What is a Concussion?

What is a concussion?

Concussions are a type of traumatic brain injury that changes the way the brain functions. Typically, they occur due to a bump, jolt, or blow to the head or body. However, a concussion can also occur when the head or upper body is violently shaken. This action causes the brain to move back and forth inside the skull. For example, the whiplash what is a concussioneffect during a car accident can injure the brain, even without a direct blow to the head.

This sudden movement of the brain inside the skull causes chemical changes in the brain. In addition, sometimes the brain cells themselves also get damaged and stretched. The result is a change to the brain's normal way of functioning.

Concussions can occur anytime there is a sudden, unexpected blow that results in shaking of the brain inside the skull. There is a common misperception that a person must lose consciousness or be knocked out. That is NOT TRUE. In fact, over 90% of all concussions do not result in a loss of consciousness.

What is a Concussion? Video by Dr. Viviane Ugalde

The CDC visual demonstration of brain movement that leads to concussions.


Next, learn about the symptoms of concussion, concussion treatment, and concussion recovery.


If you believe your child has a concussion, you should seek medical attention from a specialist. NOWcare at The Center, offers immediate evaluation of concussions with no appointment. NOWcare is available MONDAY – FRIDAY, 9 A.M. – 4 P.M. with same day ImPACT testing, if needed. Click here for more information.

Next, Dr. Ugalde's weekly Friday Concussion Clinics at The Center offer support to those experiencing longer-term concussion symptoms. Call 541-322-2214 for more information.

In addition, if your child plays high school sports in Central Oregon, your high school athletic trainer is available during school hours. Find your high school athletic trainer HERE.


We are passionate about getting Central Oregon youth the care they need when they have experienced a concussion. To this end, we follow a research-based model of management in treating concussions. Like you, our focus is on getting your child healthy, and safely returning them to the activity they love.

Additionally, we strive to provide the most current information on concussions on these pages. However, if you do not find what you are looking for here, please contact us.

The content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. See our Terms of Use for more information.


Page References: