Can You Workout with a Concussion?

If you’re wondering whether you can workout with a concussion, the answer is maybe. It depends on the severity of your concussion and how well you’re able to tolerate exercise.


If you have suffered a traumatic brain injury, such as a concussion, there may be some concern about returning to exercise and vigorous physical activities. It is important to understand when it is safe to return to physical activities, especially with a concussion. It is wise to consult your doctor before you take part in any physical activity with an existing and potential diagnosis of concussion.

It is encouraged that people who have suffered from concussions take part in proper methods of physical activity. These can include light jogging or cycling at low speeds and even some gentle stretching exercises if they are comfortable doing so. In addition, people may find relief and benefit from other activities such as yoga as well as swimming or aquatic exercises without putting undue strain on the head or neck area.

It is important to always listen to your body when engaging in any physical activity following an injury, including those suspecgted of being a concussion. Patients should stop exercising immediately if they experience any signs or symptoms that indicate their condition is worsening or worsening due to the activity itself. It should also be noted that vigorous physical activities are generally not recommended following a medical diagnosis of a concussion until the patient has been cleared by their doctor for more intense exercise.

What is a Concussion?

A concussion is a type of traumatic brain injury that occurs when the brain is violently shaken inside the skull. Concussions can be caused by a bump, blow, or jolt to the head, or even by a fall or any other type of violent movement. In some cases, even a slight jolt can cause a concussion. Symptoms of a concussion include confusion, dizziness, memory loss, headaches, and more. Let’s look at the effects of a concussion and what measures should be taken in order to prevent further health complications.


Concussions are traumatic brain injuries that occur when a person experiences a blow or jolt to the head. These injuries disrupt normal brain function, and can be accompanied by a wide range of symptoms that can affect multiple aspects of a person’s life.

Common concussion symptoms include:
-Sensitivity to light and sound
-Memory problems or difficulty concentrating
-Slurred speech
-Balance problems
-Irritability, sadness, or more emotional reactions/mood swings than usual

It is important to note that any type of force to the head could potentially result in a concussion, regardless if there are no visible signs of injury. In some cases, the affected person may not realize they are experiencing a concussion until after receiving an examination from their doctor.


When a person experiences a head trauma that might have caused a concussion, healthcare professionals must thoroughly evaluate them. Some of the most common indicators to look for are headaches, confusion, nausea, and balance issues. Diagnosis may include physical and cognitive assessments such as balance testing for coordination difficulties and word recall tests to measure memory retention.

In some cases, imaging tests may be performed to reveal potential changes in neural structures or brain tissue damage. Computerized Tomography (CT) scans or Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) can provide detailed views of the brain that can be used to diagnose a concussion and any associated injuries. Additionally, healthcare providers can use EEG (electroencephalogram) technology to check for abnormal electrical activity in the brain that often indicates a more severe form of traumatic brain injury (TBI).


If you have suffered a concussion, it is important to take the appropriate steps for treatment. While some physical activity may be beneficial to help with recovery, it’s important to be careful and seek medical advice before beginning any physical activity. In this section, we’ll review the available treatments for concussion and what kind of exercise is recommended for a concussion patient.


Rest is one of the most important steps for recovery from a concussion. Physical and cognitive rest are both necessary components—not just one over the other. It’s important to take a break from any activities that might put additional stress on the brain. This includes strenuous physical activity, school work, video games, and other forms of mental stimulation.

When recovering from a concussion, it’s also important to reduce your overall level of stress. Stress can increase Cognitive Fatigue Syndrome (CFS), a group of symptoms that often occur after concussion. Symptoms may include an increase in mental and physical fatigue, cognitive difficulties like concentrationlessness or slowed thought processes, increased sensitivity to noise or light and poor sleep quality, which can all contribute to the healing process not going as smoothly as planned.

You should only return to normal activities when approved by your healthcare provider—even if you may be feeling better after a few days or weeks. After light physical activity such as walking is approved you can gradually reintroduce more intense physical activity but monitor yourself for any changes in symptoms such as headache, dizziness or balance issues during or following exercise.


Although there is no medication that can guarantee a full recovery from a concussion, there are medications available to help manage the symptoms. Some common medications prescribed for concussion include:

-Acetaminophen or Ibuprofen: These medications can be taken to reduce headache pain and other associated symptoms.
-Anti-nausea medications: Anti-nausea drugs are used to reduce nausea and vomiting caused by concussions.
-Antidepressants: Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) medications such as Zoloft or Prozac may be used in mild cases of depression associated with head trauma.
-Sedatives: Short-term use of medication like temazepam can help with insomnia and overstimulation of the nervous system.

It is important to note that many of these medications carry potential side effects including an increased risk of bleeding among others. It is important to speak to your doctor before taking any medications for a suspected concussion.

Exercise and Concussion

If you’ve recently been diagnosed with a concussion, it can leave you feeling unsure about whether or not it’s safe to exercise. Even though it’s important to rest and take it easy, some exercise can actually speed up the healing process. In this section, we’ll discuss how to exercise with a concussion, the benefits of exercise when recovering from a concussion, and the potential risks involved.

Types of Exercise

Engaging in physical activity can be beneficial for recovery following a concussion, but the type and amount of activity may vary depending on the individual’s condition and doctor’s advice. Generally, it’s best to start out with light aerobic and stretching exercises such as walking, swimming or stationary bike riding at a low intensity. As symptoms improve over time, individuals may want to gradually increase their activity levels.

However, some individuals should avoid certain types of high-impact exercises after sustaining a concussion such as jogging, aerobics classes or high intensity interval training (HIIT). These activities can stir up symptoms quickly and should be avoided until other types of exercise become manageable without symptoms returning.

For athletes who need to return to sports or physical activity that requires higher impact movements such as contact sports or running drills – they should progress through all stages of exercise suggested by their healthcare provider including a strengthening plan and more laborious tests of balance and coordination before returning to full activity/competition.

Other types of exercise which might be beneficial include:
-Stretching – A gentle stretching routine targeting muscles that are commonly tight due to the immobility associated with concussion may help relieve some symptoms while enhancing the recovery process.
-Yoga & Pilates– Gentle forms like Yin Yoga, Hatha Yoga & Restorative Pilates have been known to reduce pain, headaches and insomnia while increasing mental clarity in those recovering from concussion.
-Tai Chi – This traditional Chinese practice has focused on balance as well as promoting relaxation during movements; it is an ideal form of movement after injury allowing one to go through slow paced motions building strength in the process without aggravating any further injury or fueling fatigue.
-Balance Exercises – Often focusing on core stabilization exercises combined with eye movement coordination will ensure patients are able to stay upright even when confronted with dizziness caused by vestibular injuries from head trauma associated with concussion injuries.

Benefits of Exercise

Exercise can be beneficial for people with a concussion as long as it is done properly. Exercise can help to improve mood and sleep, reduce physical symptoms, improve cognitive functioning, and speed recovery.

Regular exercise helps to increase endorphin levels, which can help reduce depression, anxiety and stress associated with concussion recovery. It may also help to increase serotonin levels in the brain which balances emotions and increases mental clarity. Exercise can also improve physical coordination by helping individuals learn how to pace themselves, monitor their symptoms and adjust their activities accordingly.

A personalized exercise program should be developed in consultation with an individual’s healthcare providers. The key is to know your body’s limits and start off slowly by progressing from low intensity (such as walking) to moderate intensity (such as jogging or biking) activities in order to minimize risk of aggravating symptoms or further injury. It’s important that all activity is monitored closely throughout the progression of recovery so as not to cause any further harm or delay healing time.

Risks of Exercise

When it comes to exercise, there are both risks and benefits associated with working out after suffering a concussion. Before participating in any physical activity, it is important for the individual who suffered a concussion to consult with a doctor or trained medical professional to make sure they understand the dangers and assess their ability to safely exercise.

Exercise can be particularly dangerous following a concussion as an increase in physical activity may exacerbate symptoms or cause further injury. Individuals should therefore undertake only light physical activity that is not overly strenuous until they have been cleared by their physician. People who have suffered concussions usually experience headaches, nausea, dizziness or balance issues which can be exacerbated by intense physical activity – making it important to start out slowly and increase intensity gradually.

Certain types of exercise may pose greater risk than others when recovering from a concussion. Exercises involving quick head movements including running sprints, soccer drills and volleyball activities should be avoided until medically cleared by a doctor since these activities could lead to further brain trauma. Additionally, depending on the severity of the injury lifting weights or any other type of resistance-training should only take place upon medical clearance as well. Instead of resistance training sports such as swimming are ideal for helping people manage symptoms associated with mild traumatic brain injuries but should still take place under the watchful eye of an experienced trainer or coach. Doing so will ensure that individuals recover properly following their concussion while minimizing potential risks associated with exercising post-concussion symptoms such as vertigo and headaches that could arise from activities like weightlifting which require frequent abrupt changes in direction.


In conclusion, the answer to the question Can You Workout with a Concussion? is a resounding “no”. It is important to remember that this injury can have serious long-term effects, and should not be taken lightly. In order to recover safely, it is important for those who have sustained a concussion to rest, follow the doctor’s orders, return gradually to activity and follow up with their medical provider as recommended. With proper care and treatment, individuals can increase their chances of making a full recovery from their injury.

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