What can be expected after treatment for a concussion?

Most people make a full recovery after a concussion. How quickly they get better depends on how severe the injury was, how healthy they were before the injury, and how well they follow their treatment plan. In all cases, rest is one of the most important treatments for a concussion because it helps the brain to heal.

It's helpful to identify and avoid things that cause your symptoms. For instance, if symptoms get worse when you read for 10 minutes, decrease to eight minutes. Or if they increase with bright light, try lowering the lights or wearing sunglasses.

While recovering from a concussion, it is important to avoid anything that could cause another jolt or blow to the head or body. A repeat concussion that occurs before the brain has recovered from a first one can slow permanent recovery and increase the chances for long-lasting problems. These problems include difficulties with concentration and memory, headaches, and sometimes physical skills such as keeping one's balance.

When can an athlete return to play after a concussion?

Before an athlete can return to play, he or she must be totally symptom-free and return to his or her concussion baseline (pre-concussion) scores. Once the athlete has returned to baseline, he or she should start a five-day program in which he or she increases activities while any symptoms are monitored. If any symptoms return, the athlete should return to complete rest.

If I have a concussion, how likely am I to have another one?

Once you have a concussion, you are at three to five times greater risk for later concussions.

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