Tips for Patients are available for download at www.neurologyreviews.com.
This page is part of an ongoing series of practical tips for patients with neurologic disorders. If you have compiled clinically relevant
tips that you wish to share, please contact the editor at email@example.com.
A concussion, the most common
type of minor head injury, is a mild
form of traumatic brain injury caused
by a blow, bump, or jolt to the head.
Concussions also can result from a
fall or a blow to the body that causes
the head to move rapidly back and
forth. The following tips can help if
you have a concussion.
Understand the causes. There are many ways a person
can get a concussion, but the leading causes of concussion
include playing sports, falls, motor vehicle-related injury, assaults, and being struck by or against an obstacle. If you have
a concussion, you should see your doctor.
Present your concussion history. Once you have a
concussion, your chances of having another concussion are
three to five times greater. Put together a concussion history,
so you and your doctor can decide on the best recovery plan
for your needs.
Avoid reinjury. As you are recovering from your concussion, avoid activities that might cause reinjury. Repeated
concussions may cause second impact syndrome, which
often is fatal, or lasting problems with speaking, movement,
Apply a cold compress. Using a cold compress can
reduce swelling. A bag of frozen vegetables wrapped in a
towel can be used, but never apply ice directly on your skin,
because it is too cold. Apply the compress every two to four
hours and leave it in place for 20 to 30 minutes.
Skip the alcoholic beverages. Avoid drinking alcohol
until your doctor says it is all right to drink. Alcohol and
other drugs may slow your recovery and place you at risk
of further injury. Only take drugs that are approved by your
health care professional.
Get plenty of rest. Most people fully recover from a concussion with rest. Resting is important after a concussion because it helps the brain to heal. There is no specific treatment
for concussion other than getting plenty of rest.
Discuss the proper time. Your reflexes may be slower
after a concussion. Ask your doctor when you can safely
drive a car, ride a bike, or operate heavy equipment. Also
speak with your doctor about when you can return to work
Be informed about recovery times. Some people recover from a concussion within a few hours. Other people may
take a few weeks to recover. How quickly you recover depends
on how severe your concussion was, your age, how healthy
you were before your concussion, and how you take care of
yourself after the concussion.
for Recovering From