Should you get Physical Therapy after a Concussion?
What is a concussion?
A concussion is a mild traumatic brain injury that occurs as a result of an impact on the head that causes chemical changes within the brain. Individuals may or may not experience a loss of consciousness. Common mechanisms of injury include collisions during sports, falls, car accidents, or acts of violence. Concussions result in a wide variety of symptoms including neck pain, dizziness, headaches, balance/visual disturbances, confusion, difficulty concentrating, nausea/vomiting, amnesia, light/noise sensitivity, and even mood or personality changes.
What steps should you take if you sustain a concussion?
If you or someone you know has sustained a concussion, they should be removed from the sport or activity that caused the injury and seek medical attention. Red flag signs after a concussion that require a visit to the emergency room include loss of consciousness, the inability to wake up, difference in pupil size, worsening headache, slurred speech, weakness, numbness, loss of coordination, repeated vomiting/nausea/seizures, confusion, or changes in behaviour.
How can physical therapy help?
After you experience a concussive event, you may have several symptoms that can be treated by a physical therapist. A therapist may work on neck pain, vestibular-ocular impairments (vertigo, difficulty with balance, vision disturbances, coordination), certain types of headaches, and exercise intolerance. Physical therapists can also provide education on self-management techniques, sleep, signs that require further evaluation from another healthcare provider, and tips to aid in the return to school or work.
How long does it take to recover from a concussion?
Each concussion is unique and several factors come into play with the recovery process. Common recovery timeframes are 2 weeks in adults and 4 weeks in children/adolescents. Factors that may increase the recovery timeline are a previous history of concussions, younger age, female gender, learning disabilities, history of migraines, motion sensitivity, and ocular conditions.
Should you get physical therapy after a concussion?
While presentations after a concussion vary greatly, several symptoms may be treated successfully after a thorough physical therapy evaluation. Ask your physician if physical therapy may be right for you.
If you have any questions or want information on managing your orthopaedic issues don’t hesitate to contact us.
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