Athletes and active people love to blow off injuries. “Oh, it’s minor,” they say. “I can keep going.” No one, at any age or level of competition, wants to be stuck on the sidelines if they can help it. The problem is that nearly all injuries are made worse by returning to your activities too early. Waiting is hard, but it is the key to a successful recovery—and that is especially true for recovering from a concussion.
Concussions are a type of mild brain trauma that comes from being hit in the head. While they can happen to anyone, athletes tend to be disproportionately affected. Headaches, blurry vision, nausea, dizziness, balance issues, and trouble speaking or thinking are common side effects that can be uncomfortable and impair daily life.
Treating this type of injury involves helping the body heal itself. This means taking it slow, cutting back on physical and mental activities, and generally giving your brain a break. Returning to sports or other activities too soon can actually delay your healing. That’s why patience is absolutely key to your concussion recovery. You should never try to go back to sports after a head trauma without being cleared by your medical team first.
Now, does being patient mean you can’t do anything? No, there are ways to help your body cope and adjust as you heal. Therapies to manage your balance and related gait problems after your head injury can all be beneficial. However, for everything else, you’ll need to take it slow. Avoid excessive mental stimulation from lots of sights and sounds. Limit your exposure to screens like TVs, computers, and smart phones in particular. Get plenty of rest.
Recovering from a concussion takes time, but your health is worth it. Our teams at Castle Pines Physical Therapy and Cherry Creek Physical Therapy are happy to help you manage side effects from a head injury, or help you slowly ease yourself back into physical activities. Make an appointment with us online, or call our Colorado offices at (303) 805-5156 to get started.