Concussions are serious injuries that can affect your short and long-term health, especially if they're not treated promptly. “Concussions result from a severe blow, jarring or trauma to the head," says Dr. Alan Sherr, founder of the Northport Wellness Center, a holistic wellness facility based on Long Island. This trauma can occur from a car accident or during a full-contact sport like football when two players collide. The sooner a concussion is treated, the sooner healing and recovery may begin.
What is the recovery time for a concussion?
As the severity of a concussion may vary depending on how it occurred, the recovery time for individuals who are suffering from a concussion can be different, as well. It may take one person a few weeks to completely heal and another person several months to experience a full recovery.
Every person who is challenged by a concussion must seek professional assistance to assure that their individual health needs are being met.
The first step to achieving recovery is to seek professional medical attention as soon as symptoms arise. Sometimes, it’s immediately obvious that you have a concussion—you blacked out as soon as you hit your head, for instance—other times, it's not so apparent that your injury requires attention. There are red flags that are common indicators of a concussion, according to Dr. Sherr. "They range from headaches, nausea and dizziness to memory loss and even a temporary decrease in gross/fine motor function,” he warns. The longer you wait to be seen by a professional, the longer it may take you to heal.
How do I heal from a concussion?
Once it has been determined that you have a concussion, follow up with your health care provider to establish the best route to recovery. How you heal from a concussion and how long it takes depends on your symptoms, the severity of your injury and your health care treatment.
A concussion recovery program often includes services, such as chiropractic and psychological care, however, some individuals may require alternative treatment, such as stem cell therapy, neurofeedback or hyperbaric oxygen therapy. Individuals who are challenged with symptoms from a concussion may also suffer increased emotional strain or stress. “Throughout the healing and recovery process, some individuals may experience extreme sadness or depression as a result of not being able to carry on their normal daily routine,” explains Dr. Sherr. Seeking additional psychiatric support from a mental health care professional may help to alleviate negative feelings associated with a concussion.
A comprehensive concussion recovery program may include the following treatment options:
- Chiropractic Care
- Physical Therapy
- Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy
- Stem Cell Therapy
- Optometry/Vision Therapy
- Diagnostic Tools/Testing
To achieve optimal healing and recovery from a concussion, it is critical to address your overall health, advises Dr. Sherr. “Following a good nutrition plan, receiving regular chiropractic adjustments, addressing stress with acupuncture, massage or psychotherapy are all ways to keep tabs on your health," says Dr. Sherr. "When you experience good health, you become more in tune with your body. So, for example, you will recognize when something is not right—like seemingly prolonged symptoms or side effects from a concussion—and address them appropriately,” he notes.
Healing and recovery from a concussion does not typically occur overnight. It's important to remember that your concussion recovery is a journey. You may encounter some ups and downs along the way - and that's o.k., as long as you continue to mind your overall health, follow up with your trusted health care provider and address your concerns as they arise.