Many factors can impact a patient’s concussion recovery, from medical history to lifestyle choices. Known factors include:

Ability/opportunity to get adequate brain rest. Concussion patients who do not take time away from cognitive activity can increase their recovery time.

See Brain Rest and Concussion Recovery

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.

See What Is a Concussion Specialist?


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.

See Helping Kids Get Brain Rest after a Concussion

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: 1 Iverson GL. Outcome from mild traumatic brain injury. Curr Opin Psychiatry. 2005;18(3):301-17.

  • Previous complicated concussion(s)
  • Headaches, particularly migraines
  • Chronic Pain
  • Learning disabilities
  • Mood disorders or depression
  • Anxiety
  • Sleep disorders
  • Seizures

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.

  • 1 Iverson GL. Outcome from mild traumatic brain injury. Curr Opin Psychiatry. 2005;18(3):301-17.

Dr. Jill Crosson is a family medicine and sports medicine physician at OAA Orthopaedic Specialists in Allentown, PA. She specializes in non-operative orthopedics and sports medicine injuries. She has several years of clinical experience treating people of all ages who have fractures, dislocations, strains and sprains, osteoarthritis, concussions, and more.