Concussion Confusion

Learn how Upper Cervical Care can help consussions

Concussion Confusion. You’ve Sprained Your Brain, Now What?
There are many myths and confusion about how to care for your brain after you experience a concussion.

Concussion Confusion

imageThere are many myths and confusion about how to care for your brain after you experience a concussion.

Many people don’t realize the severity of even a mild concussion and that they can be caused by a direct or indirect hit to the head or body.

Not all concussions are suffered by athletes while playing sports; falls and accidents can cause them too. All concussions are serious injuries that can have severe repercussions if not managed properly. Proper care during the first 7 - 10 days is crucial to ensure your recovery.

The Recovery Process

STEP 1: First 3-4 Days

  • Physical and cognitive REST is critical. 
  • No driving, no screen time, no reading, no school, no homework, no physical activity.
  • Rest in a dimly lit room with minimal stimulation.
  • When you no longer exhibit symptoms for at least 24 hours, you can move on to the next step.

If after 4-5 days, you are still symptomatic with complete rest, return to your Upper Cervical chiropractor for re-evaluation. The underlying neck injury now needs to be assessed and addressed, and there are other exercises that may facilitate the recovery; this should be monitored very carefully with your practitioner.


Light cognitive activity allowed. You should still be resting for the majority of the day, but you can attempt to read a book or do homework for a 30-45 minute daily maximum. If symptoms occur during or in close proximity to the cognitive activity, this is considered a failed step and you need to go back to step 1 for a minimum of 24 hours.

If no symptoms occur after 30-45 minutes of cognitive activity, you should still discontinue the activity for the remainder of the day. The following day you can proceed to Step 3.


You are now ready for a half day of work or school. No driving, no tests, no homework, no recess, no gym, no manual labor or heavy equipment usage (this includes power tools and saws, etc.) If any symptoms arise while at school or later in the day, return to Step 2 for the following 24 hours. If no symptoms occur, progress to Step 4 the following day.


This step involves exactly the same recommendations as Step 3 but you may attend work or school for the full day with restrictions. If any symptoms occur, return to step 3. If no symptoms occur, you may proceed to Step 5.

Some accommodations that should be made during this step include allowing for frequent breaks, no tests or heavy thinking, having another student take notes, doing 50-70% of the normal workload, avoiding over-stimulating environments, crowds, loud noises or jostling in crowded hallways.


Slowly start removing restrictions and prepare for a full return to school or work as tolerated. It is recommended that you lift one restriction per 24-hour period, and once again, if no symptoms are provoked, continue to lift one restriction until a full return can be tolerated.


A full return to work or school with no restrictions. Driving is now permitted. Physical activity should be kept to light walking or gentle range of motion exercises until you have fully reintegrated your normal daily activities. At this stage, another evaluation should be done by your Upper Cervical chiropractor to begin the process of returning to full physical activity or sports. For more information about your concussion and recovery, schedule an appointment with an Upper Cervical chiropractor.


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