Rest is the most appropriate way to allow your brain to recover from a concussion. Your doctor will recommend that you physically and mentally rest to recover from a concussion.
This means avoiding general physical exertion, including sports or any vigorous activities, until you have no symptoms.
This rest also includes limiting activities that require thinking and mental concentration, such as playing video games, watching TV, schoolwork, reading, texting or using a computer.
Your doctor may recommend that you have shortened school day or workdays, take breaks during the day, or have reduced school workloads or work assignments as you recover from a concussion.
As your symptoms improve, you may gradually add more activities that involve thinking, such as doing more schoolwork or work assignments, or increasing your time spent at school or work.
For headaches, try taking a pain reliever such as acetaminophen (Tylenol, others). Avoid other pain relievers such as ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin IB, others) and aspirin, as there's a possibility these medications may increase the risk of bleeding.
If you or your child sustained a concussion while playing competitive sports, ask your doctor or your child's doctor when it is safe to return to play. Resuming sports too soon increases the risk of a second concussion and of lasting, potentially fatal brain injury.
Evidence is emerging that some people who have had multiple concussions over the course of their lives are at greater risk of developing lasting, and even progressive, impairment that limits their ability to function.
No one should return to play or vigorous activity while signs or symptoms of a concussion are present.
Experts recommend that adults, children and adolescents not return to play on the same day as the injury.
Apr. 02, 2014
- Evans RW. Concussion and mild traumatic brain injury. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed Oct. 30, 2013.
- Halstead ME, et al. Sports-related concussion in children and adolescents. Pediatrics. 2010;126:597.
- Concussion: What can I do to feel better after a concussion? Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. http://www.cdc.gov/concussion/feel_better.html. Accessed Oct. 30, 2013.
- Heads up: Concussion in youth sports. A fact sheet for parents. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. http://www.cdc.gov/concussion/HeadsUp/youth.html. Accessed Oct. 30, 2013.
- Heads up: Facts for physicians about mild traumatic brain injury (MTBI). Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. http://www.cdc.gov/concussion/HeadsUp/physicians_tool_kit.html. Accessed Oct. 30, 2013.
- Head injury. American Academy of Pediatrics. http://www.healthychildren.org/English/health-issues/injuries-emergencies/Pages/Head-Injury.aspx. Accessed Oct. 30, 2013.
- Schutzman S. Minor head trauma in infants and children. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed Oct. 31, 2013.
- Giza CC, et al. Summary of evidence-based guideline update: Evaluation and management of concussion in sports: Report of the Guideline Development Subcommittee of the American Academy of Neurology. Neurology. 2013;80:2250.
- McCrory P, et al. Consensus statement on concussion in sport: The 4th International Conference on Concussion in Sport held in Zurich, November 2012. Journal of Athletic Training. 2013;48:554.
- Wetjen NM, et al. Second impact syndrome: Concussion and second injury brain complications. Journal of the American College of Surgeons. 2010;211:553.
- Halstead ME, et al. Returning to learning following a concussion. Pediatrics. 2013;132:948.
- Neurological diagnostic tests and procedures. National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. http://www.ninds.nih.gov/disorders/misc/diagnostic_tests.htm. Accessed Oct. 31, 2013.
- Brown AW (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. Nov. 19, 2013.
You Are ... The Campaign for Mayo Clinic
Mayo Clinic is a not-for-profit organization. Make a difference today.