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Sports Concussion

Medically reviewed by Last updated on May 6, 2024.

What is a sports concussion?

A concussion is a mild brain injury. It is usually caused by a bump or blow to the head. This can happen during almost any sport, but is most common with football, hockey, and boxing. Your head may come into contact with another player, the player's equipment, or a hard surface. Even a seemingly mild blow can cause a concussion. You may lose consciousness and need help getting off the field of play. It is important to follow the return to play protocol for your sport, even if you do not lose consciousness. This may mean you cannot go back into the game. You may also not be able to play in the next several games until you heal.

What signs and symptoms of a concussion may happen right away?

What other signs and symptoms may develop?

How is a concussion diagnosed?

Your healthcare provider will examine you and ask about your symptoms. You may need any of the following:

What can I do to manage or prevent a sports concussion?

Usually no treatment is needed for a mild concussion. Concussion symptoms usually go away within 10 days, but they may last longer. The following may be recommended to manage your symptoms:

Treatment options

The following list of medications are related to or used in the treatment of this condition.

What is a return to play protocol?

This is a procedure to decide if it is safe to return to a sports event after a suspected concussion. Healthcare providers who are trained in sports medicine will examine players who have a blow to the head. They look for signs of a concussion such as confusion, dizziness, and nausea. Players who have these symptoms will not be allowed to return to the field of play.

Have someone call your local emergency number (911 in the US) if:

When should I seek immediate care?

When should I call my doctor?

Care Agreement

You have the right to help plan your care. Learn about your health condition and how it may be treated. Discuss treatment options with your healthcare providers to decide what care you want to receive. You always have the right to refuse treatment. The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

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