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Returning to work with persistent concussion-like symptoms?


Diagnosing concussion remains controversial because the brain is complex. A concussion is a type of traumatic brain injury—or TBI—caused by a bump, blow, or jolt to the head or by a hit to the body that causes the head and brain to move rapidly back and forth. This sudden movement can cause the brain to bounce around or twist in the skull, creating chemical changes in the brain and sometimes stretching and damaging brain cells.

Concussion or not, what is certain is the persistent constellation of physical, cognitive and emotional/behavioural symptoms that one can experience. Like every brain injury is different, so is recovery. Therefore, the focus needs to be on managing the symptoms to successfully return to work. The persistent symptoms such as headaches, migraines, dizziness, decreased concentration, vision changes, fatigue and there are more, can be experienced with events such as whiplash, increases in anxiety and depression and more recently our individual experiences with COVID-19.

It will take strong reasons for wanting to return, you will need to identify and prioritize your list of reasons. You will need to establish balance between returning to work and over-extending yourself. Stay in contact with your employer and understand your work place policies and employment legislation. You are not alone in this process.

  • See your family doctor
  • Don’t focus so much on the diagnosis; work with managing the symptoms
  • Returning to work does not mean that you are fully recovered
  • Educate your family, friends and especially your employer
  • Learn to balance your energy
  • Hire a Vocational Rehabilitation Specialist who is trained in coordinating return to work programs.
  • Returning to work is a process, not a single event.

Click here to learn more and connect with Jo-Ann Trudeau, Career Counsellor.