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You (or someone you love) have been diagnosed with a concussion. What should you do now? Can you manage your symptoms on your own or do you need to find a physical therapist to help you return to your prior level of function? Below are a few tips to manage symptoms.
Tip one: Relative rest
It is no longer considered the standard of care to fully rest for a few days after a concussion. The idea of relative rest is the way to recovery. This idea is that you get up and move around your home and do things as tolerated, but try not to exacerbate your symptoms. Do not participate in aerobic activities temporarily, and avoid any activities that increase the risk for another head injury. Maintain a sleep schedule and nap as needed for the first few days. You should wean off the naps as soon as you can tolerate it so that they don’t interfere with night time sleep.
Tip two: Monitor your symptoms
You want to avoid the rollercoaster of symptoms over the course of hours/days. The goal is to keep your symptoms at a manageable level. If you feel your symptoms are increasing, take a break from the activity and let your symptoms come down.
Tip three: Snacking
You may notice that your symptoms are worse right before you eat and they improve after your meal. This is because your brain needs nutrients to function and it needs even more to heal. Snacks can be a good way to manage these symptoms. Make sure to eat healthy snacks with good nutrients. Snacks to consider early on after a concussion are high in omega 3’s for their anti-inflammatory properties and proteins.
If these basic tips don’t help you manage your symptoms or they are not enough, seeing a physical therapist would be helpful to manage and treat post concussion symptoms. Give your local ACCESS PT office a call today. We’d love to help!