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Sports Concussion

A sports concussion is a mild brain injury caused by a bump, blow or jolt to the head or body that occurs during sports or another physical activity and leads to symptoms such as headache, dizziness or confusion. Contrary to popular perception, most people with concussion don't lose consciousness. Concussion symptoms usually appear within one to two days of the traumatic event. If you think you might have a concussion, you should promptly seek care from a doctor trained in concussion management. Don't resume participation in sports or other physical activities until you've been evaluated by a health care professional. Please visit the UCSF Sports Concussion Center for more information.

Our Approach to Sports Concussions

The UCSF Sports Concussion Program is the region's premier center for evaluating and treating patients with an acute concussion sustained during sports or other physical activities (acute is the medical term applied to a condition that begins suddenly). Our team includes experts in primary care sports medicine, physical medicine and rehabilitation, neurology, physical therapy and athletic training. With this combined expertise, we are able to thoroughly evaluate, diagnose and treat sports concussions. Our doctors are up-to-date on the latest sports concussion research; participate in research to elevate care; and regularly teach medical students, residents and fellow doctors the essentials of sports concussion. We work with our patients and their families to create personalized treatment plans that promote full recoveries and enable safe returns to school, work and play.

The majority of people with a concussion recover quickly and fully over one to three months. There’s a subset of patients who take longer to recover. In particular, patients with a history of concussion; a history of headaches; or a history of psychiatric conditions, such as depression or anxiety, may have symptoms that last longer than average.

Awards & recognition

  • usnews-neurology

    Among the top hospitals in the nation

  • usnews-orthopedics

    One of the nation's best for orthopedic care

UCSF Health medical specialists have reviewed this information. It is for educational purposes only and is not intended to replace the advice of your doctor or other health care provider. We encourage you to discuss any questions or concerns you may have with your provider.