How Is a Concussion Treated, and What Can You Do During the Recovery Period?

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Keep Track of Things That Are Harder for You to Remember

Write down a list of the things that may be harder than usual for you to remember and bring it to your next doctor’s appointment. If you find yourself getting easily distracted, try doing one thing at a time. For example, focus only on making dinner instead of cooking while watching television.

Until your symptoms go away, ask a family member or close friend for help in making important decisions.

Talk With Your Doctor Before Returning to Normal Activities

When your healthcare provider gives you the go-ahead to return to your normal activities, do so gradually, not all at once.

Ask your physician when you can return to work and talk with your employer about your condition. Consider asking about returning to work gradually, including working half days and changing your work activities until you recover.

Since your ability to react may be slower after a concussion, consult with your doctor about when you can safely ride a bike, drive a car, or operate heavy machinery.

Avoid alcoholic beverages until your doctor says you are well enough to drink them again. Only take medication that you have spoken to your doctor about and have received approval for. Generally, for the first 24 hours, avoid taking aspirinibuprofen (Advil, Motrin), and naproxen (Aleve) for pain relief, as they can increase the risk of bleeding. After 24 hours, these medications are considered safe. Acetaminophen (Tylenol) can be taken within the first 24 hours for pain relief.

Initially, you may want to avoid sustained computer use, including computer and video games. Experts also recommend steering clear of roller coasters and other high-speed rides during the recovery period.

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