At the Trauma Clinic we will formally assess your concussion injury and develop a tailored care plan for your rehabilitation.

What is concussion?

While there is no single definition for concussion, it generally refers to a mild brain injury that causes symptoms of a headache, memory loss and/or confusion. Sometimes people with concussion have passed out (lost consciousness) at the time of the initial injury, but not always.

A concussion can happen after a person is hit on the head, face, or neck. Sports injuries, assaults, car accidents, and falls are common causes of concussions.

What are the symptoms of concussion?

Symptoms that can occur in the early phase after a concussion include:

  • Memory loss – people sometimes forget the circumstances of the injury. The medical term for this is amnesia.
  • Dizziness or trouble with balance
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Feeling sleepy
  • Irritability – acting cranky, strangely, or out of sorts
  • Confusion
  • Headache

Symptoms that can happen 24 hours or longer after the injury include:

  • Sleeping difficulties – drowsiness, sleeping more than usual, sleeping less than usual, trouble falling asleep.
  • Emotional – irritability, sadness, more emotional, nervousness
  • Concentration or attention difficulty – problems paying attention, feeling mentally foggy, feeling slowed down, difficulty in concentrating or remembering, forgetful of recent events.
  • Mood or behaviour changes (including depression or feeling “blue”)
  • Being bothered by noise or lights
  • Headache
  • Nausea or Vomiting

How is concussion treated?

At the Trauma Clinic we will formally assess your concussion injury and develop a tailored care plan for your rehabilitation.

A concussion usually does not require specific treatment other than rest and painkillers. Most concussions get better on their own, but it can take time. Some patient’s symptoms go away within minutes to hours, others can take a couple of days. A minority of people can have symptoms that last weeks to months. When this happens Tthis is known as  called “post-concussion syndrome” by doctors. While this happens to very few people, it is impossible to predict who is at risk from this. We know that approximately 90% of people are fully better within 6 weeks.

The following simple measures will help you recover from concussion after a head injury

  • Rest – Make sure to get plenty of sleep.
  • When you are awake, you should avoid heavy exercise or too much physical activity.
  • Avoid doing activities that need concentration or a lot of attention.
  • Avoid alcohol for 2 weeks after the injury
  • Take regular pain killing medications such as paracetamol (however avoid medications with codeine).

Should you not recover with these simple interventions alone, specialist input and defining a more structured path to recovery may be required. We, at the trauma clinic have an established team of healthcare professionals who can assist in this your recovery. We can provide access to essential imaging and rehabilitation services including:;

  • Vestibular rehabilitation therapy (‘dizziness’ experts)
  • Neuropsychology
  • Physiotherapy
  • Mental health services

We can also provide will also be able to link you with rapid access to other specialist consultants if required including:



ENT (Ear, Nose,Throat)


Other frequently asked questions include when can I return to work/driving/playing sports? General guidance is outlined below however  in a minority of cases a more tailored case specific return to activity maybe required.

When can I go back to work or start driving again?

This is variable and depends on how you feel. Standard advice is not to return to work, school, driving until you feel back to normal or able for it. Most people should be back to work in a week after a diagnosed concussion. You should consult your doctor for a re-assessment if severe symptoms persist longer than two weeks.

When can I play sports again?

  • Ask your treating doctor when you can play sports again.
  • This will depend on your injury and symptoms, as well as the type of sport you play.
  • There is no single guideline in place that applies to all sports and/or activities. Some sports do not have guidelines in place.
  • An example of a robust sporting guideline is the 2014 IRFU/IRB approach. In general for amateur rugby players who have suffered a concussion, the following applies:

The MINIMUM period before a player can return to FULL PLAY (i.e. full contact match) is as follows:

  • 23 days for underage groups (U6s to U20s)
  • 21 days for adults.

The above regime is the MINIMUM period off. Longer periods apply when players still have symptoms. Players must have 14 sequential days without symptoms before being allowed to even consider entering into a medically supervised graduated-return to-play (GRTP) programme.

Players are required to be medically cleared before returning to full contact training. The MINIMUM period before a player can return to full contact training is as follows:

  • 21 days for underage groups (U6s to U20s)
  • 19 days for adults.

At the Trauma Clinic we will formally assess your concussion injury and develop a tailored care plan for your rehabilitation and hopeful return to sporting activities as soon as possible.