A concussion is an injury that, if treated properly, will heal on its own. Caring for a concussion is centered on creating the best environment possible to allow the brain to rest and recover. This can require some accommodations and restrictions to be put in place for normal daily activities. Keep in mind that every concussion is unique and therefore care needs to be personalized for each individual, and for each concussion.
Giving the brain time to rest is vital to treating a concussion. If an athlete is suspected of having a concussion, that athlete cannot return to play for the rest of the day. In order to heal, the brain requires more resources than the body can provide.
- Limit mental exertion. Activity that requires focus and concentration, like school, homework or reading, can increase the number and severity of symptoms.
- Limit visual activity. Large amounts of visual stimulation require more energy usage from the brain and, in turn, typically increase the number and severity of symptoms. This includes television and computer usage, as well as activities such as texting, video games and reading.
- Avoid physical activity. Avoid all contact activity and unnecessary physical exertion until you are completely symptom free and cleared by a physician.
- Maintain diet and hydration. Stick to a regular eating schedule. Drink plenty of water.
- Sleep. Rest and sleep are some of the most important ways to help a concussion heal.
- Control pain. Tylenol is preferred.
Once you are symptom free, follow up with your doctor before attempting exercise on your own. Second Impact Syndrome,where a second concussion occurs before the first has healed, can lead to permanent brain injury. Concussed individuals need to be cleared by a physician before returning to sport and physical activity.
If you have been diagnosed with a concussion, our physical therapists will work with you at these locations.
Sports Medicine Center
8700 Watertown Plank Road
Wauwatosa, WI 53226
Orthopaedic, Sports and Spine Center
N91 W15750 Falls Parkway
Menomonee Falls, WI 53051
West Bend Rehabilitation and Sports Medicine Center
1190 E. Paradise Drive
West Bend, WI 53095