When a person suffers from a concussion, they need to seek immediate medical attention. The sooner help is received, the sooner the healing process can begin.
The most important part of the concussion healing process is rest, both mentally and physically. After initial diagnosis, all physical exertions, including sports, should be avoided until symptoms improve and a doctor clears you for play. Mentally, all thinking activities should be limited to allow the brain to rest. This means limited studying, TV, video games, reading, using a computer, homework and texting.
While most people fully recover from concussions, the rate at which healing occurs depends on several factors, including age, severity of concussion, the individual’s health before the concussion and what the individual does after diagnosis.
Because headaches are common, acetaminophen (Tylenol) may be used for pain relief, but other pain relievers, including ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin IB), should be avoided due to increased risk of bleeding on the brain following the injury.
To recover swiftly, concussion victims should rest as much as possible. Sometimes this involves a doctor recommending you only attend half a day at school or working partial days to allow the brain time to heal without overworking. Getting an adequate number of hours of sleep each night is also essential. When it comes to daily tasks, avoid overdoing it and avoid any that are physically demanding.
The more concussions sustained over the course of a lifetime can lead to lasting and progressive mental impairments, including CTE. It’s imperative to allow your concussion to heal completely and receive a doctor’s clearance before returning to play to keep the brain as safe as possible. An athlete should never return to play the same day a concussion is received.