Concussion Myths

Test your concussion knowledge with this quiz:

There are many misconceptions about concussions. Chris Hummel, M.S. ’00, a certified athletic trainer and clinical associate professor in IC’s Department of Exercise and Sport Sciences, has worked to put some of these myths to rest. 


An individual who has been knocked unconscious will suffer a worse concussion than someone who didn’t lose consciousness.

“A person doesn’t have to be knocked out to sustain a concussion,” Hummel said. “The severity of the concussion might not be known for days or weeks. Each case should be treated individually and symptoms should be monitored. Activity should cease until the person is evaluated by a trained medical professional. ”



The harder someone is hit, the worse the concussion.

“It doesn’t always take a big impact to produce a concussion. Any contact to the head or body can result in one,” Hummel said. “We used to grade concussions during the initial diagnosis, but we no longer do that because we now know it’s difficult to accurately assess the severity of a concussion right away. We are also beginning to understand that concussions might be caused by both the magnitude and frequency of head impacts and that even seemingly small impacts can cause concussion-like symptoms.”



A person can push through a concussion.
“No,” Hummel said. “Typically, it takes one to two weeks for concussion symptoms to resolve and for the individual to feel back to ‘normal.’ But just because someone states his or her head has cleared is no indication that he or she should resume normal activities. It is essential for each concussed individual to be continually evaluated in various areas (cognition, balance, reaction time, etc.) and only begin a step-by-step progression back to full activity once all indications (based on baseline measures) are that the individual is back to preinjury levels. ”


You shouldn’t let someone fall asleep if they’ve had a concussion.

“Sleeping is actually the best thing for a concussed individual. Getting physical and mental rest helps someone recover from a concussion. But those individuals should not be left alone the first night and should be seen by a qualified medical professional the next day.”