Concussion Rehabilitation

Concussion Management

Concussion Rehabilitation

Maureen E. Gordon, PT, MSPT, CEAS
Certified in Vestibular Rehabilitation
Certified in Cervicogenic Dizziness
Easton, MD Office

There have been more stories and information regarding concussions through various media outlets over the past year or so, especially due to professional sport injury. But what is a concussion and how can one be treated if a concussion occurs?

A concussion is a type of mild traumatic brain injury, or mTBI, caused by a bump, blow, or jolt to the head that can change the way the brain normally works. Concussions often occur from a sports or recreational injury. However, they also could occur from any injury that causes the head to move rapidly back and forth, such as a work injury, motor vehicle accident, or fall. When a concussion has occurred, there is a chemical imbalance inside the brain which interferes with how nerve cells send messages throughout the body. Cognitive function, functions related to the body (such as imbalance, dizziness or vertigo, headaches, visual problems), emotional functions, and sleep can be disrupted.

What are the most common symptoms observed/reported?
• Headache (with or without neck pain)
• Imbalance or uncoordinated movement
• Dizziness or vertigo
• Visual problems
• Feeling “foggy”
• Sensitivity to light or sound
• Sleeping more than usual or increased fatigue
• Mood or personality changes
• Difficulty concentrating or remembering

Most concussion symptoms resolve in a week or less. However, if symptoms persist longer, an interdisciplinary team approach and rehabilitation is needed to gain a better understanding of the extent of injury and to assist with treatment for recovery from the concussion.

Aquacare Physical Therapy has specialists trained to examine, screen, and treat areas affected by the concussion, such as the brain, inner ears, eyes, and neck. Each patient will receive a thorough examination by a physical therapist Certified in Vestibular Rehabilitation, specially trained to assess patients with postconcussion syndrome. Treatment is individualized for the patient, depending upon the person’s symptoms, impairments, and functional limitations. The physical exertion component of rehab uses an international protocol for safe return to physical activity and sport. With recommendations from the rehabilitation team, the physician can safely release one to return to work or sport.

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