When a concussion occurs you may be unsure what you should do first. With each situation being vastly different, it’s easy to see why this confusion may occur. However, with something as dangerous as a brain injury, it’s important to make sure you don’t take any risks. That’s why it’s recommended to follow the steps below to ensure the injured person is cared for in the most effective manner possible.
Step 1: Look for Signs of a Concussion
Did you know loss of consciousness isn’t the only sign that a concussion has occurred? There are many more signs and symptoms that you should look out for, even if the injured person has managed to stay awake. These include:
- Headache (gets worse over time)
- Jumbled or Slurred Speech
- Blurry Visions
- Mood Changes
- Problems With Word Finding
If any of these symptoms are apparent or the injured person just isn’t acting like themselves, don’t take any chances. Transport them to a hospital right away to receive medical care and a full evaluation.
Step 2: Rest and Recover
Rest is one of the most important parts of the recovery process, so it should not be skipped. Even if a person thinks they feel okay, it’s important for them to rest as long as their physician recommends. Doing so can help prevent further injury to the brain as it is very sensitive to overstimulation.
Overstimulation occurs when the demand on the brain is greater than it can handle. This will cause an increase of symptoms and it usually takes less stimulation than most think.
Step 3: Follow-Up with a Functional Neurologist
While immediate medical care will ensure there are no imminent dangers present, it’s still important to follow up with a Functional Neurologist as nearly 50% of individuals will continue to have symptoms for at least a year if proper care isn’t received. The Functional Neurologist will help aid in the recovery process, as their priority is to rehabilitate the brain so the areas that were damaged during the injury can be healed. Much like your bones need a cast and to be set in order to heal after they break, the brain needs guidance and training in order to recover from the damage it may have faced during a concussion.
Step 4: Follow the Rehabilitation Plan
Functional Neurologists create personalized rehabilitation plans for each patient that they assist because no two brain injuries are the same. Even if the injuries occurred in the same manner, the damage they caused and how it affected the body/brain is likely very much different. In order to create this plan, the Functional Neurologist begins with comprehensive brain-to-body testing. This pinpoints the exact areas that have been damaged and how they are playing a role in your overall health.
Once all the necessary information has been collected, a rehabilitation plan will be put together. This may include brain-based therapy or brain-stimulating exercises that help rebuild pathways and connections that were previously damaged. It will also include addressing deficits in energy and inflammatory changes that have occurred as a result of the injury. By keeping up with these strategies, you are likely to experience improved functionality, which may result in feeling more like yourself. However, it’s important not to forget to continue meeting with your Functional Neurologist as time passes, because they will help make sure your overall health is improving with every visit.
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