I May Have a Concussion — What Now?

What should you do if you think that you may have suffered a concussion?

If you’ve been in a car crash or you’ve had a fall or a sports injury, and you think you may have suffered a concussion, here are the things that you should do.

Go to a doctor

Go to a doctor, get a diagnosis, and follow your doctor’s recommendations. Here are the things that I hear most often from my clients that their doctors have told them to do. And they said that they’ve received a favorable response after following these recommendations. I’ve also seen those results in my own research.

The number one thing is rest

The very first thing is rest. Your brain needs rest. I always go back to the following example: If you had a shoulder injury or if you broke your arm, you’re not going to go use your shoulder or your arm. You’re going to put it in a sling and you’re not going to use it. So don’t use your brain.

If you have a concussion, your brain was injured and it needs rest. So the number one thing to do is rest. It’s very hard because other people can’t see your injury, so they’re not going to understand why you need rest because you look normal. But just know that you have to do that for yourself. You have to take care of yourself. That’s number one.

Stay home

If possible, stay home. Don’t go to school. Don’t go to work. Again, too much brain stimulation is not going to help you in any way. You can do some low level physical activity like walking. Try to avoid screens of any kind, including TVs, cellphones and computers. It’s time for an audiobook. Again, just let your brain rest.

If you do try to start doing some activity and you notice that you might have some vision changes or you might start to feel a headache or you might start to feel a little lightheaded, stop what you’re doing and take a break. Wear sunglasses or a hat. Create a dimmer and quieter workspace.

It takes time

This is particularly important when you go back to work or school. Ease into all the stimuli that are out there. Be careful with decision making and financial calculations. Unfortunately, there is no magic pill. You can’t just take something to make a concussion go away or make it heal.

It just takes time. You can’t force your brain to get better more quickly. It’s not your fault. Your brain was injured. It has to go through a healing process. Every brain injury is different. It’s a physical injury that just takes time.

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