Top Five Concussion Management Tips
Concussions can happen for a variety of reasons. Whether you're playing a competitive sport or simply walking down the stairs, an accident can result in a concussion in a matter of moments. A concussion is a serious condition that should be managed and cared for until the patient is restored to health. If you or someone you love is currently recovering from a concussion, it's important to engage in effective concussion management. Here are five top methods and tips you should consider when managing a concussion.
Your brain is an organ just like any other, and it's important to give it some rest after you've been injured. If you've sustained a concussion, it's important to let your brain rest just like you would let your knee rest if you’ve hurt it. Cognitive rest can include any of the following:
- limiting bright lights and loud noises
- refraining from watching upsetting programming (like the news or horror movies)
- avoiding or limiting stress wherever possible
- literal rest and sleep
While cognitive rest doesn't mean you have to stop doing everything, it does mean you should give your brain time to deal with the trauma. The more you give your brain to do, the less energy it has for healing, and the slower your recovery will be.
Managing Your Mood
Perhaps one of the most difficult foes in the concussion recovery process is your own mood. Depression, anxiety, and frustration are very common among concussion patients. Dealing with limited functionality, memory loss, and other common symptoms that can happen after trauma make it hard to manage your mood. However, mood management is critical to concussion management. Here are some things you can try:
- surrounding yourself with supportive friends and family members
- listening to inspiring talks
- watching uplifting videos
- getting involved in a support community
- taking up art or another creative hobby
- meditation, light yoga if your doctor approves, and being in nature
All these things can help you stay in good spirits. Positivity is critical to recovery. Surround yourself with things and people that make you happy.
Seek Alternative Therapies
Your doctor will likely prescribe some medication and certain activities he or she wants you to do as you recover. However, seek out additional therapies, as well. Flotation therapy, hot stone massage, acupuncture, and other therapies are available and can help you manage your symptoms and recover faster.
Nutrition and Supplements
Maintaining adequate nutrition and a balanced diet is critical for concussion management. Make sure you're eating lots of healthy foods, particularly those that help brain function and healing. Here are some foods that have proven helpful for concussion management and recovery:
- raw cacao
- pumpkin seeds
- aloe vera
- any dark, leafy greens
Supplements that have been helpful to many concussion patients include:
- fish oil
- Arnica Montana
- cell salts
- ginko baloba
- folic acid
Extremely high doses of fish oil, due to their fatty acids, have proven helpful for many concussion patients. Some have taken as many as 15,000 mg daily. Always talk to your doctor before adding supplements, but do look options that have helped many other patients.
Perhaps the most important tool at your disposal for concussion management is education. Research and learn more about what’s helped other concussion patients as much as you can. Getting a better understanding of how the brain works, and knowing what kind of concussion you have means you can help your brain heal optimally.
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