Prolonged Concussive Symptoms

Sometimes concussive symptoms persist for more than 10 days in what is called a Post Concussion Syndrome.
Often this is an indication of specialist referral is warranted and a multidisciplinary approach to management should be utilised.
There is no single medical treatment for Post-Concussion Syndrome, but a variety of approaches that includes physical and cognitive rest, patient education, the medicinal treatment of individual symptoms.
Social support is invaluable as recovery can be prolonged, and patience is necessary.
Giving indications of “expected recovery time” should be avoided.

  • Persistent symptoms (>10 days) are reported in 10%?15% of concussions.
  • “Post-concussion Syndrome” is simply defined as symptoms and signs of concussion that persist for weeks to months after the incident.
  • Where clinical recovery takes longer than expected (i.e. 10 days) athletes should be managed in a multidisciplinary manner by health care providers with experience in sports-related concussion.
  • The foundation of post-concussion syndrome management is time.
  • Important components of management after the initial period of physical and cognitive rest include:
    • associated therapies such as cognitive, vestibular, physical and psychological therapy
    • consideration of assessment of other causes of prolonged symptoms
    • consideration of commencement of a graded exercise program at a level that does not exacerbate symptoms.


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