Mental Health & Sleep
According to Concussion Alliance, recent studies "provide evidence to suggest that most concussion patients report sleep issues like insomnia after their injury." Sleep issues may influence the length of concussion symptom recovery.
In addition to sleep issues, a concussion may also lead to mental health issues. Mental health issues may lead to mood swings, irritability, anxiety, depression, and PTSD. An NIH-funded study found that "approximately 1 in 5 individuals may experience mental health symptoms up to six months after mild traumatic brain injury (concussion), suggesting the importance of follow-up care for these patients."
Concussion Recovery & Return to School/Sport Stages
Persistent post-concussive symptoms
For most people who sustain a concussion, symptoms resolve within one month.
However, some individuals face persistent post-concussive symptoms (previously known as post-concussion syndrome). Persistent post-concussive symptoms occur when concussion symptoms are prolonged and do not resolve within a typical recovery time frame.
Between 11.4% and 38.7% of people who sustain concussions will develop post-concussive symptoms. Persistent post-concussive symptoms may include headaches, dizziness, fatigue, anxiety, problems with concentration, etc. These symptoms may last weeks, months, or even years.
Treatment of persistent post-concussive symptoms focuses on relieving symptoms through:
Cognitive Rehabilitation Therapy
To read more about these therapies and other available treatments, see this resource from Concussion Alliance.
Length of concussion recovery
After sustaining a concussion, most people will recover from their symptoms within two weeks to a month.
A recent study focusing specifically on college athletes found that an appropriate timeline for concussion recovery was 28 days. Researchers concluded that “it was not until one month post-injury that most collegiate athletes (85%) were cleared for unrestricted sport participation.
A consensus statement states that “the expected duration of symptoms in children with sports-related concussion is up to 4 weeks.”