Treatment

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 activities that increase any of your symptoms, such as general physical exertion, sports or any vigorous movements, until these activities no longer provoke your 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, if these activities trigger your symptoms or worsen them.

Your doctor may recommend that you have shortened school days 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.

Your doctor will tell you when it's safe for you to resume light physical activity. Sometimes, you're allowed to do light physical activity — such as riding a stationary bike or light jogging — before your symptoms are completely gone, so long as it doesn't worsen symptoms.

Eventually, once all signs and symptoms of concussion have resolved, you and your doctor can discuss the steps you'll need to take to safely play sports again. Resuming sports too soon increases the risk of a second concussion and potentially fatal brain injury.

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 these medications may increase the risk of bleeding.