What Are Concussions?

A concussion is an injury to the head that causes instant loss of awareness or alertness for a few minutes up to a few hours after the injury. Concussions can range from mild or moderate to severe, depending on the symptoms.

Northwestern Medicine offers coordinated care for patients who have experienced concussions.

While concussions are most commonly caused by a blow to the head, violent shaking of the head or upper body can also cause concussions.

Contact sports (football, etc.) are commonly where concussions can occur.

The effects of concussion are typically temporary, but may include:

  • Headaches
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Problems with balance and coordination
  • Memory issues

If you or a loved one has experienced a head injury and are concerned that it may be a concussion, you should see a Northwestern Medicine physician within one or two days of the injury. It is recommended you should contact your child's physician for anything more than a sleight bump on the head.