Concussions are a somewhat common injury, especially for athletes. A concussion is a traumatic brain injury that affects normal brain function and is caused by mechanical force or trauma. The condition is usually not life-threatening, but you need to take even mild cases seriously since its effects can be severe. If you have a concussion, or even if you’re involved in an activity that can put you at risk of one, you should take the time to understand concussions better.

Here’s everything you need to know about concussions.

A Subset of Clinical Presentations

If you’ve recently suffered a head injury, you need to be aware of the signs and symptoms of a concussion. There are several physical signs and symptoms to look out for when you suspect you have suffered a concussion. 

Signs and symptoms of a concussion include:

Vestibular

Direct trauma to the head can lead to a vestibular disorder characterized by dizziness, imbalance, vision disturbance, hearing changes, psychological changes, and disorientation.

Ocular

Ocular dysfunction is another common symptom associated with a concussion. Even mild cases can be accompanied by double vision, blurred vision, and ocular pain that affect daily activities.

Cognitive/ fatigue

After an injury to the brain, you may experience cognitive symptoms like acting sluggish, fatigue, sensitivity to light or noise, and trouble concentrating.

Post-traumatic migraine

Mostly, these migraines will occur either after regaining consciousness or within seven days of the brain injury. The migraines can last more than three months after the head trauma.

Cervical

Concussions and cervical spine injuries have been found to happen together. A qualified medical professional will help in an accurate diagnosis to choose the right treatment plan.

Anxiety/ mood

Concussions can cause all sorts of symptoms. The post-concussion period can be marked by anxiety, irritability, and mood changes.

Treatment plans

Your physician will determine a treatment plan based on the subset of clinical presentation. 

Treatment plans could include:

Physical and cognitive breaks throughout the day

Reducing physical and cognitive activities will allow both the body and brain to rest. Rest will help to prevent the symptoms from getting worse and promote quick recovery.

Medications if indicated

There is no specific cure for concussion. However, your doctor may prescribe medication to help manage symptoms such as headaches. It is essential to consult your doctor before taking any pain medication.

Vestibular therapy

Vestibular therapy is a practical approach to reducing imbalance, dizziness, and headache. Your therapist will develop customized exercises to meet your specific needs.

Balance therapy

A disruption of the vestibular system may require balance therapy to help you regain your balance and reduce dizziness. Activities may include standing or walking in different conditions to restore postural stability.

Monitored return to activity

Your treatment plan will include monitored return to activity as you gradually increase the exercise’s intensity and duration. This therapy could be helpful if you experienced neck pain and stiffness.

Dynamic physical exertion protocol

Keeping muscles active and ensuring physical fitness can help you enhance your overall health and wellness. An excellent treatment regimen will feature dynamic exercises.

How Physical Therapy Can Help You Return to Sports

A concussion doesn’t always mean that you have to give up your sport. With concussion management in NEPA, you can get the help you need to recover safely. 

Physical therapy can help with return to sport or activity after a concussion by:

Specialized evaluation to determine impairments

Apart from being part of the treatment plan, physical therapy can help in identifying impairments. Identifying these impairments will ensure that the treatment plan is more comprehensive.

Development of personalized goals

Setting goals gives you the motivation you need and allows you to remain accountable as you work towards full recovery.

Therapy intervention

Therapeutic interventions will be necessary for cognitive rehabilitation, alleviating emotional symptoms, and managing issues like sleep disturbance.

Vestibular therapy

An individualized problem-oriented approach will be an effective way of addressing headaches, loss of balance, dizziness or spinning, eye strain, blurred vision, and fatigue.

Balance therapy

A concussion can cause vertigo, imbalance, and dizziness, making it important to include balance therapy in treating the symptoms through physical methods.

A graded return to activity

The therapy program will be structured to help you gradually return to normal activity without exacerbating the symptoms.

Home exercise program

You can work with your physical therapist to develop a home exercise program, which will help you stay active, both physically and mentally.

Personalized education on diagnosis and return to activity

When your doctor recommends physical therapy to treat a concussion’s effects, the treatment plan will include personalized education on diagnosis and achieving full recovery. There is a lot that you can learn about concussions.

Start Physical Therapy for Your Concussion Today

After an injury like a concussion, the most important thing to do is get help from a professional. At Cawley Physical Therapy, you can find a highly qualified physical therapist in NEPA who can determine the right treatment plan for you. 

If you need more information on diagnosis, treatment, and managing symptoms, contact CPTR at 570-208-2787 today.