Managing a Concussion

If you think of a concussion like any other injury in your body it might help to understand them better.  If you sprain your ankle and after two days of sitting on the couch with an ice pack you go out for a run you will likely re-injure it and be back on the couch for at least two more days.

You wouldn’t just keep doing that would you? Think of a concussion the same way. Two days off work, you’re feeling kind of better, you go back to work for 8 hours and try to catch up on everything – that’s an overload for your brain and all the affected systems in your body. There you are back on the couch – full rest mode again.


This graph shows a “typical concussion” meaning it resolves within 5-10 days. It also shows the different outcomes when a concussion is properly managed, improperly managed and if there is a secondary impact before the brain has fully recovered. We call it “the trench” when there’s improper management – think of the ankle analogy above. The trench is not a great place to be, but it doesn’t mean you’re stuck there forever.

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