Has someone in your life suffered a concussion recently? If so, it is vitally important that they receive the best care possible for the health of their brain. The human brain is a delicate, complex organ, and is even more delicate when it has been injured and bruised. In order to preserve the brain and to facilitate recovery, the person who has had a concussion (and their family or support person) must choose their healthcare provider carefully.

Let’s take a minute to learn about the brain and how it is affected by concussions. The brain is the command center of the body. Each part of the brain corresponds to one area of the body, or a body part or system. If part of the brain is injured, then the corresponding system, part or area can be affected as well. If the brain is allowed to rest and heal, then the person can usually go back to their usual activities without impairment. However, if a person has a concussion and ignores the advice of their healthcare provider, their brain is not given the time it needs to recover. If this happens, the brain can be reinjured and damage could even be permanent.

Your brain is encased inside your skull. The skull is made of strong bone and is very sturdy. It can deflect many hits to the head and other blows. There is spinal fluid which (in addition to being in the spine itself) is located between the skull and the brain itself. It helps to act as a cushion or a buffer for the brain. It is an excellent shock absorber. There are also meninges, which are protective membranes which surround the brain and help to protect it from injury. Despite the fact that the brain has a strong, sturdy skull, meninges and spinal fluid to buffer it and safeguard against injury or damage, it can still happen. If there is enough speed, force or a severe angle, the brain can slosh around inside the head and smack against the skull. It has many protections but they are not foolproof, so injury and damage can still occur.

Concussions happen in all sorts of circumstances. Many people associate them with severe incidents such as a car accident, or when two people collide violently. They can also happen when people do something as uncomplicated as tripping and falling. It might sound strange, because people of all ages trip and fall every single day, but that doesn’t mean that they all get concussions. As stated before, it depends upon many factors, such as how fast the person was going when they fell, as well as secondary factors such as the surface they hit, or the angle at which they struck the floor or ground. For instance, a person who is walking indoors on carpeted floor and falls down, they are likely to get a sore bottom or knees, but otherwise they will be fine. But is someone is running outside, and falls, and strikes their head on the curb (especially at an angle) they are more likely to suffer a concussion.