Concussion: Should you rest until it resolves?

There has been an alarming increase in the number of concussion cases in AFL recently both at a professional and local level. What’s more concerning however, is the lack of understanding as to the correct management to assist recovery.

Google concussion management and you’ll find: rest, avoid triggers, sit in a dark room, switch off your phone and wait it out. However Osteopath Jo Vaughan has studied concussion management in North America and tells us that prolonged rest may actually lead to a longer recovery. “Generally, immediate rest of approximately 2-3 days is helpful but following this, it’s time to ease back into your normal daily activities, with the help of a professional to determine the pace of this”.

Keep reading below to learn more or take advantage of our FREE 15 minute concussion assessment with Osteopath Jo.

Now that football season is well underway, head injuries are back in the limelight. Following a head injury on the ground, “if in doubt, sit it out.” Stay off the ground, get assessed by your team health professional and it’s also a good idea to be cleared by your GP to make sure no other serious damage has been done. 

What causes concussion & what to look for….

Interestingly, concussions aren’t always caused by a blow to the head. Quite often it’s a tackle to the body or a slip/fall or car accident resulting in a whiplash type movement. The quick movement of your head and neck causes a twisting of the two hemispheres of the brain and tearing of the important structures connecting the two sides together. Fortunately, most symptoms of a concussion will resolve within 1-2 weeks but an unlucky few of us will struggle with these symptoms for months or years later. The most common symptoms are:

  • headaches
  • fogginess/dizziness
  • neck pain
  • visual symptoms
  • sleep disturbances
  • depression/anxiety.

How can we help?

When it comes to the recovery, Jo may be able to help ease the acute symptoms of concussion. After a good chat with you to figure out exactly what’s going on and some special examinations, we’ll work on a management strategy together. If needed, we may get some other health professionals involved. Give your body a few days rest following the injury, then pop in to see us for an evaluation, within the week if possible. 

More information:

Curious about concussion in sport? Should your child wear a helmet to play? Visit concussion expert Dr Alan Pearce’s site for up to date research.

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