Help! What Should I Do After Getting a Concussion?

Recovering from a Concussion

Got into a fender bender and slammed your head on the steering wheel? Fell off a ladder, whacked your skull, and now you’re seeing stars? Knocked noggins while playing soccer and can’t feel woozy? Getting a concussion is serious business, and what you do in those first few minutes, hours, and days can either help heal your brain or hurt it and set you up for lasting cognitive, emotional or psychological issues.

 

Getting a concussion is serious business, and what you do in those first few minutes, hours, and days can either help heal your brain or hurt it and set you up for lasting cognitive, emotional, or psychological issues. Click To Tweet

THE PROBLEM WITH TRAUMATIC BRAIN INJURIES (TBI)

Your skull is very hard for a reason. It’s designed to protect your brain—the magnificent organ that is 100% in charge of you. Made up of 200 billion neurons (brain cells) and trillions of connecting fibers that are essential for everything you do, the brain is surprisingly soft and extremely delicate. Inside the skull, it is held in place by many sharp bony ridges; however, if your head hits something or there is a force against your head, your brain can get injured by slamming into the ridges and other parts of the skull. When that happens, it is likely to result in a concussion.

Trauma to the brain can also occur without a direct blow to the head, such as with a whiplash injury. The sudden forward and backward or side-to-side motion can make the brain move around the inside of the skull. The force of those movements can cause shearing of the axons—the fibers that allow neurons to communicate with each other—which can then interfere with brain function.

Although it is the most complex organ in the known universe, the brain was simply not designed to take any kind of physical punishment. Therefore, hits, bumps, or any kind of injury to the head should never be ignored. Whether caused by a fall, sports collision, motor vehicle accident or being hit by an object—and even if your skull is intact or you were wearing a helmet—concussions and the symptoms that result from them can be quite serious.

Although it is the most complex organ in the known universe, the brain was simply not designed to take any kind of physical punishment. Therefore, hits, bumps, or any kind of injury to the head should never be ignored. Click To Tweet

WHAT TO DO AFTER A HEAD INJURY?

The first and most important thing to do after suffering head trauma is to seek medical care as soon as you can to be evaluated for a possible concussion or TBI. In addition to understanding the cause of your head injury, your doctor will assess for symptoms, such as:

  • Confusion
  • Loss of memory about the event
  • Headache
  • Nausea

Head injuries can also cause bleeding in the brain which can be life-threatening and must be identified and treated immediately—often with surgery to release pressure on the brain. Although these cases are usually rare, it is imperative to get to an emergency room or call 911 as soon as possible if you have any of the following symptoms, along with the ones listed above:

  • One of your pupils is larger than the other
  • You cannot stay awake
  • An increasingly painful headache
  • Convulsions, seizures, or vomiting
  • Loss of consciousness–even if it was momentary
  • Balance, vision, speech, or movement problems

Fortunately, most head injuries don’t involve bleeding in the brain, but they still need to be taken seriously in order to avoid a deterioration of symptoms.

WHY YOU SHOULDN’T IGNORE MILD HEAD INJURIES

What if you just bumped your head, didn’t pass out and didn’t experience the common concussion symptoms? All too often, mild head injuries are minimized or overlooked, but there can be long-term consequences for undiagnosed and untreated concussions. The residual damage to the brain can exacerbate or lead to an increased risk for mental health problems, such as depression, anxiety, PTSD, anger and aggression, cognitive problems and dementia—and even suicide.

If your head is injured in any way, take it seriously and get the help you need right away, so you can start to recover in the healthiest and most expeditious way possible.

9 Strategies for Recovering from a Concussion

After being diagnosed with a concussion and following the advice and recommendations given to you by your doctor, the following 9 strategies* can also help you optimize your chance of a successful recovery:

  1. Have a TBI first aid kit on hand and support your brain with powerful antioxidants and nutritional supplements.
  2. Avoid strenuous activities such as working out, playing sports, or lifting heavy objects.
  3. Get 7-8 hours of sleep at night and relax as much as possible during the day to minimize stress on your body and brain.
  4. Limit time spent on the computer, TV, phone, or other screens because the light they emit—or eyestrain from looking at devices—can worsen concussion symptoms.
  5. Keep away from alcohol and recreational drugs. They are harmful to your brain and can extend your recovery time. You don’t need to add fuel to the fire!
  6. Stay well-hydrated with water and steer clear of caffeine.
  7. Eat a nutritious, well-balanced diet with clean protein, lots of fresh greens, veggies, and berries, and healthy fats like avocados.
  • Be sure to include foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids because they are critical for building healthy cell membranes, including the ones in your brain—think salmon, walnuts, and chia seeds.
  • Eliminate sugar products and simple carbohydrates because they destabilize your blood sugar, which leads to anxiety, irritability, and moodiness, plus they increase inflammation in your body.
  1. Avoid any activity that increases your risk for another concussion! It could lead to a condition called second impact syndrome, which can cause permanent brain damage.
  2. Be patient. Rushing the recovery process can set you back. By taking it easy and giving yourself the time needed for proper healing, you can potentially resume your regular activities more quickly.

*PLEASE NOTE: These strategies are not a substitute for actual medical care. If you have not seen a doctor for your head injury, do that first.

Concussions and head injuries can’t wait. During these uncertain times, your mental well-being is more important than ever.

At Amen Clinics, we’re here for you. We offer in-clinic brain scanning and appointments, as well as mental telehealth, remote clinical evaluations, and video therapy for adults, children, and couples. Find out more by speaking to a specialist today at 888-288-9834 or visit our contact page here.

5 Comments

  1. I’ve always been told to not go to sleep immediately after a concussion. True?

    Comment by Marvin Mark — June 14, 2021 @ 3:26 AM

  2. I have had at least 6 head injuries, and as I’ve gotten older things have become much more difficult. My #1 issue is the angry outbursts/reaction. Intermittent pain in my head. Focus and memory are next. I have been searching for some way to “nutrition” my way back, including taking some of your supplements, but nothing has improved. To make matters worse, I had an accident two weeks ago and another head injury. This one resulted in loss of balance, and mild headaches for a couple days, and more lack of focus. Memory is doubly bad. I don’t have insurance, so it takes an emergency to get tests done, and then I’m at the mercy of the doctors. I don’t have a great history with western medicine. Usually creates more problems than it solves. I feel like I’m flying blind and there is no help. I’ve taken your “test” 3 or 4 times, and purchased the recommended supplements. But, no improvement. You should have one specifically geared to people with head injuries. How many? To what area of the head? Etc.

    Comment by CAROL B PETERSON — June 14, 2021 @ 7:08 AM

  3. Hi, I was in my storage unit 1 yr ago. Set some boxes down on the floor in front of the door, as I turned around the
    door had swung shut and hit me in the frontal lobe. I didn’t pass out or fall down, kept my balance, did not want to
    hit my head a 2nd time on concrete. My brain was swollen for 5 days, saw my Dr., he said I had Tramatic Brain
    Injury. I was instructed to lay down for 8 wks, with out tv, radio, laptop, no reading, stayed off of my phone. Texted
    when needed, grocery shopped when needed. I had the worst headaches I could imagine!!! After 2 mos. headaches
    eased up, I resumed some cleaning, cooking, laundry. My brain is still feeling heavy, aches, fuzzy, experience loss of
    balance, migraines off and on, some irritation with people when I feel pressured concerning whatever, loss of memory,
    things are just different. I was informed that it could take 1 1/2 yrs. before my brain healed, or longer. I am taking
    brain supplements, omegas, and other good supplements. Diet on the most part is good, eat coconut oil, veggies, some
    starches, salads organic meats, etc. I am scared, as my brain feels funny. Stayed away from loud noises until these past
    several mos. Head still feels funny, scares me!!!! What should I do, lay down more and rest? I want to do some weights
    hoping to strengthen my legs. Walk in the evenings several times a week until I feel up to walking every nite. Are
    weights ok? I avoid people that start stressing me out w/the conversion. Have to walk away as my brain reacts by
    burning.
    If you have any suggestions, please, please let me know. Already had brain scans in Denver, which showed a lot of
    brain damage since childhood. I am seeing an integratlive Dr.

    Thank you for your time,
    sweetcvd@gmail.com

    Comment by Caroline Davis — June 14, 2021 @ 12:12 PM

  4. Hello Caroline. Thanks for reaching out. We’d be happy to reach out to you directly with more information regarding scheduling an appointment at one of our 9 clinics so that our doctors can help you out with your situation. We look forward to speaking with you soon

    Comment by Amen Clinics — June 14, 2021 @ 1:54 PM

  5. a few years ago i discovered that the memory i had as a child of cracking the back of my head whilst swinging had resulted in a fractured skull and little craniofacial development at the age of nearly 3yrs
    am now 71 – this all statred about 14 yrs ago with a dentist trying to help my mangled teeth
    was that a curved ball i’ve had to become aware of – pituitary problems and reproductive cancer
    look after your ol’ bonce people

    Comment by penny waters — June 15, 2021 @ 1:59 AM

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