information provided by theconcussionblog.com
Once a medically trained doctor has assessed a concussion the injured person must follow certain guidelines to help assure a full recovery. The best medicine in the early stages is REST, and this does not just physical rest, but COMPLETE rest. Your brain needs time to heal and like all injuries that time will vary with the person, the intensity of the injury and the frequency. A simple guideline is to eliminate cognitive function of the brain so there should be NO:
Loud Music or Noises
Additionally, if lights or sounds bother your symptoms, you should avoid brightly lit rooms and/or music and busy hallways accordingly.
Complete rest is recommended in the first few days following injury to help ameliorate the metabolic energy crisis that’s taking place in the brain. Complete rest is not something that should go on for weeks on end. If the symptoms are not clearing up in the first 7 days an individualized management strategy is needed – for example: from an organization like Shift Concussion Management or a Healthcare Professional to help guide recovery and identify any specific areas that need to be addressed.
SCHOOL AGED INDIVIDUALS
Rest should be continued until all signs and symptoms have resolved. Rest in this demographic should and would include exclusion from school. When trying to learn the brain is working, thus not resting. Even if the kid went to school the bright lights, the loud noises and the exercise the brain needs to just navigate the hallways is enough to impede progress in resolving this injury. As a reminder, it may be good to take the cell phone, computer and video game systems from the kids. They should return to school when all signs and symptoms have resolved.
RETURN TO ACTIVITY (including Physical Education)
Current graded return to play guidelines for athletes that have sustained a concussion. This particular model was adapted from the 3rd International Conference on Concussions held in Zürich in 2008. Important to note is there are no guarantees on timelines so always consult a proven medical doctor who has taken training in dealing with concussions before returning.
1. No activity, only complete rest, proceed to step two only when symptoms are gone.
2. Light aerobic exercise such as walking or stationary cycling. Monitor for symptoms and signs. No resistance training or weight lifting.
3. Sport – specific activities and training (eg. skating in hockey). No contact or risk of contact.
4. Drills without body contact. May add light resistance training and then progress to heavy weights. The time needed to progress from non-contact to contact exercise will vary with the severity of the concussion and player.
5. Begin drills with body contact.
6. Game play.
As stated above each step should be only attempted if there is NO signs or symptoms as they relate to the concussion.
It is also important to realize that a concussion or head injury, in general, will not resolve in a typical linear fashion. Meaning that “on day one you have this and by day 7 you should be here,” as is common with other general orthopedic injuries.
The head is mysterious and responds differently for each individual person. Set-backs will be common and should be expected. When they do occur you should regress to the previous step in this process and begin again.
They should not return to school until symptoms have improved significantly. At the start, school days may need to be modified (ie. Half days, frequent breaks, etc.).
After Concussion: Physical and Mental Rest Keys to Recovery
After a sports concussion physical and mental (e.g. cognitive) rest are keys to recovery, says Dr. William P. Meehan, which means no video games, homework, or other activities that tax the brain and force it to work extra hard.
Watch video – source momsteam.com
Factors in Return To Play Decision After Concussion
When it is safe for a youth or high school athlete to return to play contact or collision sports after symptoms of concussion clear depends on many factors, says Dr. William Meehan, including the athlete’s age, baseline test data, time symptoms take to clear and severity, and concussion history.
Watch video - source momsteam.com
Please note: The above list is not exhaustive nor does having one or more of these symptoms mean that someone has a concussion. It is merely a guide to possible concussive symptoms. It is important to seek medical attention.
Be mindful and remember that if you suspect a head injury/concussion that you should consult a medical professional, preferably one that has experience with concussions and return-to-play.