A concussion is a traumatic brain injury (TBI) caused by a bump or blow to the head or a hit to the body that causes the brain to move rapidly.
This sudden movement of the brain can cause damage to brain cells and create chemical changes in the skull.
Steps to Returning from a Concussion
- Baseline: Get Back to School/Work
Athletes should return to regular school or non-physical work activities when they no longer experience symptoms from the injury.
- Step 1: Light Aerobic Activity
Athletes should exercise by biking, walking, or light jogging for about 5-10 minutes to increase their heart rate. No lifting weights.
- Step 2: Moderate Activity
Continue to increase the athlete’s heart rate with moderate jogging, brief running, medium-intensity stationary biking, or moderate weightlifting (less time and/or less weight from their typical routine).
- Step 3: Heavy, Non-contact Activity
These activities include sprinting/running, high-intensity stationary biking, regular weightlifting routine, and non-contact sport drills.
- Step 4: Practice and Full Contact
The athlete may return to practice and full contact, uncontrolled situations.
- Step 5: Competition
The athlete may return to competitive play.
By Hilary Box, PharmD
Resident Pharmacist and Mercer University.