Common Causes of Concussions
A car accident occurs, on average, every 5-10 seconds. As long as your injuries are not life-threatening, most doctors will not evaluate you properly for a concussion or brain injury. You can go months, if not years, undiagnosed with a traumatic brain injury following a motor vehicle accident. It only takes speeds of 5-10 mph to generate a significant enough G-force to damage the soft tissues in your neck. Those forces will continue to travel upwards into your skull and slosh your brain around. You don’t even have to hit your head to suffer a concussion; you just need to whip the brain around enough in the skull to damage it.
After a car accident, your adrenaline will be pumping, masking any symptoms you might be experiencing. Once that adrenaline wears off, you will start to feel what has changed. Most are unaware of what concussion or traumatic brain injury symptoms look or feel like, so they often write them off and assume it’s a byproduct of the car accident, expecting them to heal eventually. People are left lost and discouraged when the injuries don’t resolve themselves.
Fortunately, it is never too late to get evaluated. Even if it has been years since the accident, our brains often still have the capacity to grow and strengthen.
You don’t have to be a professional athlete to be at risk for a concussion in sports. 10% of concussions come from sports or recreational activities. Sports like football, soccer, hockey, basketball, surfing, snowboarding, skiing, skateboarding, horseback riding, rugby, and lacrosse are some of the most common causes. With young athletes, this is often unreported. They do not want to admit anything is wrong, so they can keep playing. Some are okay with sacrificing their body to achieve their goal; they have no idea the gravity of living with a concussion or traumatic brain injury.
Once you have sustained a concussion, your risk of having another increases. Repeat concussions increase your risk of having long-term symptoms. We have yet to meet an athlete that doesn’t wish they had known more in advance and possibly done things differently if they could go back in time. Understanding the risks is good practice with anything in life.
As mentioned before, you do not need to hit your head to suffer a concussion, and as we age, our tissues are not as durable as they were when we were younger. One in three adults over the age of 65 fall every year. Some of these falls are mild and people can recover fully. Others are more life-threatening, sometimes resulting in brain bleeds and leaving people in a coma.
Brain injuries are not an uncommon result of falls. Those suffering from a brain injury after age 65 are at higher risk of having persistent symptoms—all the more reason to pay attention to your motor skills and improve your balance. Fall risk is too dangerous to leave untouched.