Brain tissue is soft and squishy. It’s surrounded by cerebrospinal fluid, which acts as a cushion between it and the hard protective exterior, the skull. A concussion occurs when your brain bounces or twists inside your skull or experiences rapid, whiplash-type back and forth movement that causes it to collide with the inside of your skull. This brain movement stretches and damages brain cells and leads to chemical changes in the brain.
These injuries cause your brain not to function normally for a brief period of time and result in the signs and symptoms of concussion.
Motor vehicle accidents, falls, and sports injuries are common causes of concussions. Any sport that involves contact can result in a concussion.
Among children, most concussions happen on the playground, while bike riding, or when playing sports such as football, basketball, ice hockey, wrestling, or soccer.