Concussion Recovery Time

So many factors go into determining exactly how long it takes to recover after a concussion. The severity of an injury is an obvious factor, but your age, your overall condition before the concussion, and how you take care of yourself after the injury also play an important role in determining concussion recovery time. It is never easy to return to your daily activities after you have had a concussion, but you need to be patient and know the steps to help improve your condition.

How Long Does It Take for Concussion to Recover?

In a study conducted on more than 300 patients and was published in the journal Pediatrics, it was found that people who continued with mental activity took an average of 100 days to recover. Young people are more likely to resume normal mental activity in a short time after concussion, but it is important to take a break if there are symptoms such as blurred vision, headaches, or dizziness.

Do I Need to Seek Medical Help After Concussion?

It is important to seek immediate medical attention if someone with concussions has unequal pupils, is confused, or has weakness on one side of the body. If a person has vomited more than once, is feeling dizzy, is unconscious, has slurred speech, or is unable to wake up, it is important to call 911 right away. It is also good to call emergency service if someone has a seizure, is off-balance, or has severe neck pain after a fall.

Stages of Concussion Recovery

Your concussion recovery time depends heavily on how severe the injury is. However, you will experience different symptoms and problems during different stages of recovery.

The Initial 72 Hours

This is usually the most critical stage because you will be experiencing different concussion symptoms due to many chemical changes in your brain. These changes take a few days to resolve. If you do not wait for these changes to resolve and return to work, you may have a prolonged recovery period as well as Second Impact Syndrome (SIS). Your doctor will order imaging tests, including MRI, CT scans and cervical X-ray, as well as some other tests, such as balance test, SCAT3 review of symptoms and King-Devick test.

Rest and Recovery

After the first few days, your doctor may order some tests, such as neuropsychology test, imaging tests, and balance tests to determine your condition. They will consider your test reports to develop a treatment plan for you. They will advise you to take rest, but not too much of it. They may also teach you some exercises that you need to incorporate in your plan. During this stage, you may also work through the Return to Play (RTP) and Return to Learn (RTL) protocols.

Dealing with Setbacks

You may have setbacks if you don't take enough rest during the recovery. During this stage, you need to consider how you felt soon after your injury and where you stand now in terms of recovery. It may have taken you back a month or so. Take some rest and try to get out of this stressful situation. Spend some time out with your partner or friends. Take a walk. Think about something else, something better.

Tips for Concussion Recovery

Now you have some knowledge about different recovery stages, you will be in a better position to determine how to shorten your concussion recovery time. Here are some more tips to help accelerate recovery.

1. Physical Rest

If you are an athlete, you have to avoid strenuous activity until you have no post-concussion symptoms at rest. Physical activity can aggravate your symptoms and delay recovery. You do not need to have complete bed rest though. You should at least be avoiding any sporting activity, weight training, and cardio training. Do not go for PE classes and refrain yourself from sexual activity as well. You will be better off avoiding leisure activities such as street hockey, bike riding, and skateboarding.

2. Cognitive Rest

A concussion have a direct impact on your brain's cognitive function and makes it difficult to concentrate, think, reason, or learn new things. If you do not take a break from mental activities, you will end up making your symptoms worse. Therefore, it is important to limit scholastic and other cognitive activities while you are recovering from a concussion. Avoid any homework if possible, limit reading, and avoid or limit visually stimulating activities such as video games, computers, or use of cell phones to minimize concussion recovery time.

3. Medications

Along with taking mental and physical rest, you need to take some medications as well to make you feel better. Headaches are quite common, but you can find some relief by taking acetaminophen. You can take aspirin or ibuprofen as well, but talk to your doctor first because they increase risk of bleeding. 

 
 
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