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.
A concussion is a type of traumatic brain injury that causes the head and brain to move rapidly back and forth. When the brain bounces side to side or front to back (known as the coup-contrecoup effect), it results in a compound injury to the brain, called a diffuse axonal injury.
A diffuse axonal injury is most often seen with car accidents and in falls, as well as any impact sport or recreational activity where there is a risk of falling. The brain sustains a double injury as it takes the initial point of impact and then recoils in the opposite direction. A rotational injury occurs when the blow is at an angle, forcing the brain to spin on its’ axis, tearing or stretching delicate neuronal connections.