Physical Therapy Can Help With A Concussion

By Joe Stubbits, PTA

What is a Concussion?

A concussion may need professional treatment.

Physical Therapy Can Help With A Concussion.

A concussion is an injury than can occur when the brain is forcefully shaken. This can happen during sudden changes in direction, like whiplash, or from direct impact to the head. The force can cause injury to any part of the brain and result in delayed or immediate alterations in the brain’s function and chemistry. Temporary or permanent complications with brain function can follow depending on which region of the brain suffers injury. Symptoms can be physical, cognitive, or emotional and can include:

Physical Symptoms

  • Headache
  • Dizziness
  • Difficulty with balance and coordination
  • Nausea/vomiting
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Double or blurred vision
  • Sensitivity to light and/ or sound

Cognitive Symptoms

  • Difficulty with short-term or long-term memory
  • Confusion
  • Decreased problem solving
  • Difficulty concentrating

Emotional Symptoms

  • Irritability
  • Restlessness
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Mood swings
  • Aggression

Physical Therapy Can Help With A Concussion

Your therapist will educate you on the importance of limiting any kind of activity following a concussion until it is safe to resume these activities.  This period of rest is important because it allows the brain to heal and for symptoms to subside as quickly as possible. After the required rest period, muscle weakness and decreased activity tolerance are common.  Physical Therapy can help to restore your strength and endurance without exacerbating concussion symptoms. Your Physical Therapist will construct an exercise program and monitor your symptoms.

Vistibular Physical Therapy

A type of physical therapy called vestibular physical therapy may be appropriate if you are experiencing dizziness or balance deficits following a concussion.  The vestibular system plays an important role with balance and preventing dizziness.  It is made up by the inner ear and its connections with the brain.  A qualified vestibular physical therapist can provide special treatments and teach you specific exercises to help reduce or stop your balance issues or dizziness.

Concussion Headaches

Headaches are a common symptom following a concussion. Your physical therapist will use specific treatments and exercises to reduce or eliminate your headache. An assessment will be done to determine what is causing your headaches.  Treatments may include stretches, strengthening,  eye exercises, manual therapy or modalities such as electric stimulation.

When you regain your normal strength and endurance without symptoms returning, your physical therapist will gradually re-introduce normal activities back into your daily routine without overloading the brain and nervous system.  It is important not to overload the brain during activity. This can negatively effect the healing of the brain tissue and may cause your symptoms to return.  Participating in physical therapy after a concussion will help you to return to your regular routine and sports activities.  The goal of this program is a gradual return to activities while still allowing you brain to properly heal.

To Schedule an Appointment with a JOI Physician who treats concussions, Call JOI-2000 or Click the link below.

By: Joe Stubbits, PTA

Book An Appointment with a JOI Physician in Jax.

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