Car accidents, unfortunately, happen, and even a minor one may result in a concussion.
While considered a mild traumatic brain injury, this condition should never go untreated. According to the CDC, there were 64,362 TBI-related deaths in 2020. After sustaining any type of head injury, you should seek medical attention.
To determine if you have a concussion, your doctor will perform different exams, including neurological and cognitive, as well as conduct imaging tests. Once diagnosed, you can expect two phases of recovery.
This initial period often lasts a few days or up to a week. During this time, your brain needs lots of rest, both mentally and physically. In most cases, your doctor will request that you avoid work and other activities. In these modern times, that also means not using a computer or cellphone. You will also likely have to avoid driving, loud music and exercising.
After headaches have subsided and you start to show signs of improvement, your doctor will recommend you slowly start to add activities back into your life. While light exercise has proven beneficial, any strenuous activities or ones that involve a head injury remain off-limits. During this time, your doctor may also recommend different rehabilitation, such as for cognitive or vision issues. If any of the initial symptoms you felt return, let your doctor know.
Always remember that not every concussion looks the same. While you may feel relatively fine, that does not mean your brain has not sustained a serious injury.