3 Common Lies Doctors Tell After a Concussion

3 Common Lies Doctors Tell After a Concussion


By Kabran Chapek, ND

When someone suffers a concussion or head injury and they go to the emergency room, they usually go through a battery of tests, including brain imaging with a CT scan or MRI scan. If nothing serious is noted—no bleeding, no swelling—they’re typically sent home and told to “watch and wait and take Tylenol for a headache.” That’s standard protocol in the traditional medicine world.

Many people, if not most, do recover from a concussion, but what about those who don’t? Postconcussion syndrome may affect 40-80% of people after they have a concussion. In these cases, “watch and wait” isn’t helpful advice. In fact, some of the recommendations people get after a head injury may inadvertently be slowing or even preventing the healing process.

Why Didn’t Kevin Get Better

That’s exactly what happened to Kevin. During a high school soccer match, Kevin leaped high to make a header, but instead of hitting the ball, his head collided with another player’s skull. There was a sickening thud and the youngster tumbled to the ground, where he cried out in pain.

Fortunately, Kevin didn’t lose consciousness, but his parents insisted on taking him to the ER anyway. Following a long wait, a short examination, and a quick visit to the CT scanner, the ER doc informed Kevin and his parents that based on the results of the CT scan, he had suffered a concussion but would be “just fine.”

But Kevin wasn’t fine. Instead of recovering quickly, as most teen boys do, he experienced splitting headaches, had trouble with his memory, and sank into depression.

That’s when Kevin came to see me. As a doctor of naturopathic medicine, my goal is to treat the root cause of symptoms and heal the underlying brain injury rather than simply recommend over-the-counter pain relievers and rest.

Kevin isn’t alone. I’ve had many patients who have suffered a TBI who are able to function and get through everyday life, but who remain plagued by lingering symptoms, such as anger, focus issues, balance problems, dizziness, tinnitus, depression, anxiety, fatigue, or insomnia. They typically come to me as a last resort when their traditional doctors didn’t have the answers they wanted or the solutions they needed.

The Falsehoods That Prevent Healing

When mild brain injury symptoms persist the way they did in Kevin’s case, traditional doctors typically tell people three things, all of which are false. In my book Concussion Rescue, I write about how these three falsehoods can prevent you from getting better, as well as the three truths that will put you on the path to faster healing.

Lie #1: There is nothing more that can be done.

Truth: There are many things a person can do to heal from a concussion. Telling someone there’s nothing that can be done is like an invitation to wallow in misery. Even worse, it can lead the way to bad lifestyle habits that actually intensify feelings of anxiety, depression, and anger; make it harder to focus, and increase sleep disturbances.

Lie #2: Healing happens over time.

Truth: Time does not necessarily heal all wounds. Although rest and high-quality sleep are important, rest alone is not always enough to heal. This advice causes people to simply sit back and wait for the healing process to occur rather than taking a pro-active approach. This means you spend more time feeling bad rather than getting on the road to feeling better.

Lie #3: If healing doesn’t occur over time, you can take stimulants to help with brain function, antidepressants for mood swings, and muscle relaxers for sore muscles.

Truth: Stimulant medications, antidepressants, and muscle relaxers are not necessarily the best solutions, and in some cases, they can exacerbate symptoms. Healing from a concussion is possible, but because brain injuries are complex, the solution must encompass more than just popping pills. By following a TBI rescue program that takes a comprehensive brain-body approach, you can accelerate the healing process, even if an injury occurred years earlier. It’s never too late to start healing from a TBI.

For Kevin, after just two weeks on an appropriate treatment program, his headaches diminished, he began to regain his memory, and he was feeling much better about his life. He was thrilled with his progress but wished he had known earlier about all the simple things he could do to promote healing.

In Concussion Rescue, author Dr. Kabran Chapek shares the specific programs and protocols he uses at Amen Clinics to put patients on the pathway to healing from TBIs. Order your copy here.

If you or a loved one is struggling with symptoms that may be related to a TBI, understand that treating the underlying damage to the brain is the key to feeling better fast. At Amen Clinics, our Concussion Rescue Program has helped thousands of people heal from concussions and improve their quality of life. Speak to a specialist today at 888-288-9834 or schedule a visit online.



  1. I have had 4 concussions. Same comments post concussion syndrome. Can’t function brain not clear. No answers 2011 to 2015. Finally unable to move hospitalized. NMO diagnosis.

    Anyone I could see. RN and haven’t been able to work since 2011. I’m 66 yo and loved working.

    Anyone that I could see. Live in New York. Now have Medicare and Suffolk County Blue Cross Blue Shield

    Thanks, Carol Fitzsimmons- Gongolewski
    631 834 9202

    Comment by Carol — December 30, 2019 @ 5:51 PM

  2. What about concussions that happened in you and bring problems of memory later in life??? Any help for that??

    Comment by Judith — January 6, 2020 @ 10:53 AM

  3. I had a TBI with bruising on my brain back in April,2019. I am 57 and fell 6 feet and whacked my head on my tall dresser and the wooden chest at the end of my bed. Knocked out
    Could not get up. 1 over night in hospital,

    I still feel like I am in a fog bubble every day along
    With many other symptoms . Yes , I seek help seeing dr.
    But I feel pushed aside, like no one cares .

    My newest symptoms are dreams of passed. Bad dreams of when I was a young girl . I dream of my abuser who would use to knock me around.
    I know they are dreams, but this has been causing me more
    anxiety and fatigue .

    Comment by Mary Ferrara — January 20, 2020 @ 7:27 AM

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