Many factors can impact a patient’s concussion recovery, from medical history to lifestyle choices. Known factors include:
- Previous complicated concussion(s)
- Headaches, particularly migraines
- Chronic Pain
- Learning disabilities
- Mood disorders or depression
- Sleep disorders
Ability/opportunity to get adequate brain rest. Concussion patients who do not take time away from cognitive activity can increase their recovery time.
Ability/opportunity to get adequate physical rest. It is important for patients to limit physical activity during the early stages of recovery. Athletes experiencing prolonged recoveries may benefit from a supervised gradual return to play program at a concussion center or specialist’s office.
Age. Children and teens, whose brains are still developing, typically need more time to recover from a concussion. Older adults also need more time for concussion recovery.
Pre-existing mental or physical conditions. The incidence of post-concussion symptoms and longer recovery times are often seen in concussion patients who have a history of:12
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Young patients and patients at risk for additional head trauma should make concerted efforts to take precautions during recovery and have adequate time to recover.
- Iverson GL. Outcome from mild traumatic brain injury. Curr Opin Psychiatry. 2005;18(3):301-17.