What Is a Concussion?

A concussion is a type of traumatic brain injury—or TBI—caused by a bump, blow, or jolt to the head or by a hit to the body that causes the head and brain to move rapidly back and forth. This sudden movement can cause the brain to bounce around or twist in the skull, creating chemical changes in the brain and sometimes stretching and damaging brain cells.

Concussions Are Serious

Medical providers may describe a concussion as a “mild” brain injury because concussions are usually not life-threatening. Even so, the effects of a concussion can be serious.

Animation of a Concussion Video

HEADS UP Video: What Is a Concussion?

Learn More about Concussions and Brain Injury

Illustration of a brain hitting the inside of the skull

What Is A Concussion?

African American boy with holding his forehead while sitting on his father's lap

Concussion Signs and Symptoms

Doctor examining boy

Responding to Concussion

Female lying on track holding her head

Danger Signs

Doctors looking at brain scans

Severe Brain Injury

Sleeping child

Recovery from Concussion

Kids in a classroom

Returning to School

Boys playing basketball

Returning to Sports

Grandson and Grandfather on bikes with helmets

Brain Injury Safety and Prevention

Diverse hands in stacked on each other for unity

Get Involved