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What it means to be placed on “brain rest” after a concussion

On Behalf of | Oct 30, 2021 | Car accidents

If you or a loved one has suffered a head injury, it’s crucial to be checked out by a doctor as soon as possible to determine whether the brain also suffered an injury. A car crash in which a person’s head is shaken back and forth violently can cause traumatic brain injury (TBI) even if the head didn’t strike anything.

A concussion is one of the most common types of TBI. An important reason why people need a quick and accurate diagnosis of a concussion is that complete recovery often depends on reducing cognitive as well as physical activity as soon as possible. This reduction of cognitive activity is widely referred to as “brain rest.”

Just as if you wouldn’t want to put pressure on a sprained ankle or strained muscle while it’s healing, you don’t want to place stress on your brain while it’s recovering and getting back to normal functioning.

What should (and shouldn’t) you do while resting your brain?

If you’re told to rest your brain, you can still engage in some activities – just nothing too mentally taxing or that requires quick reaction time. Brain rest might include listening to music, watching a favorite movie or TV rerun you’ve seen a dozen times and doing some light chores.

Among the things you should not do while you’re on “brain rest” until your doctor gives you the okay are:

  • Going back to work or school (or doing the work at home)
  • Driving
  • Playing games of strategy, word puzzles or computer games
  • Multi-tasking

Typically, it’s best to resume these activities (with your doctor’s permission) gradually. 

If you suffered a concussion in a car crash caused by another driver or through some other type of accident that resulted from someone else’s negligence, it’s important to factor the costs of your concussion into the amount of compensation you’re seeking. This means not just medical treatment, but potentially lost wages, the need for additional help around the house or with child care, the cost of alternate transportation if you can’t drive and more. Don’t minimize the value of your case and end up settling for less than you need and deserve.