In the first part we learnt what a concussion was, in this part we will tell you how to treat yourself in the first 24hours to a week and beyond, and how your local Osteopath can help.
The first rule of a concussion is: if in any doubt or any unusual symptoms appear head to the emergency room at a hospital or to your local general practitioner as soon as possible. This may involve an ambulance, but you can always call Nurse On Call on 1300 60 60 24 to check, which is available 24/7.
Due to the neurological impact of a concussion the first thing to do is to limit sensory inputs such as light, sound and proprioception or reaction time. Take the patient to a dimly lit room, with minimal noise (no TV, or lots of talking) and lay them down with a slightly elevated head.
Over the next few days these things should be slowly reintroduced to the patient, with limits on how close and loud the TV is, and how much they use their phone. Physical activity should also be limited for 2 weeks even with a mild case of concussion.
These effects may disappear after 48hours, but there have been cases where limitations to sensory input and physical activity have been around for many weeks or months.
The other commonly held recommendations around concussion are:
-No food for 8hours: this is due to the stomach needing to settle before digestion begins, and also due to the worry of the patient getting worse and needing surgery.
-No medication for up to 48hours unless advised by GP or pharmacist: this is due to the effect medications can have on the blood stream, and if the patient needs surgery.
-No sleep for 8 hours: due to needing to keep a watch on symptoms for up to 8hours
The next step in recovery is to see your general practitioner for a check up, especially if the concussion occurred in a sporting setting as most associations now require you to have been checked by your doctor before returning to play.
You can also book in to your Osteopath, for treatment and recovery. An Osteopath can help treat the physical strains of your neck and upper back from the injury, including any joint sprains, whiplash or compression that occurred during the incident.
An Osteopath can also help retrain the body with slow introduction to sensory input, proprioception (balance) training, reaction time recovery and management going forward especially as you reintroduce physical activity.