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Natural Awakenings North Central New Jersey

New Recommendations for Concussion Treatment

Woman with ice bag on head

Antonio Diaz from Getty Images/CanvaPro

The conventional treatment for concussions has been to rest in a dark room until symptoms go away. Research has consistently shown that strict rest is not beneficial and may significantly delay recovery, but the medical community has been slow to change its ways. Organizations like the Concussion Alliance are working to change that by educating patients and providers.

The Consensus Statement on Concussion in Sport, a report prepared by an international panel of experts, recommends active rehabilitation. Immediately following a concussion, the report recommends continuing daily living activities, sleeping as needed and reducing screen time for 48 hours. Patients can return to light-intensity activity such as walking during the initial 24 to 48 hours following a concussion, provided the activity does not more-than-mildly exacerbate symptoms. After the first 48-hour period, the intensity of physical activity can be increased, so long as symptom exacerbation remains mild.

In a concussion, the brain jiggles and twists, causing the neurons—long, cordlike cells that transmit signals—to stretch and fray. During recovery, the brain reroutes signals around the damaged neurons. The healing process may result in exhaustion, headaches, feeling emotionally drained and having trouble performing simple tasks. Physical activity aids the healing process.

5 Top Tips to Finding Your Next Doctor

1 Keep an Open Mind! Healthcare has come a long way. Today, you have access to practitioners that branch outside of traditional medicine and aim to identify the root causes of conditions while using alternative treatments that may help you get the relief you need. Just because it’s not a pill, doesn’t make it pseudoscience.

2 Build Your Health Care Team. There is no one doctor that can be the be-all-end-all for your health needs. Be sure to have a team of practitioners with different “lenses” and areas of expertise who will treat the root cause and not just the symptom(s).

3   Environment Influences Healing. Health is multi-factorial. Your mental and emotional environment plays a pivotal role in your healing potential. Your doctors and their staff should create an office atmosphere filled with positivity so you can get the most out of your care.

4 Your Story Matters.  Before you begin any treatment, be sure to have a comprehensive consultation to discuss your health concerns. Find practitioners who welcome questions and will take the time to listen and treat you with respect.

5 Report of Findings. When it comes to our health, we often make decisions without understanding the risk versus benefits. Knowledge is an important part of the healing process and is essential to make conscious, informed health decisions. Find practitioners who take the time to explain their exam findings and the recommendations for treatment in ways that make sense to you.

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