What is Concussion

What is Concussion?

Concussion is a type of traumatic brain injury caused by biomechanical forces such as a direct blow to the head, neck or body. It can occur with or without loss of consciousness at the time of injury and includes symptoms affecting physical, emotional, and mental wellbeing.

Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is a broader term that encompasses a range of brain injuries resulting from external forces or trauma to the head. Severe TBI's may involve structural damage to the brain such as bleeding, bruising, or swelling which can be detected on brain imaging tests.

In summary, while all concussions are considered TBIs, not all TBIs are concussions. Concussion is a specific type of milder TBI characterised by temporary disruption in brain function without necessarily involving structural damage to the brain.


How common are Concussions?

Concussions are far more common than many people realise, affecting individuals across different ages and demographics. The World Health Organization (WHO) recognises TBI including concussion as a significant public health issue worldwide.

Unfortunately, precise data on incidence, frequency, and prevalence of concussion in Australia is undetermined. This is compounded by a lack of recognition of the signs and symptoms of concussion, under-reporting, mis-diagnosis, and people failing to seek medical advice.