Yes, you can go to sleep -- Concussion misconceptions

Yes, you can go to sleep -- Concussion misconceptions
Published: Jun. 28, 2022 at 5:21 PM EDT
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LANSING, Mich. (WILX) - There are between 1.7 and three-million sports and recreation-related concussions each year in the United States.

A concussion happens when the head and brain move rapidly back and forth and strike the inside of the skull. These injuries are complex -- and often misunderstood.

Concussions are a hot topic in the world of sports. And while you may have heard a lot about these injuries lately, there’s also a lot of misinformation out there.

Our first myth: a concussion always involves a direct hit to the head. In fact, whiplash, or a jolt to the body that shakes the head can also cause a concussion. Another popular myth:

“Some people still say it’s a bruise on the brain, and we know it’s not that. A concussion is basically normal imaging, so there’s no sign of bruising at all,” said Dr. Scott Zuckerman.

You may have heard that you shouldn’t sleep after a concussion but this is also untrue. According to Michigan Medicine, sleep can actually be beneficial.

Another fallacy: you have to lose consciousness to have a concussion. Only about 10% of concussions involve loss of consciousness. And should you always go to the ER if you have a concussion? The answer is: not necessarily. If you have mild symptoms, you can be cared for at home and follow up with a doctor within a few days. Our last myth: you can return to sports as soon as you feel OK.

“A lot of people think that you should fight through a concussion, but we know that these days that can be very dangerous and that can lead to severe traumatic brain injury,” Zuckerman said.

The rule of thumb: you shouldn’t return to play until you’ve been cleared by a medical professional.

Some common signs of a concussion include headache, nausea, sensitivity to light or sound, dizziness, sleep problems, memory problems, confusion and changes in mood.

More: Health stories

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