A concussion is defined as rapid acceleration and deceleration of the brain tissue within the skull. This type of injury occurs most often in a car accident or sports related injury. A concussion is estimated by the CDC to happen over 3.8 million times per year. Unlike many issues, this injury can be difficult to manage and treat on your own since it is an injury that you can often not see.
What are the Symptoms?
Common symptoms following concussions can include dizziness, headaches, light and noise sensitivity, vision changes, difficulty with focusing on tasks, and difficulty thinking. Another common symptom following a concussion is difficulty in sleeping.This is related to the trauma and your brain working harder than it normally does for routine tasks.
Immediately following this injury, rest for the body and brain is effective. If symptoms persist longer, physical therapy intervention can be extremely effective. The treatment includes balance testing and progression, memory recall, vestibular rehabilitation, and cervical spine treatment. The goal is to restore normal mobility and decrease headaches present caused by tension in the surrounding tissues. Treatment techniques are slow and progressive in nature. We start out with low demand on the body, both physically and mentally.
The goals of concussion treatments include allowing the patient to return to full activity performance, whether that be playing sports or returning to a full work shift. Ultimately, your individual brain’s reaction to treatment will determine how quickly you will progress.
As with most efficient therapeutic experiences, communication between the therapist and referring physician is crucial. This is true for returning to sports or to work activity. Making sure the patient is progressing at the right pace, not too fast or slow, is important. The doctor can help with these progressions based on imaging results following an injury. If you feel that you are suffering from concussion-like symptoms, or have recently had a head injury, please feel free to contact our office for consultation.
Written by Casey Badder PT