What Should You Do After a Concussion?

Medically Reviewed on 8/9/2021
concussion treatment
After seeking medical treatment for a concussion, you should continue to rest, stay hydrated, eat at regular times and avoid any activities that may result in another head injury.

A concussion is a mild traumatic brain injury caused by a blow to the head or violent shaking of the head and body. While most head injuries are common and do not result in permanent brain damage, it’s best if you consult a doctor if you experience a concussion.

After seeing your doctor, follow the tips below to help yourself quickly recover from your concussion.

Immediate treatment

It is advisable to be accompanied by another person for 24 hours after the injury and not drive or operate any machinery. Symptoms might still be developing, and you could lose consciousness or even have a delayed response during this period.

If you had a concussion while playing sports, you must not continue playing until you have been assessed by a specialist or an athletic coach. Sometimes, your doctor may order a computed tomography (CT) scan to be sure that there is no fracture in the skull or swelling of the brain.

Days 1 and 2 post-injury

The following steps can ensure safe recovery in the first two days after a concussion.

  • Keep away from caffeine.
  • Take rest no less than 8 to 10 hours in a 24-hour time frame.
  • Have somebody keep an eye on you to guarantee your side effects are not worsening.
  • Keep away from screen time on a PC, TV, smartphone or tablet.
  • Messaging or playing computer games require mental focus that can worsen your side effects as can the screen light and movement.
  • Enjoy a break from work, school, PC use and reading.
  • Keep away from bright light and loud noises.
  • Take a painkiller such as Tylenol (acetaminophen).
  • Keep away from sports or extreme exercise.
  • Stay hydrated.
  • Eat light and stick to a sound eating routine.
  • Keep away from alcohol because this might cover or worsen your symptoms.

One week post-injury

After about seven days post your injury, you can gradually continue with everyday activities if your symptoms seem to improve.

  • Gradually get active: On the off chance that your symptoms don't return or worsen, you can continue to add more intense activities. You can almost certainly get back to work or school within seven days of your injury.
  • Take breaks and alter what you do: If your symptoms return or worsen, attempt an alternate action, enjoy a break or try a milder adaptation of the action (i.e. walking instead of running, or reading an actual book instead of using a tablet).
  • Rest, drink water and eat: Continue getting a lot of rest, remaining hydrated, maintaining a solid eating habit and staying away from any activity where you may reinjure your head.
  • Be patient: Your injury must heal before you take part in sports or actual work where you could fall or be hit in the head.
  • Follow-up: In case you're uncertain if an activity is safe or your side effects are not improving, call your primary care physician (PCP).

Long-term treatment

Most of the time, all side effects of a concussion are gone within seven days to a month of the injury. In cases where symptoms are gone and your PCP has examined you, you may continue your everyday activities besides sports and exercises. Ensure that the concussion is healed and avoid risking a second head injury.

Symptoms of a concussion

Symptoms might show up immediately or in the hours and days following the injury, and can range from mild to severe, including:

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Medically Reviewed on 8/9/2021
References
https://emedicine.medscape.com/article/92095-overview

https://emedicine.medscape.com/article/92095-guidelines