By Amanda Reynolds
Recovering from a minor head injury after a sports impact or accident requires time and patience. There is no immediate cure for a minor head injury; you simply have to wait. However, you can be proactive in your recovery by avoiding certain activities and doing others that support the healing process.
If you are recovering from a head injury, be sure to avoid these five things so you can heal as fast as possible:
It might seem obvious, but it warrants mentioning that you should avoid the activity that caused your head injury in the first place. If you injured your head playing football or basketball, take a break from sports until you fully recover. Risking the chance of a second head injury is unwise because it could result in a much more serious condition.
Do not drive immediately after a head injury, and if you have had a head injury that required treatment from a doctor, get permission from your healthcare provider before resuming driving. Some head injuries result in slower reflexes, so if you get a bump on the head, make sure you know how your body is going to react to it before you get behind the wheel again.
3. Junk Food
After an injury, your body has to work hard to recover. You can support this hard work with a healthy diet that provides all the nutrients your body needs to repair damaged tissues. Eat a balanced combination of proteins, fruits, vegetables, and whole grains to maintain a healthy energy level and help speed up the healing process.
Consuming alcohol after a head injury will slow down the healing process, so don’t drink until you have fully recovered. You might also experience slower reaction times and difficulty thinking as a result of your head injury and alcohol will exacerbate these results. Play it safe and avoid alcohol until your head injury has gone away.
5. Too Much Activity
It’s important to take it easy after a head injury. Your body needs energy to heal and you will probably feel more tired than usual. If this is the case, listen to your body and get more rest. Even prolonged mental activity can strain the brain and slow down healing, so take a break from work or school if you need to. It’s worth it to recover faster.
So what can you do when recovering from a head injury? To help reduce pain, use cold therapy and compression. Applying cold to a head injury slows down nerve impulses so you feel less (or no) pain, while compression allows for improved surface contact, enhanced cooling and optimal comfort.