Concussion Management

Following a concussion, it’s important to follow best practices to avoid worsening your condition.

Concussion management: What can I do to help my own or my loved one’s recovery?

The first 24-48 hours: A period of relative (not strict) rest

The first 24-48 hours following a concussion should be a period of relative (not strict) rest. During this time, a person can participate in normal activities of daily living as well as light physical exercise (e.g. walking, stationary cycling) and cognitive activity as long as it does not more than mildly exacerbate their symptoms. Other things to consider during this time include:

Red flags You should be observed by a responsible adult for the first 24-48 hours after a concussion. Seek immediate medical attention if you develop any red flags.

Sleep It’s fine to sleep following a concussion, but increased observation overnight may be helpful for children and/or older adults (if possible).

Drinking/drugs Do not drink alcohol, take sleeping pills or recreational drugs for the first 48 hours. These can make your symptoms worse. They can also make it difficult for other people to tell whether your injury is affecting you or not.

Pain relief Use paracetamol or paracetamol/codeine for headaches. Do not use Asprin or other anti-inflammatory pain medications such as ibuprofen or naproxen (NSAIDs), which may increase the risk of complications. Check with your doctor about taking any other prescription medications. Codeine should only be used if approved by a medical doctor as it may cause sedation.

Cognitive Activity You may partake in light cognitive activity but screentime should be limited in the first 48 hours.

Driving Do not drive for at least 24 hours. You should not drive until all your symptoms have resolved or you have been cleared by a medical professional to return to driving and/or operating machinery.

After 48 hours: Returning to normal life

Many people understandably want to get back to their normal, every-day lives following a concussion as soon as possible. However, returning to activity too quickly can trigger or worsen concussion symptoms, and potentially lengthen the recovery process. After a concussion, it is best to return to activities of daily living, school, work, and sport in a graduated (step-by-step) manner. Your healthcare provider will provide you with instructions on how to safely return to daily activities, school, work and/or sport, or you can view Connectivity’s range of return to activity Fact Sheets here.

Are there any healthcare professionals that can help me recover from my concussion?

A range of medical specialists and allied healthcare professionals can assist with treating and managing your concussion. You can read more about them here.


What is Persistent-Post Concussion Symptoms (PPCS)?

Persistent Post-Concussion Symptoms is when the symptoms of concussion continue to affect the patient for months or even years following their injury. It is thought that PPCS is more likely to occur in those who have suffered from multiple concussions and there are a range of other risk factors that may increase the likelihood of PPCS.1

For more information on Persistent Post-Concussion Symptoms download our Fact Sheet here.


Committee on Sports-Related Concussions in Youth; Board on Children, Youth, and Families; Institute of Medicine; National Research Council; Graham R, Rivara FP, Ford MA, et al., editors. Sports-Related Concussions in Youth: Improving the Science, Changing the Culture. Washington (DC): National Academies Press (US); 2014 Feb 4. 4, Treatment and Management of Prolonged Symptoms and Post-Concussion Syndrome. Available from:

What is Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy?

Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy is a neurodegenerative disease that is observed in people who have suffered one or usually multiple TBI, including mild TBI or concussion. Symptoms may not show for years after the injury and the disease can only be conclusively diagnosed post-mortem. In CTE a protein called hyper-phosphorylated tau forms in specific structures in certain regions of the brain. Symptoms include altered mood and behaviours, aggression, depression and control problems. These symptoms may develop into progressive dementia.



  1. Patricios JSSchneider KJDvorak J, et al Consensus statement on concussion in sport: the 6th International Conference on Concussion in Sport–Amsterdam, October 2022
  2. Scopaz KA, Hatzenbuehler JR. Risk modifiers for concussion and prolonged recovery. Sports Health. 2013;5(6):537-541. doi:10.1177/1941738112473059
  1. Health Direct,