Many of our patients experiencing Post-Concussion Syndrome (PCS) come to us weeks or months after a head injury, when they have been unable to find relief anywhere else. Unfortunately, a number of myths still surround concussion symptoms and treatment that can delay people from seeking help. Following are five common myths about concussions and the facts that can help accelerate recovery.
Myth #1: A concussion requires loss of consciousness
In fact, a concussion can happen even when a patient never loses consciousness. Only about 10% of concussions include loss of consciousness (University of Pittsburgh Medical Center). Don’t let a mild injury stop you from seeking treatment if you’re feeling symptoms like headaches, dizziness, irritability, and vision problems.
Myth #2: A concussion requires a blow to the head
A concussion results from the sudden jarring movement of the brain shifting inside the skull, which can be caused by a jolt or shake as well as blunt force. Whiplash from a car accident can cause a concussion just like a blow to the head.
Myth #3: A concussion can be prevented by wearing a helmet
Again, because the injury is caused by a jolting of the brain, a helmet won’t necessarily prevent it from happening. According to the CDC, helmets are designed to reduce the risk of a serious brain injury or skull fracture. There is no helmet that is designed to prevent a concussion.
Myth #4: You must wake a person every hour after a concussion
This myth originated from the outdated belief that falling asleep following a concussion could cause a patient to fall into a coma. We now know to check for symptoms before a patient goes to sleep, ensuring these symptoms are not overlooked. If you’ve suffered a concussion, your healthcare provider probably offered guidance on your treatment. If your injury was severe enough to require monitoring, they may have recommended an overnight hospital stay.
Myth #5: Concussion symptoms are apparent immediately following an injury
Many patients we see report that they didn’t experience concussion symptoms until days after an incident. Because symptoms can progress gradually after an injury, they might not be instantly debilitating or even apparent. It’s especially important to seek treatment if symptoms worsen or new ones arise.
If you’re still experiencing symptoms that disrupt your daily routine days or weeks after an injury, download our post-concussion syndrome (PSC) fact sheet for more information and call (317) 848-6000 to schedule an appointment.