It’s vital an athlete be allowed sufficient time to recover from a concussion. In most cases, full recovery usually takes between ten to fourteen days.
As the number and severity of symptoms vary from person to person; graduated, individualized and conservative decisions should be taken as to when the athlete can return to school, work or play.
The key to proper concussion management and recovery is physical and cognitive rest until the symptoms disappear completely. Children, in particular, should be treated with caution as their brains are still in a development phase.
Step by Step Concussion Recovery
Contemporary concussion recovery typically involves a step-by-step approach. Serial symptom checks, physical examination and cognitive testing are followed by a series of exercise programs and suggested improvements targeting common concussion symptoms. Once successfully completed, a medically informed all-clear from a medical doctor enabling return to school, work or play is issued.
The Sports Concussion Programme offers free recovery tools that will enable you to make an informed decision as to when it is possible to return to normal activities:
Balance and Vision Training: a ten step exercise program guideline for adaption by spots physiotherapists to improve balance & vision
Back-To-School: tips on what to avoid in the classroom, and why, along with suggestions on how to manage the symptoms of concussion at school.
Back-To-Exercise: a five stage exercise program coupled with an itemized symptom check applied during each stage.
General Concussion Recovery Rules
General rules that should apply to anyone post concussion are:
- Avoid strenuous activity until all the symptoms of concussion have disappeared when at rest. Physical activity can lead to a deterioration of symptoms and a delay in concussion recovery time.
- Reduce day-to-day and school or work related activities until symptom free.
Effective concussion management is enabled by:
- Physical and cognitive rest.
- Medical treatment of the symptoms of concussion.
- Baseline and/or post injury computerised neurocognitive tests.
- Step by step concussion recovery tools which assess and recommend when an athlete should return to play.
Visit our concussion management page to find out more about managing long-term effects of concussion.