Concussion is a term used to describe a minor head injury, not usually life-threatening, and common to rugby league, rugby union and Australian Rules football players. Concussion is generally caused by either a direct blow to the head or from a sudden change in direction that causes the brain to hit against the inside of the skull.
Concussion may cause confusion, dizziness and amnesia (loss of memory) and could mean a short period of unconsciousness in some cases. Players suspected of having concussion should be assessed by their team doctor, who will usually prescribe rest and pain-relief medication. Players suffering mild cases of concussion often return to play once all the symptoms have disappeared. Players who have suffered concussion should continue to be monitored by their doctor and take special care to avoid further injury before they have made a complete recovery as a second, even mild concussion, can have more serious effects.
Players may experience headaches, dizziness, irritability, sensitivity to light, ringing in the ears, lack of concentration, forgetfulness and difficulty in sleeping for up to a few weeks after being concussed. It is extremely important that these players get plenty of rest, and eliminate any daily stress. It is most likely that they will make a complete recovery, with no lasting complications.