Just a Bump on the Head? Maybe Not! Here’s Some Common Types of Head Injuries

traumatic brain injury

A head injury refers to any injury to your skull, scalp or brain. This can be anything from a bump to the head or a bruise that lasts a few days to a severe concussion or traumatic brain injury. Some common examples include scalp wounds, skull fractures and concussions. The consequences and treatments for head injuries can vary a lot, depending on what caused the injury and the severity of it. 

A head injury may be either closed or open. A closed head injury refers to any injury that doesn’t break the skull, but if the injury is open, this refers to one where something causes a break to your scalp, entering your brain. 

Simply looking at the injury isn’t always enough to assess a head injury. Sometimes, a minor injury will bleed a lot and look much worse than it is. On the other hand, a severe head injury might not look that bad as it is as most of the damage is internal. 

What Causes a Head Injury?

Head injuries can be divided into two categories based on their cause. Head injuries generally occur because of sustaining a blow to the head or due to shaking. Head injuries that occur due to being shaken tend to be more common in children and babies. Head injuries caused by trauma to the head are often associated with falls, car accidents, sports accidents, and physical assaults. In the majority of cases, your brain will be protected from serious harm by your skull. Some injuries to the spine are also severe enough to cause a head injury. 

Major Head Injury Types

If you are considering claiming for a head injury, then it’s worth getting a better understanding of the major head injury types. You can usually make a head injuries claim for any of these head injuries that have occurred through no fault of your own. 


A haemorrhage refers to bleeding uncontrollably. There might be bleeding in the space around your brain, known as a subarachnoid haemorrhage, or an intracerebral haemorrhage, which is bleeding inside the brain tissue. Common symptoms of a subarachnoid haemorrhage include headaches, sickness and vomiting. How serious the haemorrhage is will depend on how much bleeding there is. However, any amount of blood can lead to a build-up of pressure. 


This injury is a clotting or collection of blood outside of the blood vessels. A hematoma occurring in the brain can be a very serious condition. This can lead to pressure that builds up inside the skull. As a result of this, you may end up unconscious, or in more severe cases, it can cause serious and permanent damage to the brain. 

Skull Fracture

Unlike many of the other bones in your body, the skull doesn’t have any bone marrow. This means that the skull is extremely strong, making it difficult to break it. However, if the skull breaks, it is unable to absorb the impact of the blow, making it more likely to cause damage to your brain. 


A concussion happens due to the impact on your head being severe enough to cause brain injury. It’s considered to be a result of the brain knocking against the hard walls of the skull. It can also be caused by the force of sudden acceleration and deceleration. In general, the loss of function that occurs as a result of a concussion is usually temporary. However, repeatedly suffering a concussion can lead to permanent damage over time. 


Any kind of brain injury can lead to an edema or swelling. There are several injuries that cause a swelling of the surrounding tissues. However, when it occurs within the brain, it can be very serious, as the skull can’t stretch to accommodate the swelling. This can cause a build-up of pressure in the brain, leading to the brain pressing against the skull.  

Diffuse Axonal Injury

A diffuse axonal injury refers to an injury to the brain that doesn’t lead to any bleeding but does cause some damage to the brain cells. Damage to the brain cells results in them not functioning properly. It can also result in causing more damage through swelling. Although it is not as visible as other types of brain injury, diffuse axonal injuries are some of the most dangerous types of head injuries, which can lead to permanent brain damage, or even be fatal. 

Head Injury Symptoms

Since your head has a higher number of blood vessels compared to other parts of your body, any bleeding on the surface of the brain can be a very serious concern. However, not all head injuries will cause bleeding. Some common symptoms are mild confusion, a headache, nausea, light-headedness, and temporary ringing in the ears. 

Head injuries are a common type of injury that can be caused by various types of accidents and incidents. Understanding the common types of head injury can be helpful if you have been injured through no fault of your own.