You don’t need to be playing a contact sport to get a concussion. Slipping and falling or being in a car accident can also result in this temporary condition. Recovering from a concussion may mean you need to make changes to how you work and your daily routine until you’re feeling better. Here’s all you need to know about concussion and how to make a full recovery.
What is a concussion?
A concussion is an injury to the brain. It is a temporary injury, and mostly the symptoms disappear as the brain heals.
What causes a concussion?
Concussions are typically caused by a direct blow to your head, face or neck. Head injuries can also occur when you experience an impact on your body that causes your head to be jolted. An example of this is when a car stops suddenly, and the whiplash to the body causes the brain to hit the skull wall.
What are the symptoms of a concussion?
The symptoms of concussion appear quickly after the event that jolts the brain. You don’t need to lose consciousness to have a concussion. The symptoms are temporary and usually resolve completely.
Common symptoms may include:
- Ringing in the ears
- Fatigue or drowsiness
- Blurry, double, or disrupted vision
- Balance issues or feeling dizzy
- Speech changes like slurring or forgetting words
- Confusion or feeling like you’re in a fog
- Amnesia (forgetfulness) about the traumatic event
- Sleep problems
- Mood changes like easily angered/ feeling low/ unexplained crying or irritability.
How long does a concussion last?
Symptoms of a bump to the head can resolve in several hours to several days; however, you may take several weeks to recover in some cases. Every one heals slightly differently. Getting help from a trained professional may help identify strategies that can help you make a quicker recovery.
How to treat concussion
When we work with clients who have had a concussion, we look at different aspects of their life to make sure they get the right treatment to help recovery.
We look at what you can do now compared with your activity and lifestyle before your head injury. We also look at your sleep patterns, diet, exercise, daily routines and work environment.
Taking all this into account, allows us to put in place a personalised treatment plan that helps you to recover best.
How to manage concussion symptoms at work
You may still be working when you have some symptoms of concussion. Sometimes your symptoms can make it tricky to deal with your work tasks.
Here are some things that you can do to help:
- Negotiate working shorter hours based around when you’re most able to concentrate on work. Some people find they can function much better in the morning, but their symptoms may limit what they can do in the afternoon.
- Changing your work routine to vary the tasks you have to do. Some people find they can’t spend too long looking at a computer screen and so regularly changing your jobs can also help manage your symptoms while enabling you to work.
- Prioritise your tasks. What has to be done, and what could wait a week until you are feeling better?
- Take regular breaks to conserve your energy. Both physical and mental breaks help restore your energy levels.
- Have small snacks between meals as your brain will be needing extra energy to heal.
- Ensure you’re sitting or standing comfortably to make sure bad posture or a poorly set-up workstation doesn’t make your concussion symptoms worse. Here’s a guide to how to make your desk work for you. https://www.tbihealth.co.nz/sitting-at-your-desk-guide/
How to manage concussion symptoms at home
If you’re recovering from a head injury at home, here are some tips that might help you:
- Get lots of rest, but don’t stay in one position.
- Eat regularly and drink plenty of water. Dehydration can make your concussion symptoms worse.
- Stick to a routine to help your sleep pattern.
- Prioritise and plan your home activities. You’ll be feeling more tired if you have a concussion.
- Use frozen or pre-prepared meals if you’re too tired to cook.
- Enlist the help of others in the house to help you out with daily chores and cooking.
Getting help from concussion professionals
Having an assessment by an Occupational Therapist or Physiotherapist is vital in ensuring a quick and speedy recovery from a concussion. They can help you to manage your symptoms and get you back to doing the things you enjoy.
TBI Health has an extensive clinical team of Physiotherapists, Medical Specialists, Nurse Specialist, Clinical and Neuro Psychologists, Occupational Therapists and Vocational Rehabilitation Consultants to help you recover from a concussion.
Find out more about our concussion services: