(HealthDay News) -- A concussion is a mild traumatic brain injury that occurs from a significant blow to the head.

The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons says while it's unclear about how much, if any, brain damage occurs from a concussion, the injury does temporarily impair brain function.

The academy offers these suggestions to protect yourself against a concussion:

  • Always wear protective equipment while playing sports, such as a helmet and mouthguard.
  • Make sure you are well-trained in your specific sport, and that you understand and abide by all rules.
  • If you get hurt, don't downplay or ignore your symptoms to try to return to the game.
  • If you think you have a concussion, do not continue playing and seek medical treatment at once.