Dealing with a concussion can be a stressful and unpleasant experience. Here are some tips and advice to help guide you through those first few days post-injury. Note that this information should not be a replacement for an individualized management plan from your healthcare practitioner or doctor.
- Ease into activities and take regular breaks from anything that requires a lot of concentration or effort. Certain headaches can be caused by the neck; your treating osteopath can help provide relief via manual therapy if this is the case.
Difficulty concentrating or memory issues:
- This can be common post-concussion and will improve with time. Similar to above, take it easy with activities that are too mentally demanding. Write things down or ask friends and family to help remind you of any important dates or information that needs remembering.
- Our ability to sleep properly can be impacted temporarily. Try to practice good sleep hygiene if this is the case. Reducing electronic screen time, avoiding caffeine, and performing relaxation techniques such as meditation before bed may help. Your treating osteopath will be able to provide more specific and advanced advice in this area.
- Feeling down, anxious, scared or irritated can be normal following a concussion. These feelings are not here to stay. Communicate with friends and family and reach out if you need support. Meditation, mindfulness and breathing exercises may assist in reducing stress and anxiety. Light exercise may also help, however, follow the advice of your treating osteopath or healthcare provider before returning to physical activity.
Dizziness, balance problems and nausea:
- Dizziness, feelings of unsteadiness and balance issues may occur. This can also lead to nausea or feeling sick in the stomach. This should resolve within a few days. Avoid sudden movements, particularly of the head, and take everything a little more slowly for now. A thorough assessment and management plan designed by your treating osteopath will help to resolve any lingering issues.
Fatigue or feeling slowed down:
- Following a concussion, the brain has significantly less energy than usual. Even seemingly easy tasks can be tiring. Avoid strenuous activities or high pressure situations for now, and give yourself plenty of time to complete daily tasks.
Light and noise sensitivity:
- Sensitivity to noise and sound is normal as the brain recovers. Shaded glasses can help manage this, however, these should not be worn for long periods as your sensitivity may last for longer than usual when these are removed. Find quieter environments if needed, or communicate with those around you to keep noise levels down.
Diet and supplementation:
- Keeping it clean and healthy is essential as the brain and body recovers post-concussion. Stay hydrated, avoid alcohol and eat your fruit and veggies. Keeping away from pro-inflammatory foods such as processed meats and fast food will also help. Your treating osteopath will be able to provide more comprehensive advice on the appropriate diet and supplements necessary to assist your recovery.
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