Concussion recovery can vary greatly causing minor symptoms for a day or wreak havoc on someone’s function, sleep, emotions, and abilities. There are some factors that can indicate longer healing time but this type of injury doesn’t always follow the rules. Some things that can indicated longer healing times are a history of anxiety, family history of migraine, being female, and increased age. The truth is severity of the injury does not correlate to the trajectory of your recovery. One thing that does correlate to a better recovery is time to seeing a specialist. When patients saw a concussion trained healthcare provider they reduced the incidence of post-concussion syndrome to under 5%. If you want to speed up your concussion recovery or change the course of trajectory do it sooner than later. Be proactive in your recovery so that you don’t have to deal with ongoing illness. Keep reading for tips on speeding up your concussion recovery.
Food, alcohol, and sugary beverages can all lead to inflammatory within your gut. The gut-brain axis which is the biochemical signaling that takes place between the GI tract and the central nervous system. The central nervous system is injured by a concussion and these processes can also be injured allowing more inflammation to the brain. Inflammation can lead to a slew of problems including headache, dizziness, brain fog, and memory impairments. Eat a diet low in sugar and high in protein and fiber. Look to include smoothies and salads are primary foods packed with spinach, kale, edamame, organic blueberries, and wild caught salmon. Foods high in Omega-3 and magnesium can be especially beneficial.
A concussion specialist means someone with advanced understanding and training in concussion management. Look for someone with ongoing education in this area who makes it a top priority to keep up on the evolving research. The list of providers include physical therapists, occupational therapists, speech therapists, chiropractors, neurologists, physical medicine and rehabilitation doctors, neuro optometrists, or health coaches.
As early as 48 hours after your injury it is safe to return to light exercise as long as it doesn’t provoke your symptoms (make them worse). If you are experiencing symptoms with light aerobic exercise then work with a physical therapist to guide you on a specific exercise regimen. Exercise intolerance can be a problem after concussion if it affects the autonomic nervous system and the way that your body responds to exercise. A fast heart beat, increased symptoms with light exercise, or difficulty becoming restful can be signs that this system isn’t regulating properly.
Until someone has had a concussion or really dives deep into understanding it they cannot truly understand what you are going through. This can be frustrating as we often expect people to understand our needs. Use communication to help them understand what you are feeling and get support where you need it. People have different levels of empathy, sympathy, and support ingrained in their personalities. If you aren’t getting the support that you need from certain relationships they can be draining energy that you don’t currently have. This can be harmful to your recovery. Put those relationships on hold in order to make space for your healing, wellness, and recovery.