A concussion is a serious injury that results from a blow to the head, such as in motor vehicle accidents, slip-and-fall accidents or falls from heights.
Upon presenting at the hospital with a suspected concussion, your medical team will run a variety of tests, such as a CT scan and MRI, to make an accurate diagnosis. These tests also allow them to rule out other injuries, such as a skull fracture and bleeding on the brain.
While everyone responds differently to a concussion, several treatment strategies have been proven effective:
- Rest: Above all else, you should get plenty of rest post-concussion. Your doctor will provide guidelines on how much to sleep, as well as what you can do to rest your brain when awake.
- Avoid strenuous activity: This includes both physically and mentally strenuous activity, such as sports, playing video games and doing homework.
- Shorten your day: For example, if you have a full-time job, your doctor may suggest that you cut your hours for the time being. It’s also suggested to take breaks during the day.
- Use pain medication: When necessary, pain medication, such as Tylenol, can be used to help with symptoms. Some types of pain relievers, such as Motrin and Advil, are not suggested as they increase the risk of bleeding.
If you suffered a concussion or other type of brain injury on the job, report the incident to your employer, receive medical care and work with your doctor to devise a treatment strategy.
In the event that you’re unable to immediately return to work, filing a claim for workers’ compensation benefits may be the next step in the process.