What to do after having a concussion?

You have experienced a concussion, so what do you do now? In brief, you want to monitor symptoms as you implement a progressive exertion program (mental and physical). But let’s look at what this involves.

The 3 basic dimensions to monitor after a concussion


Include such things as headaches, nausea, dizziness, balance problems, light/noise sensitivity, fatigue, irritability, etc

Cognitive Issues

Such as memory problems, verbal processing, non-verbal processing, attention, etc.

Brain analysis

Involving EEG, qEEG, Event Related Potentials, fMRI, etc. These are different from CT scans or MRIs. These last two evaluate the structure of the brain and rule out such things as bleeding or cracks to the skull. MRIs or CT scans do not assess concussions.

Ideally, you would have acquired pre-concussion data so you would have some objective information to help you to evaluate if/when you have returned to pre-concussion levels of functioning.

If you have not done this, it is something you are strongly urged to consider because if it is available it greatly helps evaluate the recovery process.

When recovering from a concussion the more information you have across the dimensions listed above the better.

This is particularly the case if you are planning to return to some sport or activity that has a risk of concussion.

If at all possible you want to avoid sustaining another concussion until you are fully recovered from your current concussion.

The more information you have across the three dimensions the better able you will be to monitor and assess your progress. You want information in as many dimensions as possible because it is possible, for example, to have recovered from the symptoms you experienced, but to continue to have some cognitive issues, or vice versa.

Also, it is possible to have basically recovered regarding symptoms and cognitive functioning but there could still be some residual biomarkers of concussion in data from a brain analysis. 

The more information you have across the three dimensions the better able you will be to monitor and assess your progress.

You want to get together whatever information you have and then develop a plan to gradually increase your mental and physical exertion. The key is to “exercise” your brain to facilitate recovery, without over doing it and causing an increase in any of the symptoms or cognitive issues you are experiencing. Depending on the severity of your concussion, you may be able to do very little initially except rest. But, you want eventually to have a plan to gradually increase your mental and physical activity. This is where consultation with someone experienced in dealing with concussions can be helpful.

If you find that you are not getting better, if certain symptoms and/or cognitive issues are persisting for more than four to six weeks it will be time to consider getting a brain analysis.

Our bias is for a Functional EEG Analysis, as it is cost effective compared to other ways to evaluate brain function (e.g. fMRI, PET, Spect) and provides a lot of information about what specific areas of your brain continue to exhibit the residual effects of the concussion. This then allows for more specific recommendations to aid recovery.

Visit our Concussion Screening Services page to know more about its benefits. 

Give us a call if you want to know more. We will be more than happy to help you find the right treatment for your condition.

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