A head injury is any injury that affects the brain, skull or scalp. Head injuries can range in severity from a mild bump, bruise, or scrap, to a severe brain bleed or traumatic brain injury (TBI).
Head injuries should be taken very seriously — if you experience any abnormal signs, symptoms or pain following an incident where you hit or jolted your head, see a doctor for an evaluation. Keep reading to learn more about head injuries and the signs and symptoms to be on the lookout for.
The term “head injury” encompasses a whole range of injuries that affect the brain, scalp, skull or soft tissues and blood vessels in the head. A head injury that affects the brain is called a brain injury or traumatic brain injury (TBI), depending on the severity of the trauma.
Common types of injuries include:
The majority of head injuries are caused by shaking incidents or traumatic accidents that result in a direct blow to the head. Shaking injuries are more common among babies and children, but they can also occur among adults as a result of physical abuse. Head trauma can occur from motor vehicle and motorcycle accidents, falls, sports accidents, fights and other violent incidents, penetrating wounds from gunshot or shrapnel, or abuse.
Some injuries — like a hemorrhage or subdural hematoma — occur as a result of high blood pressure, bleeding disorders, or use of blood thinners. These types of head injuries are more common among older adults.
Head trauma is a serious condition that requires immediate medical attention and care. It’s difficult to assess the severity of a head injury by appearance alone — internal injuries like concussions or hemorrhages may not have visible symptoms. You should get checked out by a doctor after any incident that results in banging, jarring or shaking of the head.
Head and brain injuries can lead to permanent damage to the brain, mental and physical disabilities, amnesia, and even death.
Head injuries present with a range of symptoms depending on the severity of the trauma. It’s critical that you know the signs and symptoms to look out for in yourself and others. Sometimes, symptoms of a head injury don’t present until hours or even days after the initial incident. If you have an accident that involves hitting or jolting the head, monitor yourself for abnormal symptoms over the next few days. The same goes for a family member, child, or significant other who has an accident that involves the head.
A mild head injury may cause the following:
Mild to moderate head injuries cause the symptoms listed above. In addition, they may cause the following:
If you suspect that you, a family member, a child, or your significant other has suffered a head injury, seek medical care right away. If you or someone else is experiencing any signs of a moderate or severe injury from the list of symptoms above, call 911. Even a mild head injury can cause temporary or permanent brain damage and should be evaluated by a doctor.
Your doctor will diagnose the injury and the severity of the injury using the following tools:
Mild head injuries may only require medications, rest and monitoring to ensure signs and symptoms don’t worsen. More severe injuries may require a hospital admission for monitoring, medications, surgery or rehabilitation to treat.
At Integrity Spine and Orthopedics, we pair top-notch orthopedics and spine care with honesty and transparency to deliver the most satisfactory patient experience possible. If you’re living with acute pain or a chronic condition, stop letting it control your life. We’ll help you get the treatment you need to get back on your feet and back to doing the activities you love.
Call us today or reach out online to schedule your first appointment in our Jacksonville, FL clinic.