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A closer look at post-concussion syndrome and how to treat it

On Behalf of | May 9, 2023 | Injuries |

The human brain can undergo a variety of injuries. One of the most common impact-related brain injuries in California is a concussion, with over 3 million concussions happening in the U.S. each year. While concussions don’t typically result in fatalities, they can result in post-concussion syndrome (PCS).

What is post-concussion syndrome?

Post-concussion syndrome happens when someone suffers the symptoms of a concussion after the normal recovery timeframe passes. Everyone’s recovery time varies, but most people fully recover from concussions in about two to three weeks. As a month or more passes and someone’s still dealing with the symptoms of a concussion, they likely have PCS.

The most common symptoms of PCS are:

  • Headaches
  • Fatigue
  • Extreme mood swings
  • Insomnia
  • Depression
  • Trouble remembering or focusing

Treating post-concussion syndrome

Since specific post-concussion syndrome side effects vary, there’s no one treatment method for those with this ailment. Instead, medical professionals typically treat PCS on a per-symptom basis. PCS can cause mental or physical side effects or both.

One of the most common injuries that people deal with after PCS is frequent headaches. In this case, a medical professional might prescribe pain medication to a patient.

PCS can also cause mental side effects, including anxiety and depression. For these situations, medical professionals might refer patients to a therapist. A patient might also receive medication made to prevent depression and anxiety, such as benzodiazepines or antidepressants.

Treating PCS is possible, but this condition causes a variety of symptoms. So, it’s wise to document any side effects that you notice while recovering from a concussion. Thorough notes help your physician provide the best treatment and recovery plans.