How is a concussion treated?
If you have a concussion, your brain needs time to heal. It’s important to get rest from both physical and mental activities. Your doctor will let you know when you can gradually return to your normal daily activities. Most people who have a concussion get better within a week or two. Young children and teens may take longer to get better.
While you are recovering from a concussion, you should:
- Limit the time you spend on activities that require concentration (for example, texting, watching television, playing video games, using a computer or smartphone, or reading)
- Drink plenty of fluids
- Eat healthy foods
- Get enough sleep
- Ask your doctor before you take any medicine.
- Avoid alcohol
Don’t drive a car, ride a bike, or operate heavy equipment until your doctor says it is safe. While you are recovering from a concussion, you may feel frustrated, sad, or upset. Talk to your doctor, friends, and family members to get support and encouragement.
When can I return to play?
If you have any concussion symptoms after a blow to the head, neck, or body, you should not return to play on the day of the injury. If your concussion involves memory loss or loss of consciousness, you may not be able to return to play for several weeks. After a severe concussion, you may not be able to return to play for as long as a month. If this wasn't your first concussion, your return to play may take even longer.
A doctor who is experienced in evaluating concussions should let you know when it is safe to return to play. The recovery time will be different for each person. You should not return to play until your concussion symptoms are completely gone.
If an activity makes your symptoms worse, you should stop doing it. If your concussion symptoms continue to get worse, contact your doctor.
See a list of resources used in the development of this information.
Written by familydoctor.org editorial staff