Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) > What Causes TBI?

A traumatic brain injury can occur when the following happens:

  • an outside force impacts the head hard enough to cause the brain to move within the skull
  • an outside force causes the skull to break and directly hurt the brain

A rapid acceleration and deceleration of the head can force the brain to move back and forth across the inside of the skull. The stress from the rapid movements pulls apart nerve fibers and causes damage to brain tissue. This type of injury often occurs as a result of motor vehicle crashes and physical violence, such as Shaken Baby Syndrome.

A direct blow to the head can be great enough to injure the brain inside the skull. This type of injury to the head can also break the skull and directly hurt the brain. A direct impact can occur from motor vehicle crashes, firearms, falls, sports, and physical violence, such as hitting or striking with an object.