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Can You get a Concussion Without Hitting Your Head?

Individuals can sustain concussions in a wide variety of ways. Typically, we think of concussions occurring when a person strikes their head against another object, but that is not always how these injuries happen. Concussions can occur even if a person’s head does not come into contact with anything else. Here, we want to look at how these types of concussions occur and the importance of seeking medical care if you suspect you or a loved one has sustained a concussion. 

How a Concussion Happens Without Hitting the Head

Information presented by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) indicates that concussions are typically caused by a bump, blow, or jolt to the head. However, they go on to state that these injuries can also occur from a “fall or a blow to the body that causes the head to move rapidly back and forth.”

But why would this even cause a concussion in the first place, particularly if there was no blow to the head?

Have you ever sustained an injury where your body was rapidly jerked back and forth in a whiplash motion? Perhaps in a vehicle accident or playing some type of sport?

When the body undergoes this type of trauma, essentially, the head is also whipped back and forth. This mechanism of injury can lead to the brain also moving around inside the skull. The brain is not set right up against the skull inside of our head. It has room to move around and does so anytime the head is jolted back and forth or side to side. If the bump or blow to the body is forceful enough, this could cause the brain to slam up against the inside of the skull. In severe cases, the brain could hit one side of the skull, rebound, and strike the other side of the skull, resulting in injuries to multiple sides of the brain.

Signs and Symptoms People Need to Know

Any person who sustains violent bumps, blows, or jolts to the body need to be aware that they could experience a concussion. This may seem unlikely if the head is not initially affected by the incident, but individuals and the people around them need to be aware of the most common concussion symptoms. Anytime a person sustains a suspected concussion, they need to go to the doctor for an evaluation. There are certain steps that individuals can take to help ensure that they recover fully from these mild traumatic brain injuries.

Some of the most common symptoms to be on the lookout for that could indicate a concussion has occurred include:

  • Trouble thinking or remembering, including a “foggy” type of feeling
  • Headaches that worsen overtime or do not go away
  • Issues with loud noises or bright lights
  • Emotional issues such as irritability, nervousness, or sadness
  • Sleep issues, including sleeping more or less than usual
  • Any loss of consciousness
  • Unequal pupil dilation of any kind

Individuals who sustain concussions typically make a recovery within a week or two after the incident occurs, but continued activity during what should be a rest period could prolong the symptoms or worsen the brain injury into a moderate to severe injury. Speak to an injury lawyer in Riverside to learn more and look at your case.