A repair and recovery strategy based on return to play guidelines allows the brain to heal after a concussion.
- Constant monitoring of the athlete post-injury, especially within the first 24 to 72 hours.
- Rest from work, school, normal social activities and sport so as to allow sufficient time for a full recovery.
- Preventing a second impact or injury by avoiding any activities that may jerk or impact the head.
- Avoiding certain medications, alcohol and drugs.
If an athlete’s condition quickly deteriorates, immediate hospital transfer is required. A brain scan will usually form part of the diagnostic process to determine whether there is a more serious, potentially fatal head injury.
Recovering from Concussion
Concussion recovery times vary from athlete to athlete, but are typically within a ten to fourteen day period.
Because the consequences of a second concussion during convalescence can be cumulative and dangerous, it’s essential the athlete has completely recuperated before returning to school, work or normal activities such as driving a motor vehicle. The athlete needs to provide the coach with written medical clearance from a medical doctor before starting team training.
The most efficient and effective way of treating concussion is to manage the injury properly as soon as it occurs.
Further Management and Testing
There are occasions when a more thorough and sophisticated concussion management strategy is required. This can be in the form of a specialist consultation, more advanced concussion testing, and a longer recovery period.
Consider an advanced concussion management strategy in the event of:
- Lingering symptoms which may suggest a more severe head injury.
- Prolonged loss of consciousness and memory loss.
- Multiple concussions, especially where the injuries appear to be recurring with less impact force or take longer to heal.
- The presence of neurological disorders such as ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder), learning difficulties, depression or mood disorders.
Accurate diagnosis is the first step in concussion management. Find out more about concussion testing now.