Self-care and recovery tips on resting, health, exercise and sports, driving, and daily activities.

Self-care and recovery

In the days after the injury, you may continue to experience some symptoms. If you have any concerns, follow up again with your doctor. Below are some general tips to help while you get better.

Rest

For the first few days you may need to rest. Your symptoms may seem worse when you are tired or if you have done too much. Be sure to get a good sleep each night.

Medications and alcohol

Only take medication that has been approved by your doctor. You should avoid alcohol and other recreational drugs while you are recovering from a concussion.

Exercise and sports

You can start light aerobic exercise such as walking or stationary cycling once you are symptom free at rest. Gradually increase activity frequency and intensity as long as you remain symptom free. Avoid any activities and sports where there is a risk of getting another concussion. It is strongly advised that you get medical clearance before returning to sports. Always wear proper protective equipment.

Driving

Do not drive for at least 24 hours after your injury. You should not resume driving until you feel safe to do so. Contact your doctor if you are unsure whether you should drive.

Daily activities

Do not attempt to immediately do all of your usual activities, including work or school, at the pace you did prior to the concussion. It is strongly recommended that you gradually ease back into your usual routine and pace yourself by resting between activities. It is often necessary to plan to return to work or school for only a few hours each day at the beginning. This is particularly important if you are a full-time worker or student.

If you have not experienced improvement over time as expected, other factors that could be affecting your recovery should be considered. These include such problems as pain, poor sleep, depression, or anxiety. Be sure to talk to your doctor if things don’t improve.

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