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There are two basic types of treatment for a concussion: home and medical treatment. At home, you can usually treat a concussion by applying ice, which may help with swelling and discomfort. You may also use an over-the-counter (OTC) treatment such as acetaminophen for pain, get lots of rest, and drink plenty of fluids. As far as medical treatment is concerned, a doctor may examine you and run tests to check the extent of your injuries. In most cases, he will recommend the same treatments you would use at home, such as rest and an OTC pain reliever.
Rest is usually the most important concussion treatment. After a concussion, a patient is usually advised to avoid physical exertion. An individual with this condition may assume that it is okay to continue regular mental activities after a concussion, but this is usually not the case. Doctors often recommend a reduction in activities that require mental exertion as well. For example, a doctor may recommend that a patient reduce his school or employment workload temporarily. In fact, a doctor may even recommend that a patient reduce his television watching and video game playing as well.
Concussion treatment may also include the use of pain relievers. Often, concussions are associated with headache pain, and using a pain reliever may help a patient feel more comfortable as he recovers. Though many different OTC medications may be useful for other types of conditions, doctors often recommend that patients choose acetaminophen for dealing with this type of headache pain. This is due to the fact that other pain relievers, such as aspirin and ibuprofen are associated with increased bleeding, which may prove problematic after a concussion.
The use of ice after a concussion may help reduce swelling if an individual has a bruise at the injury site. In most cases, it is best to wrap the ice in a washcloth or other type of material instead of placing the ice directly on the patient’s skin. An individual may find this treatment is most helpful when applied right after the injury and for about 20 minutes every couple of hours thereafter. Usually, the maximum benefit of this concussion treatment is gained in the first day after being injured.
If the patient seeks medical treatment in addition to self-care at home, a doctor may examine him and run tests to gauge the extent of his injuries. If he has cuts or bruises, the doctor may treat them as well. After these steps, the medical treatment for a concussion is usually much the same as the self-care method of treatment, including rest and pain relief.
Concussion treatment typically includes monitoring the patient for changes in behavior and condition. In many cases, this monitoring can occur in the patient’s home. In some cases, however, the patient’s injuries are concerning enough that he must stay in a hospital for monitoring.