How Soon After My Concussion Can I Return to Sports Again?

“How soon after my concussion can I return to sports again?”

That’s one of the questions we’re asked quite often here at our Ottawa concussion clinic.

Let’s take a look at what causes sports concussions, what concussion recovery & concussion treatment are like for athletes, and how soon one can return to playing his or her sport following a concussion.


snowboarding injury concussion

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Sports-Related Concussions & Traumatic Brain Injuries

football player has head injury suffers concusisonConcussions are, sadly, not an uncommon phenomenon in the world of sport.

One does not need to be involved in a ‘contact sport’ to suffer a concussion, either.

From basketball and soccer to skiing, cycling and many other sports, concussions can occur due to a number of reasons.

Of course, concussions are even more frequent in contact sports such as hockey and football.

No matter which sport, athletes are always looking to get back to their training regimen and competition ASAP.

When Can One Return to Sports After a Concussion?

cyclist falls suffers concussionThe short answer is that there’s not a one-size-fits-all answer to this question of concussion recovery time for athletes.

Everything depends on the nature of the concussion or traumatic brain injury and the concussion symptoms being experienced – combined with the overall health of the athlete, medical history, the sport in question and other lifestyle factors.

While the first concern for an athlete is, “When I can get back onto the court / ice / field / gym etc.?” As concussion specialists, we must first look at the proper course of concussion treatment.

Concussion recovery time and effectiveness is greatly linked to the concussion treatment that is given to the concussion patient.

The concussion treatment must be carried out properly to (a) ensure maximum effectiveness and (b) lower the chances of concussion or traumatic brain injury recurrence or worsening.

football player background

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Factors That Can Affect Concussion Recovery Time

concussion evaluation of a football playerThere are many different factors that can affect the concussion recovery process. Some known factors that can vary the time it takes to recover from a concussion include:

Age - Young children and teens who brains are still developing will typically require more time to recover from a concussion.  Older adults can also expect to have a longer concussion recovery process.

Pre-existing Conditions - Post concussion symptoms and longer recovery times are common in individuals who have a history of mental or physical conditions, including: headaches, migraines, anxiety, previous concussions, chronic pain, depression, or sleep disorders.

Cognitive Downtime - Individuals that reduce cognitive activity following a concussion can expect to have a quicker recovery period.

Physical Rest - During the early stages of concussion recovery, it's important to limit physical activity. Athletes that experience prolonged symptoms can benefit from a gradual return to play that is highly monitored by a professional.

The concussion recovery period changes for one person to another. It's important to note that some athletes can feel better after a few days while others can take weeks to recover. Our recommendation is to take it one step at a time, recover in moderation, and work with a concussion specialist to ensure a safe return to sport.

What Types of Concussion Treatment Are Available for Sports?

soccer player gets concussionOnce diagnosed with a concussion, your Emergency doctor or general physician probably advised the classic recovery method: Rest.

While it is true that rest and time are major factors in concussion recovery, nowadays there are several forms of concussion treatment available. When done in tandem with overall rest and proper nutrition, concussion treatments can be very effective in decreasing concussion recovery time and increasing the efficacy of the concussion recovery.

At our Ottawa concussion clinic, we focus on the science of chiropractic neurology in treating concussions in athletes and other individuals.

Athletes and sports fans alike will probably recognize the concussions that hockey superstar Sidney Crosby suffered, and most know that he was able to recover from those brain injuries and continue with his stellar sports career.

Did you know that we offer the same Sidney Crosby concussion treatment (aka the ‘Carrick Treatment’ ) here at our Ottawa concussion clinic?

This form of concussion treatment in Ottawa incorporates a number of techniques in the Sidney Crosby treatment style, including:

  • Videonystagmography to measure how eyes track targets
  • Saccadometry, which measures how fast eyes can hit a target
  • Posturography, to assess how well the brain maintains balance

We offer a full range of concussion treatments, any of which can be performed once a consultation has occurred and we have worked together with you to develop a customized concussion recovery plan.

Ottawa Concussion Recovery & Concussion Treatment for Sport

When you meet with the Ottawa concussion clinic at Broadview, we’ll be able to get a better understanding of the specific nature of your concussion or brain injury.

Once this has been established, we will be able to let you know an approximate timeframe in which we can work together towards the goal of getting you back to your training regimen & competition once again.

Contact us today to find out more and get started on your road to concussion recovery.