What Should You Do Directly Following a Concussion?
Most people are able to fully recover from a concussion, but even if it seems your blow to the head was minor, one of the first steps you should take is a visit to your doctor. It is possible you can recover on your own, but why would you want to roll the dice on your health? Seeing a doctor can assuage any concerns you might have about your health and the nature of your injury. A doctor will also be able to advise you on what you should avoid during your recovery period to prevent any long-term damage.
Concussions do not necessarily leave a mark. You might feel completely fine immediately afterward, but without a visit to your doctor, you cannot be certain. A doctor will be able to conduct tests to check for any damage, determine the severity of the injury, and determine the best course of action for treatment. Some tests that are commonly performed include:
- Neurological Test: Your doctor might order a neurological exam in the ER in order to assess your motor and sensory skills, the functioning of your cranial nerves, hearing and speech, vision, coordination and balance, mental status, mood changes and behavior, and other abilities.
- CT Scan: A CT scan is a special computerized x-ray, which provides images of the brain. It is often used if a physician suspects brain bleeding or swelling.
- MRI Scan: This test provides detailed images of the brain through the use of magnetic energy instead of radiation.
Even if the MRI or CT scans come up negative, it does not mean your brain did not sustain any damage. It simply means it is not visible on the scans.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), rest is one of the most vital steps a person can take in the aftermath of a concussion. If you ignore your symptoms and try to immediately resume your usual routine, you could worsen your symptoms. Healing takes time. Heed the advice of your health care professional and gradually return to your daily activities when your symptoms reduce significantly. If your symptoms return after you resume your normal activities, or you experience new symptoms, this is likely a sign you are pushing yourself too hard. Allow yourself more time to fully recover and, if you begin to feel better, ask your doctor if it is advisable for you to return to your routine.
Tips For Recovery
In addition to visiting your doctor and following all recommendations, there are some general tips that are often conducive toward a better recovery. This includes:
- Get plenty of sleep at night, and make time for rest during the day.
- Avoid physically demanding activities, such as working out or heavy housecleaning.
- Avoid contact sports that might cause another concussion.
- Your ability to react might become slower in the aftermath of your concussion, so ask your physician when it is safe to drive a car, ride a bike, or operate heavy equipment.
- Ask your physician when you can expect to return to work.
- Consider reviewing your schedule with your employer to accommodate your medical needs.
- Only take drugs that were approved by your physician.
- Do not drink any alcoholic beverages until your physician says it is safe to do so. Alcohol can potentially slow your recovery and put you at risk for further injury.
- You might have a difficult time focusing, so avoid multitasking, especially when it comes to tasks that require your full attention.
- If you are in the midst of making important decisions, consult your family members or trusted friends first.
- Avoid extensive use of computers or video games while in the process of recovery.
Tips For Children
If your child has sustained a concussion, make sure you take him or her to the doctor as soon as possible. You can also help aid the process of recovery by following these helpful tips:
- Allow your child to get plenty of rest. Do not encourage late nights and do not allow sleepovers.
- Make sure your child avoids high-risk activities, such as sports, roller coasters, or other activities that might jeopardize his or her safety and risk another concussion.
- Give your child drugs that are approved by a pediatrician or the family doctor.
- Share information about your child’s concussion with teachers, counselors, babysitters, coaches, and other individuals who interact with your child to create awareness of his or her condition and to help them understand how to meet your child’s needs.
Sports Concussions and Head Injuries
Concussions and concussion-related disorders pose a serious risk to all types of athletes, from amateurs to professionals. They are linked to short and long-term physical, emotional, and mental injuries. The issues that many athletes face today could have been prevented if certain necessary steps were taken following their injury, but many were, unfortunately, failed and now live with the consequences of this failure.
At Shrader & Associates L.L.P., we understand the severity of this injury and will do everything possible to ensure you receive the compensation you deserve. Many of the life-altering effects of this injury require vast medical expenses, treatments, and even round-the-clock care. You should not have to pay for someone else’s failure. Our skilled and experienced legal team is here to fight to protect your legal claims.
Call us today at (877) 958-7920 for a complimentary consultation and learn more about how we can help you.