Close up of young girl

There are six different clinical trajectories, or types, of concussion and each type has specific triggers that bring on symptoms.

Below, match each concussion type (trajectory) with its symptoms and test your concussion knowledge!


Here are the basic symptoms of the six different trajectories (types) of concussions and their specific triggers (what can cause one to experience the symptom).

Never Miss a Beat!

Get Healthy Tips Sent to Your Phone!

Message and data rates may apply. Text STOP to opt out and HELP for help. Go to for privacy and terms.

Concussion Types and Triggers

Cognitive/Fatigue – trouble with extended and/or intricate mental tasks

  • Complex subject material
  • Long days

Post-traumatic migraine – trouble with any changes to routine/sensitivity to light or noise

  • Sleeping in
  • Loud concerts
  • Loud sporting events

Ocular – trouble with visual tasks and tracking motion

  • Visual tasks
  • Reading long passages
  • Looking at cell phones

Anxiety/mood – trouble with turning thoughts off and/or being excessively worried

  • Social interactions
  • Forced rest for active people
  • Being held out of routine activities

Cervical – trouble with any stress or pressure on the neck, spine and/or spinal cord

  • Bending over a computer
  • Carrying heavy backpacks

About Sports Medicine

Sports and physical activity bring with them a potential for injury. If you are looking to prevent, treat, or rehabilitate a sports injury – or improve athletic performance – UPMC Sports Medicine and the UPMC Sports Medicine Concussion Program can help. We serve athletes and active people of all ages and experience levels. Our experts partner with the Pittsburgh Steelers, Pittsburgh Penguins, Pitt Panthers, and about 100 other high school, college, and regional teams and events throughout Pennsylvania – working daily to build better athletes.