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.

    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

    • 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.