Recovering from a Concussion


A concussion is defined as a mild form of traumatic brain injury caused by a bump, blow or jolt to the head.  The major causes of a concussion are falls, motor vehicle-related injury, unintentionally being struck by or against an obstacle, assaults, or playing sports.  Concussions are usually non life-threatening but their effects can be serious.

The recovery time for a concussion can depend on many factors including how severe it was, their age, their health status and how they take care of themselves after the injury.  Rest is very important after a concussion because it helps the brain to heal.  Be patient during the healing process because it takes time.  If you ignore symptoms then your injury may worsen over time.  Talk with a health care professional and when your symptoms have reduced significantly, you can return to your normal daily activities.  If symptoms come back, that may be because you are pushing yourself too hard and should take more time to rest and recover.

Below are some helpful tips for recovery

  • Get lots of sleep at night and rest throughout the day.
  • Avoid physically demanding activities or ones that require a lot of concentration.
  • Avoid activities that could lead to another concussion like contact and recreational sports.
  • When you feel ready to return to your normal activities, try making it gradual.
  • Consider talking with your employer about returning to work gradually.
  • Only take drugs your health care professional has approved.
  • Do not drink alcohol until your health care professional gives you the okay.
  • Write down things that may be harder for you to remember.
  • Try to avoid multi-tasking.
  • Consult family members or close friends when making important decisions.
  • Avoid sustained computer use in the early recovery process.
  • Eat a healthy and balanced diet.

Recovery can take longer if you already had a medical condition before your concussion.  Chronic headaches, anxiety and depression can make it harder to adjust to the symptoms of a concussion.  While you are healing, make sure to avoid doing anything that could cause another concussion.  People with repeated concussions may develop serious long-term problems such as chronic difficulty with concentration, memory, headache, and occasionally, physical skills like keeping one’s balance.