Concussion in adults - what to ask your doctor
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.
What to ask your doctor about concussion - adult; Adult brain injury - what to ask your doctor; Traumatic brain injury - what to ask the doctor
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?
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 pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/23508730/.
Papa L, Goldberg SA. Head trauma. In: Walls RM, Hockberger RS, Gausche-Hill M, eds. Rosen's Emergency Medicine: Concepts and Clinical Practice. 9th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2018:chap 34.