Five Myths About Concussions
The CDC estimates 1.6-3.8 million sport/recreation-related concussions happen per year in the
United States. 300,000 high-school athletes experience a concussion per year. These
numbers are large. Understanding the myths associated with concussion can help you or a
someone you know seek treatment when necessary.
MYTH 1: LOSS OF CONSCIOUSNESS= CONCUSSION
Most people believe that you need to lose consciousness or “black out” in order to have a
concussion, but this not true. A person may experience a concussion if they had their “bell
MYTH 2: HEAD to HEAD CONTACT IS THE ONLY WAY TO SUSTAIN A CONCUSSION
Concussions occur due to rapid acceleration of the brain inside the skull resulting in it hitting the
sides of the skull. One does not have to just hit their head for this to occur. A hit to the body
which accelerates the head quickly can result in a concussion. Direct contact is also not
necessary, a person involved in a motor vehicle accident who experiences whiplash may be
MYTH 3: A HELMET OR MOUTH GUARD CAN PREVENT CONCUSSION
There is no research that supports this theory. In fact, a helmet was originally designed to
prevent skull fractures, which it does however it does not prevent or reduce the likelihood of
concussion. Similarly, mouth guards protect against dental injuries, but do not impact the
chance of concussion. TOUGHER HELMETS=HARDER HITS!
MYTH 4: CONCUSSION ONLY HAPPENS IN CONTACT SPORTS
Concussions can occurs in any sport where rapid acceleration/deceleration occurs. Athletes
involved in sports such as soccer, lacrosse, basketball, gymnastics, and cheerleading are at risk
for concussion. In fact, the third highest occurrence of concussion occurs in Girls Soccer.
MYTH 5: REST IS THE BEST MEDICINE
This used to be the case. However recent guideline from the Berlin Concussion Consensus
Statement states a brief rest period of 24-48hrs is recommended, but then light submaximal
activity is advised. Research supports the use of vestibular rehabilitation therapy (VRT) in order
to improve outcomes in patients.
At Mana Physical Therapy, Danielle Mendez is a certified concussion rehabilitation professional and can develop an individualized VRT program for you. Call (732) 390-8100 today for your appointment.