Many people who aren't in the medical profession use the terms "head injury" and "brain injury" interchangeably. However, they are not the same thing. A person can suffer one, the other or both. While these injuries can be the result of falls and athletic activities such as football and other contact sports, many Floridians suffer head and brain injuries in car accidents.
Brain injuries can result in any combination of neurological, cognitive, emotional, behavioral and physical issues. This can happen when the brain is jostled about.
We commonly hear the term "traumatic brain injury" associated with war. However, TBI refers to any injury to the brain that is caused by an external force.
Concussions are another type of brain injury that are generally caused by some kind of force that injures the brain. Unlike people who suffer a TBI, those who get a concussion fully recover relatively quickly. A concussion may or may not involve a loss of consciousness.
Other brain injuries are associated with medical conditions. These include an aneurysm, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson's disease and stroke.
Head injuries involve damage to the skull as opposed to the brain. The skull, along with some layers within it, are there to protect our brains. Someone can suffer both a head injury and brain injury as the result of the same incident. Those who suffer solely a head injury will experience bruises to their skull and/or scalp, which can certainly be painful. However, their brain will be undamaged.
No one should ever try to self-diagnose an injury to his or her head. If you are in a car accident, even if you didn't strike your head against anything, just the strong jostling of your head in the impact could cause a brain injury. That's why it's essential to be checked out after an accident by a physician who can run the proper tests to determine what, if any, damage occurred and begin the proper treatment. If the accident was the fault of another person, you should consider seeking compensation to cover necessary medical and rehabilitative costs for as long as warranted to properly heal.
Source: Psychology Today, "The Difference Between a Brain Injury and Head Injury," Diane Roberts, Ed.D, accessed May. 17, 2015