Concussion Treatment 101
Should you or a family member ever experience a concussion, the initial step is always to be seen by a physician. A medical team must access the injuries to your brain and determine whether you have a concussion or a more serious brain injury.
In order to be diagnosed with a concussion or brain injury, you need to have a neurological exam. This will likely occur in the emergency room by a physician. If they believe that you may have had a concussion or a more serious injury, they will likely order a series of more definitive testing, such as CT or MRI scans of the brain. A neurologist or radiologist will read the scans and determine the extent of the damage. Once it's determined the person has in fact experienced a concussion, a variety of treatment options will be suggested.
Concussion Treatment #1: Relaxation
The brain is a fragile, jello-like structure where all of our mental capabilities are held. Due to the fragility of the brain, housed within our hard/protective skulls, our brains are not supposed to endure trauma. After a concussion, your brain is in shock and small changes to the grey and white brain matter can result in minor or major effects. Because your brain is in this fragile state, your first step should be to let your brain rest. It is important not to stimulate the brain too much. You should take a few days off of school and/or work and. This may mean actual sleeping or otherwise avoiding intense information, for example video games, sports, concerts, bars and any noisy social conditions.
Concussion Treatment #2: Resume Activities Gradually
The rate where the mind heals varies individual to individual and injuries to injuries. You simply have one brain and also you shouldn't overwhelm it. Lots of people report challenge with:
- Loss of memory
- Decreased attention
- Mental fogginess
It is advisable to resume school, work and social activities a bit at a time. You might want to reduce your course load or work from home or part-time while you ascertain if you are able to handle it. Make certain that the instructors or boss realize that a part of your concussion treatment involves gradually returning to your prior degree of participation. Most teachers and bosses want understand the importance of cognitive healing and don't want you to put your brain and cognitive abilities in jeopardy.
Concussion Treatment #3: Cognitive Rehab Therapy
If the signs and symptoms of loss of memory, decreased attention and/or fogginess from of your concussion aren't healing on it's own, you might want to pursue cognitive rehab therapy. Inform your physician you want cognitive rehab therapy as a concussion treatment. She or he will refer you directly to a neuropsychologist, Speech-Language Pathologist or work counselor who'll perhaps you have do various functional activities to bolster your mind and thinking abilities. Most insurance companies will cover cognitive rehabilitation therapy. This type of therapy usually lasts for 2-3 months with twice weekly therapy. Cognitive rehab therapy focuses both on restorative and compensatory approaches to concussion treatment / cognitive recovery.
Concussion Treatment #4: Online Brain Games
A different way to strengthen your thinking abilities is as simple as playing online brain games created for enhancing cognitive abilities (for aging people or people seeking concussion treatment.) Many sites offer free tests or affordable brain games to assist your memory, attention and problem fixing improve as the brain is constantly on the heal. These games will work on specific skills related to memory, increasing your thinking skills, paying attention and problem solving.