We all know that one person who has experienced a concussion or you may have suffered one yourself.
How do you manage a concussion?
Who should you see? Is there really anything you can do – or does it just take time?
5 Things to DO:
- Stop! All physical and mental exertion. Take time away from the activity, work, and school. Do this immediately. The first 3 days are especially critical.
- Rest! Allow your body to recover properly with physical, emotional, and cognitive rest. Rest allows your brain time to recover.
- Seek treatment with our concussion specialists or physiotherapists. You can receive treatment almost immediately after sustaining a concussion. The sooner the better, know what you can do to manage your symptoms as soon as possible.
- Ensure ample hydration & appropriate electrolyte consumption. Just like when you’re sick, your body needs more water & optimal nutrition to help you recover.
- Sleep & nap when needed up to 72 hours post-injury. Similar to other injuries, like an ankle or knee, your brain can only get complete regenerative rest when you get proper sleep. For concussions, it’s just a little more important.
4 Things to STOP doing or avoid:
- Attending the emergency room, or other busy/stressful places, unless you suspect brain trauma/bleed or head/spinal fracture. These environments are highly aggravating which can delay your recovery & take time away from the activity, work, and school.
- Screen time such as cell phone or computer use. These devices can cause increased cognitive strain.
- Sport participation, this includes attending or watching practices or games. It is better to take time away from the sport – it will decrease the cognitive stress of watching. Also, your teammates & coaches will likely want to know when you will be returning and that can cause increased emotional stress.
- Blood thinners such as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAID) and alcohol. If there is any risk of bleeding of the brain these substances can increase bleeding, which can increase the amount of damage to the area.
By Meagyn Green, Clinical Concussion Coordinator, Kinesiologist, Registered Massage Therapist (Collegiate Sports Medicine, Red Deer AB).
Our Concussion Centre offers a comprehensive treatment plan and assessment and will help to get you on the right path fast.