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Concussion Clinic - Tips to Recover from a Concussion

Most importantly avoid triggers

An important part of your recovery consists of identifying and avoiding triggers that may worsen your symptoms. Any activity that brings on or increases your symptoms is considered a trigger. It is important for you to know your triggers as they are different for everyone.

Avoiding triggers will reduce your symptoms faster and speed up your recovery.

Common triggers include activities such as reading, studying, writing, note taking, concentrating, noise, light, watching TV, texting, computer work, or video games. While recovering from a concussion you may notice your symptoms worsening throughout the day as your brain becomes more fatigued. Pushing through the symptoms may prolong the recovery process.

Take rest breaks

While recovering from your concussion you may notice you fatigue quickly and more easily. Most commonly people with a concussion will feel best early in the morning after a good night’s sleep.

As the demands of the day increase you may have more fatigue and more difficulty completing tasks. It is important to listen to these symptoms as they are related to your concussion and fighting through them may prolong your recovery. When you start to feel fatigued or strained with an activity step away and take the necessary rest as needed.

If you are in school, it may be best to step out of class and see if your symptoms resolve with a brief rest. If they do, you can go back to class. If not, you probably require more rest. You may find that studying in small increments with frequent brain rest breaks may be more tolerable.

Relative rest

It is important to rest; however, there is a fine line between “resting” and becoming sedentary. Research does show that light activity will help you recover faster. Please follow the “Walking Program Guidelines” to help your recovery.

Get enough sleep

Sleep is important! Our brains rely on a good night’s sleep to recover from the day’s activities. When recovering from a concussion, the brain needs to rest even more, and it rests best when sleeping.

You may sleep more than normal for only the first several days after your injury. You may notice after the first week thayou may have difficulty falling or staying asleep.

Sleep tips:

  • Do not take a nap after the first 3-5 days after your injury. Napping during the day affects your ability to fall asleep at night.

  • In the first 1-5 days after your injury, you may take a short nap (30-60 minutes) when you are tired. Naps are effective at “refreshing” the brain, but should be kept short (30-60 minutes) so as not to disrupt the ability to fall asleep for a full night’s rest.

  • Stick to a routine: Go to bed and get up at the same time every day.

  • Minimize distractions (TV, phones, computers) in your bedroom for 2 hours before your bedtime.

Increase water intake

It is recommended that you drink significantly more water per day than you usually do. We recommend that you drink at least half of your body weight in ounces.

Maintain balanced nutrition

It is important to be sure you are getting enough to eat and proper nutrition. Doing so will help your body to heal faster.

Avoid driving

It is not recommended that you drive while you are having symptoms. Driving is very stimulating and there are additional risks if you are driving with symptoms. The clinic will work with you on returning to driving.

Stay in upright positions

The more time you spend laying down the more your body relies on this position to feel better and the more difficult it becomes to resume normal activities. It is important to be in upright positions while you are resting during the day.

Practice stress management

Stress has a tendency to increase symptoms. It is important to remember that you will get better and we will continue to help you return to your normal activities. Practicing stress management techniques will help your brain recover.

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This page is not specific to your child, but provides general information on the topic above. If you have any questions, please call your clinic. For more reading material about this and other health topics, please call or visit Children's Family Resource Center library, or visit www.childrensmn.org/educationmaterials.

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