How Brain Rest Works for Concussion Recovery

After a concussion, the brain needs rest so it can heal properly. Here's how to optimize your brain rest.

The right way: Maximize energy for repair

Right after a concussion, the brain needs extra fuel to repair damaged brain cells. Meanwhile, the blood flow that delivers fuel to the brain decreases. In the first few days after concussion, reduce activities that require substantial brain and physical energy — such as school, work, sports, video games and social media — to allow symptoms to decrease and your body to deliver extra fuel to the brain to support recovery.

Illustration of the right way brain rest works for concussion


The wrong way: Divert energy to other activities

Too much physical or mental activity immediately after a concussion may provoke severe concussion symptoms and may prolong recovery. For best results, avoid cognitive and physical activity that provokes severe symptoms for a few days after a concussion. After initial rest, you can start to gradually increase activity as tolerated and guided by your doctor.

Illustration of the wrong way brain rest works for concussion

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