Different Types of Concussion-Related Fatigue
Physical Fatigue – Following a traumatic brain injury, many patients experience muscle weakness, which causes physical fatigue. It’s important to work on balance and to avoid overly sedentary behaviour.
Psychological Fatigue – You will likely experience mood swings, anxiety, or depression with a concussion, often making it difficult to find motivation to do anything.
Mental Fatigue – With a concussion, it may take more energy to focus because you can’t process information as quickly, leaving you mentally exhausted quicker and more often.
How Can You Manage Your Energy Levels With a Concussion?
Stay Active – Although you may feel weak or fatigued, it’s important to gradually increase activity levels throughout recovery.
Get Good Sleep – A good nights sleep is crucial for helping your brain recover and to restore your energy.
Plan & Prioritize – Plan your days out and prioritize your tasks to avoid overwhelming yourself with too much mental or physical stress.
Get Treatment – A concussion specialist can address specific symptoms more accurately and effectively to make your recovery process both smoother and quicker. Check out our proven concussion treatments!
Fatigue is a common symptom experienced after a concussion and plays a significant role in the recovery process. It is the body’s way of signalling that it needs rest and time to heal. Fatigue serves as a protective mechanism, as it helps limit cognitive and physical exertion, allowing the brain to recover from the injury.
The exact mechanism by which concussions cause fatigue is not fully understood. However, it is believed that the disruption of brain function and the energy-intensive process of repairing damaged brain cells contribute to the fatigue experienced after a concussion. Additionally, other associated symptoms such as disrupted sleep patterns, headaches, and increased mental effort can further contribute to fatigue.
The signs of fatigue after a concussion may vary from person to person, but common symptoms include feeling excessive tiredness, lack of energy, difficulty concentrating or thinking clearly, decreased motivation, increased irritability, and feeling physically weak or exhausted even with minimal exertion.
The duration of fatigue following a concussion can vary. In most cases, fatigue gradually improves over time as the brain heals. For the majority of people, fatigue subsides within a few weeks to a few months. However, in some cases, it may persist for a longer period, especially if the concussion is severe or accompanied by other complications. It’s important to note that each individual’s recovery timeline can be unique.
Yes, there are several strategies that can help manage and reduce fatigue during concussion recovery:
- Get adequate rest and prioritize sleep to allow the brain to heal.
- Establish a structured routine and gradually reintroduce activities as tolerated.
- Pace yourself throughout the day by taking regular breaks and avoiding overexertion.
- Manage stress levels and practice relaxation techniques, such as deep breathing or meditation.
- Maintain a balanced diet and stay properly hydrated.
- Engage in light physical activity, as tolerated and advised by a healthcare professional.
- Seek support from healthcare providers, who can provide guidance and recommend appropriate strategies based on your specific situation.
It’s important to consult with a healthcare professional for personalized advice and recommendations tailored to your individual needs and recovery progress.