and does not replace the need for personal advice from a qualified health professional.
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