Recovery Time For A Concussion

What is the typical concussion recovery time frame? The recovery period for a concussion will vary from person to person. It can vary depending on the type of concussion and whether they’ve developed post-concussion syndrome.

Receiving a concussion isn't a rare occurrence, especially for people who participate in contact sports like football or boxing. Any sudden movement or blow to the head can cause the brain to rapidly shift or turn inside the skull, resulting in a concussion. Although they’re mild most of the time, medical professionals consider concussions to be mild traumatic brain injuries that should be taken seriously.

Cells and nerves in the brain can become damaged, causing a temporary change in how chemicals in the brain work. The severity of the harm created by a concussion differs, as there are several types of concussions, each one graded on the intensity of the symptoms.

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What Is Post-Concussion Syndrome?

It’s expected of an individual who has received a head injury to feel dizzy, fatigued, and to have a headache.

However, when these symptoms continue to linger days after getting a concussion, it’s a sign that the person has developed post-concussion syndrome.

In addition to feeling dizzy and tired, post-concussion syndrome has secondary symptoms which include:

  • Vertigoconcussion recovery time - a woman can't sleep because of her concussion
  • Memory problems
  • Insomnia
  • Trouble concentrating
  • Irritability
  • Sensitivity to noise and light
  • Anxiety or depression

Typically, post-concussion syndrome can be diagnosed if the patient has been experiencing 3 or more of the above symptoms days after sustaining a concussion.

However, each person deals with the symptoms differently, so there is no definite way of diagnosing PCS.

It’s important to note that the severity of the concussion has no impact on whether or not the individual will develop post-concussion syndrome.

How Long Does Concussion Recovery Take?

By following the doctor’s orders and taking enough rest, concussion recovery time will be around one to two weeks.

It’s important to avoid any strenuous physical activity amidst recovery. Tiring yourself before you’re completely healed can potentially extend the recovery period and cause any damage to become worse.

a doctor explaining the concussion recovery time to a patient while referencing his CT scanConcussion recovery comes in two phases, the acute phase, and the recovery phase. The acute phase is the initial period after receiving a mild traumatic brain injury, in which the symptoms are most felt.

During this phase, the brain will require generous amounts of both mental and physical rest. The brain needs to be able to heal and return to its normal function. Typically, the acute phase lasts for a week.

Once a patients’ symptoms begin to subside and the patient feels more physical improvement, the recovery phase begins. Academic and athletic activities can resume, as long as it’s done in moderation.

Remember that concussions affect people differently, some people can recover from a concussion in a few days whereas others can take weeks to get back to normal.


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How to Deal With Concussions

The best course of action when you think you have a concussion is to immediately consult a medical professional. They can determine the severity of your injury and can provide you with specific recovery tips.

The most advised tip to follow after sustaining a concussion is to limit exposure to light and sound and to avoid unnecessary movement to the head.

a woman struggling at work because she didn't know the standard concussion recovery time and went back to work too early

After a concussion, you’re likely to become sensitive to loud noises and bright lights, as the chemical balance in your brain may have been temporarily altered.

Try to stay away from fluorescent lighting and reduce screen time. The strain caused by looking at the screen for long periods of time can make concussion symptoms worse.

Although obvious, do your best to avoid any activity that may jostle your head or neck. This type of sudden movement is what caused the brain injury in the first place, so minimizing these movements will allow your brain to recover faster.

Treatments for Concussion Recovery

Concussions can result in several disorders, including vestibular disorders, balance and focusing issues, and movement problems.

Vestibular rehabilitation is an effective and useful treatment for balance and vision issues caused by brain injuries and movement disorders.

This treatment comes in the form of physical therapy and is an exercise-based program. It can help reduce vertigo, dizziness, and imbalance, all of which are symptoms of post-concussion syndrome.

After a person has sustained a concussion, their vestibular system may no longer function properly. This can cause a variety of imbalance and coordination problems.

The damage to the vestibular system will cause the brain to receive distorted signals, resulting in imbalance and vertigo. Auditory therapy uses sound to heal the mechanisms in the ear that deliver information to the brain.

Combined with vision therapy, auditory therapy can restore the vestibular system to its original state and everything will be back to the way it was before.

Consult an Ottawa Concussion Specialist at Broadview Spine & Health

To determine the most suitable treatment option, a proper and in-depth diagnosis is required. Our concussion specialists have the experience and tools needed to dictate the extent of your injury and come up with a detailed diagnosis and recovery plan.

Whether you’ve suffered a mild concussion or a severe one, you can rest assured that you’re in safe hands.

Get in touch with us to learn more about recovering from a concussion and book an appointment with a specialist today.