Post-Concussion Therapy

What is a Concussion?

A concussion is a form of a traumatic brain injury that is caused by an impact to or “jarring” of the brain. This impact may occur externally (i.e. blow to the head) but may also only occur internally (jarring). If the force is large enough to cause the brain to quickly shift and pull on the structures within the skull, it may result in a concussion. The jarring motion of the brain causes a quick back and forth or rotating movement which creates a chemical change and sometimes stretching injury to the neurons and brain cells.

Our nerves are responsible for regulating basic functions of our body, if damaged, our brain may have difficulty with basic tasks such as regulating heart rate with exercise, or maintaining balance and coordination. 

Concussion

This chemical change alters your nerves ability to function, even if structural damage is not present, thus it is possible that concussions are not evident on imaging studies performed.

The Center for Disease Control estimates that 3.8 million concussions from sports-related injuries occur each year.  These injuries, along with falls and motor vehicle accidents, constitute the greatest source (70.3%) of concussions.

Physical therapy has been proven to help the following concussion categories:

• Cervical
• Ocular
• Vestibular

Common Symptoms Associated with Concussion

Common Symptoms Associated with Concussion:

• Dizziness/Nausea (80% of all Concussions)
• Feeling of being “Off Balance”
• Neck Pain/Stiffness
• Headaches

• Weakness of Neck and Upper Extremities
• Production of Symptoms with Physical Exertion
• Fogginess

• Changes in Vision
• Ringing in the Ears
• Sensitivity to Light and Sound

Post-Concussion Syndrome

Although many head injuries and concussions will resolve in the first one to three weeks, up to 20% of people will still be symptomatic after four weeks.  The therapists at Carol Frazier & Associates Physical Therapy are trained in the latest techniques to treat the effects of Traumatic Brain Injuries and other associated conditions.

Patients who demonstrate vestibular symptoms and or migraine have been found to be associated with protracted recoveries. Studies have also found that patients experiencing amnesia following an injury tend to have delayed speed of recovery.

Although there are no interventions that have been found to speed up the recovery from a concussion, physical therapy can reduce the secondary effects of this injury to promote a most optimal healing environment for the brain and nervous system.

Post Consussion Syndrome

All return to play and return to work guidelines strongly suggest full recovery from a concussion prior to return. This means, the patient or athlete should be completely symptom free.  If a second concussion or mild Traumatic Brain Injury (mTBI) occurs prior to full healing, there is a significant increased risk for a prolonged recovery and slower, possibly incomplete, healing. Although rare, in the young population and boxers, a second mTBI prior to complete recovery can lead to “second impact syndrome” which is a fatal injury to the brain.

    

We Offer Comprehensive Evaluations of:

Musculoskeletal System

• Range of Motion
• Strength Testing (Extremities and Core)
• Joint Mobility and Asymmetry Assessment
• Muscle Balance Assessment
• Physical Performance Measures

Vestibular System

• Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo
• Balance Impairments
• Vestibulo-ocular reflex
• Visual Motion Testing

We Will Help You with Your Concussion Symptoms by Employing these Modern Techniques:

• Manual Therapy
• Vestibular Therapy

• Balance Training
• Strength and Stabilization Training

• Craniosacral Therapy

Call the physical therapists at Carol Frazier & Associates Physical Therapy today to treat your post-concussion symptoms at 410-321-6606.