Return to Play, Work, Learning

Returning to Daily Activities

1. Get lots of rest. Be sure to get enough sleep at night – no late nights. Keep the same bedtime weekdays and weekends.

2. Take daytime naps or rest breaks when you feel tired or fatigued.

3. Limit excessive physical activity as well as activities that require a lot of thinking or concentration. These activities can make symptoms worse.

  • Physical activity includes sports practices, weight-training, running, exercising, heavy lifting, etc.
  • Thinking and concentration activities (e.g., homework, classwork, job-related activity)

4. Drink lots of fluids and eat carbohydrates or protein to maintain appropriate blood sugar levels.

5. As symptoms decrease, you may begin to gradually return to your daily activities. If symptoms worsen or return, lessen your activities, then try again to increase your activities gradually. Please call us or your primary physician.

6. During recovery, it is normal to feel frustrated and sad when you do not feel right and you can’t be as active as usual.

7. Repeated evaluation of your symptoms is recommended to help guide recovery.

Returning to School

Symptomatic students may require active supports and accommodations in school, which may be gradually decreased as their functioning improves. Inform the student’s teacher(s), the school nurse, psychologist/counselor, and administrator of the student’s injury, symptoms, and cognitive deficits.

Your doctor must prescribe these accommodations.
1. If you (or your child) are still having symptoms of concussion you may need extra help to perform school-related activities. As your (or your child’s) symptoms decrease during recovery, the extra help or support can be removed gradually.
2. Inform the teacher(s), school nurse, school psychologist or counselor, and administrator(s) about your (or your child’s) injury and symptoms. School personnel should be instructed to watch for:

  • Increased problems paying attention or concentrating
  • Increased problems remembering or learning new information
  • Longer time needed to complete tasks or assignments
  • Greater irritability, less able to cope with stress
  • Symptoms worsen (e.g., headache, tiredness) when doing schoolwork

Returning to Play (Sports and Recreation) after a Concussion

Careful clinical management is required to help individuals of any age who participate in competitive or recreational activities recover from a concussion to avoid re-injury or prolonged recovery. Athletes engaged in collision sports require special management and evaluation to ensure full recovery prior to their return to play.

Returning to Work after a Concussion

Return-to-work planning should be based upon careful evaluation of symptoms and neurocognitive status. To help expedite recovery from concussion, patients may initially need to reduce both physical and cognitive exertion. Rest is key. Restricting work during initial stages of recovery may be indicated to help facilitate recovery. Repeated evaluation of both symptoms and cognitive status is recommended to help guide management considerations.

1. Planning to return to work should be based upon careful attention to symptoms and under the supervision of an appropriate health care professional.
2. Limiting the amount of work you do soon after your injury may help speed your recovery. It is very important to get a lot of rest. You should also reduce your physical activity as well as activities that require a lot of thinking or concentration.

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