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Concussion - what to ask your doctor - adult

You had a concussion. This is a mild brain injury. It can affect how your brain works for a while.

Below are some questions you may want to ask your health care provider to help you take care of your concussion.

Questions

What types of symptoms or problems will I have?

  • Will I have problems thinking or remembering?
  • Will I have a headache?
  • How long will the symptoms last?
  • Will all the symptoms and problems go away?

Does someone need to stay with me?

  • For how long?
  • Is it OK for me to go to sleep?
  • If I go to sleep, does someone need to wake me up and check on me?

What type of activity can I do?

  • Do I need to stay in bed or lie down?
  • Can I do housework? How about yard work?
  • When can I begin to exercise? When can I start contact sports, such as football or soccer? When can I begin skiing or snowboarding?
  • Can I drive a car or operate other machinery?

When can I go back to work?

  • What should I tell my boss about my concussion?
  • Do I need to take special memory tests to determine if I am fit for work?
  • Can I work a full day?
  • Will I need to rest during the day?

What medicines can I use for pain or headache? Can I use aspirin, ibuprofen (Motrin or Advil), naproxen (Aleve, Naprosyn), or other similar medicines?

Is it OK to eat? Will I feel sick to my stomach?

When can I drink alcohol?

Do I need a follow-up appointment?

When should I call the doctor?

Alternative Names

What to ask your doctor about concussion - adult; Adult brain injury - what to ask your doctor; Traumatic brain injury - what to ask the doctor

References

Begaz T. Traumatic brain injury (adult). In: Adams JG, ed. Emergency Medicine. 2nd ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Saunders; 2013:chap 73.

Giza CC, Kutcher JS, Ashwal S, et al. Summary of evidence-based guideline update: evaluation and management of concussion in sports: report of the Guideline Development Subcommittee of the American Academy of Neurology. Neurology. 2013;80(24):2250-2257. PMID: 23508730 www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23508730.

Review Date 10/24/2016

Updated by: Amit M. Shelat, DO, FACP, Attending Neurologist and Assistant Professor of Clinical Neurology, SUNY Stony Brook, School of Medicine, Stony Brook, NY. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Isla Ogilvie, PhD, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.

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