Guideline for Concussion Recovery
What is a concussion?
A concussion is considered a type of traumatic brain injury often referred to as a mild traumatic brain injury. The term mild is used to indicate that the effects of a single concussion are not long term. A concussion may be associated with or without a loss of consciousness. Coaches, athletes, trainers, and medical professionals are becoming better educated to identify and deal with concussions, but many do not know the best way to recovery from one. Here are the 5 best guidelines when recovering from a concussion.
- Get plenty of sleep
Our brain recovers during sleep. Sleep is even more important when recovering from a concussion. It is common to feel more exhausted from daily activities such as school or homework while recuperating from a concussion. If needed, take short naps (30 to 60 minutes). Try not to take so many that they interfere with your ability to sleep later on at night. Minimize any distractions and screen time while trying to fall asleep.
- Identify and avoid triggers
Any activity that produces or increases symptoms is considered a trigger. It is important to know what aggravates your symptoms in order to modify or avoid those triggers. For example, if bright lights are provoking the symptoms, wear sunglasses or a hat. As the recovery process evolves, it may be appropriate to gradually reintroduce some of these triggers under the guidance of a healthcare professional.
- Rest your brain
Overstimulating your brain after a head injury will delay the recovery process. Using your brain to think hard, read, study or try to learn new material may be very difficult and may aggravate symptoms. Processing new information can be harder for an individual who is concussed. Take frequent rest breaks while studying and performing work duties. Spread your schedule out so that work does not become overwhelming. Students and parents should talk to teachers about adjusting assignments and exams during the recovery process.
- Rest your body
While recovering from a concussion, avoid doing anything that significantly increases your heart rate unless you’ve been cleared by a healthcare professional. Light activity, such as walking or riding a stationary bike, may actually help in your recovery, as long as it doesn’t worsen the symptoms. Return to physical activity should always be monitored by a healthcare provider.
- Be smart
Returning to sports or other activities too soon after a concussion can worsen symptoms and prevent the person from getting back in the game. Concussion rehabilitation and recovery should always be performed under the guidance of an experienced healthcare team. If you have any questions about concussion recovery, contact Transform Rehabilitation and get back in the game!