When a head injury occurs, emergency care is a must. Mild traumatic brain injuries such as concussions, although serious, do not always involve obvious symptoms. People who suffer concussions aren’t always knocked out, and they don’t always show signs of confusion, difficulty with balance or focus, or nausea. Never take a wait and see approach; seek emergency room care right away following a head injury.

After the acute emergency situation has been properly handled, it takes time to recover from a head injury. Individuals who suffer concussion usually are advised to rest. Physical and mental rest gives the brain time to heal. Most of the time, the individual experiences a full recovery within ten days to a few weeks. But unfortunately, concussion symptoms sometimes linger. It’s also possible to feel better and believe you’ve recovered from a concussion when in fact neurologically you have not. This is why it’s important to seek out the support of a functional neurologist following a mild traumatic brain injury such as a concussion.

A functional neurologist can evaluate all areas of the brain that may have been affected by concussion. The type of testing functional neurologists utilize goes beyond the type of neurocognitive testing most often performed by conventional medical neurologists. Functional neurologists test beyond the cognitive areas of the brain because deficits in other brain areas can cause ongoing symptoms. This may include areas of the brain that affect balance and equilibrium or even more vital functions such as blood flow to the brain.

Following comprehensive testing to accurately evaluate brain function following a head injury, the next step is proper care. Functional neurology takes advantage of the concept known as neuroplasticity in providing therapeutic support. This refers to the brain’s ability to change in response to environmental stimulation. Instead of using medications to attempt to manage or control symptoms, a functional neurologist relies on very precise forms of stimulation to re-train and repair the specific areas of the brain that need support. This is often a more effective and efficient way to help concussion patients compared to medications, which typically cause side-effects.

Functional neurology can also help with other factors that may promote the swiftest and fullest recovery after a concussion. This may include nutritional support and dietary recommendations that promote a reduction in inflammation. Lifestyle interventions may also help you recover and heal following a brain injury.

Typically, there is a lot that can be done to help you heal after a concussion, even though the primary recommendation may at first be to rest. Recovery doesn’t have to be a guessing game; comprehensive care can make all the difference in how you feel, and may also help you avoid serious harm by ensuring your recovery is complete.