Concussion Symptoms: Women vs Men

Written by Physiotherapist Emily Czechowskyj


In the recent years, there has been a lot of media attention focused on concussions and specifically concussions that occur in sports. The first thing you need to know about a concussion is that it is a type of traumatic brain injury with varying symptoms including difficulty concentrating, sleeping, listening to loud noises, viewing bright lights, mood changes, memory loss, and problems with balance or coordination.


As concussion symptoms and causes become more well known there has been improved diagnosis in concussion and thereafter management. However, one question we frequently get is there a difference in men and women in concussion symptoms and management? The short answer is yes. Here is what is important to know between men and women when it comes to concussions. In women, concussion symptoms have been shown to be more severe when compared to healthy men of the same age (Moser et al., 2018). The symptoms that are more likely to be more severe in women is anxiety, dizziness and headaches. Whereas symptoms such as difficulty concentrating or memory appears to be about the same level of severity between men and women. This is important to note as some females may not have as many physical symptoms, but the severity of their concussion is shown through their emotional symptoms.


When considering what sports to play it also important to note that recent research has shown that females receive on average more concussions than their male counterparts (Clifton et al., 2018). It is unclear why this is the case, but it is theorized that it might be due to the smaller head to neck ratio in females or because females are more likely to report symptoms. As well, females take longer than males to recover from concussions and middle-aged women are more likely to suffer permanent symptoms. So if you’re a female and it is taking longer to recover from a concussion just know that this is normal and there is light at the end of the tunnel.


Think you might be experiencing concussion symptoms? Book with one of our physiotherapists today!

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