Weight Training After a Concussion

A concussion presents a serious brain injury, and depending on the severity of it, can present long term health ramifications or even death if you fail to properly take care of yourself afterward. If you want to resume your weight training regimen after a concussion, you must exercise caution.

Consult a physician before resuming athletic activity.
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Before Lifting

When suffering a concussion, always consult a physician to undergo neuropsychological testing. Even if you don't notice immediate or lingering symptoms, a doctor can determine the degree of the injury and ensure that no serious damage has occurred. Consult a physician even if you don't engage in athletic activities like weight training. This is especially crucial if you experience headaches, nausea, dizziness or blurred vision at any point following the initial injury.

Returning to Training

Don't resume any sort of weight training while symptoms of the concussion still persist, even if the symptoms have died down considerably. If you still experience any symptoms whatsoever, your brain still requires time to heal, and strenuous activity may inhibit the healing process or result in greater injury. Above all, follow the advice of your doctor. For instance, if your physician determines that you should avoid weight training for 30 days, and your symptoms subside after only 10 days, you should still wait the full 30 days.

If Symptoms Return

Even if you believe that your injury has completely healed, be prepared for the fact that symptoms may return with strenuous activity. A 2007 case study from the "Journal of Neuropsychiatry and Clinical Neurosciences," vol. 19, documents an instance in which a concussed hockey player returned to practice after ostensibly healing from his injury. Upon returning to practice, he noticed a recurrence of the symptoms. If the strenuous activity of weight training causes your symptoms to return, stop training at once and allow yourself more time to heal. If the problem persists each time you resume training, consult your doctor.

Start off Easy

Even if you believe with the utmost confidence that your injury has healed, don't assume that you can resume your training regimen with the same rigor that you enjoyed before the injury. Start with light weights and gradually build up to heavier resistance. Begin with short training sessions, and increase the length of time and amount of resistance in small amounts as you find yourself able to complete the workout without recurring symptoms.

Is This an Emergency?

If you are experiencing serious medical symptoms, seek emergency treatment immediately.
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