Returning to training after head injury

Had a spill at the weekend which resulted in a facial fracture and some concussion. The rest of me is just scrapes and bruises. Right now I’m resting up and taking things easy.

Obviously I need to be really careful before I get on my bike outside, and make sure that my balance has returned to normal (right now I’m still getting dizzy spells when I’m lying down and move my head around too quickly).

But when do you know you’re ready to start gentle - and then intense - efforts on the stationary trainer?

When the doctor tells you so


The doctor doesn’t really give specific advice about turbo training at different intensities.

Heh. They didn’t give any literature on returning to action after concussion?

How about giving it five minutes when the dizziness has gone for 48 hours.

but he should know when you can go from taking it easy to pushing it a bit harder

the other option is wait until you feel you can do it … then wait as long again

Coming back to early is worth than coming back a bit late

I think any advice they give tends to be based on contact sports where head injuries are common like rugby. I’ve not seen any advice about exercise where it’s almost impossible to repeat the injury.

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Have a read of this…


Perfect, exactly what I was looking for.

Go see an ears, nose, throat doctor about the dizziness if it happens every time you move your head past certain degrees, like going both down to and up from lying flat. In part of the inner ear there are basically little crystals suspended in gel. Some times head trauma knocks a few loose and when you move your head a certain way they go rolling around causing vertigo. The doc should be able to figure out in which ear this might have happened and give you some basic movements to help fix it quicker. For me I sat on the edge of a bed, looked up and to the right, and fell back into the bed 5 to 10 times twice a day.

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That’s a great idea. Sadly on the NHS referrals for this kind of thing take weeks, by which time I’d very much hope it’ll be fixed anyway.

When you say “looked up and to the right”, was that movement the one that tended to trigger the symptoms? Was the purpose to train your brain to stay focused?

The purpose is to get the crystals out of the area where they cause dizziness/vertigo and into another part of the inner ear. I was getting dizzy when ever I passed the 10% from horizontal position, going both up and down. In my case I got hit by a car and had to wear a neck brace for over 30 days. With the neck brace I couldn’t lie flat so only experienced dizziness a few times before getting to remove it. A physical therapist was the one that told me what was going on. You can look up positional dizziness and might find something to try as I’m not sure how specific the moves really are.

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Cool. I’m going to give this a go. Pity my neck is stiff from the accident…

If you were legitimately diagnosed with a concussion by a doctor, you absolutely should NOT be seeking medical advice from an online cycling forum. Concussions are serious traumatic brain injuries and should not be taken lightly.

If you haven’t seen a doctor and confirmed concussion, get your butt to the doctor. Any training concerns should be addressed by a medical professional. Just because they “don’t give specific advice about turbo training at different intensities,” doesn’t mean you should ask for specific advice. Most concussion protocol involves minimizing ALL activity, even watching TV or doing routine tasks. The brain needs time to heal - not to risk further damage because your FTP might be slipping.

And for the love of all things holy, quit confusing Google with medical advice. You need a doctor.

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It’s concussion. Just a fairly mild one. Not going to wait 12 weeks for a doctor (or pay one hundreds of pounds) to tell me that.