Physical Therapy Can Help With A Concussion

By Joe Stubbits, PTA

What is a Concussion?

Physical Therapy Can Help With a Concussion. A concussion is an injury that can occur when the brain is forcefully shaken. This can happen during sudden changes in direction, like whiplash or direct impact to the head. The force can injure any part of the brain and result in delayed or immediate alterations in the brain’s function and chemistry.

illustration of a concussion, Physical Therapy Can Help With A Concussion.

Physical Therapy Can Help With A Concussion.

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 activity following a concussion until it is safe to resume these activities.  This rest period 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.

Vestibular Physical Therapy

A type of physical therapy called vestibular physical therapy may be appropriate if you experience dizziness or balance deficits following a concussion.  The vestibular system plays an important role in balance and preventing dizziness.  It is made up of the inner ear and its connections with the brain.  A qualified vestibular physical therapist can provide special treatments and teach you specific exercises to 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 electric stimulation modalities.

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 affect the healing of the brain tissue and may cause your symptoms to return.  Participating in physical therapy after a concussion will help you return to your routine and sports activities.  This program’s goal is a gradual return to activities while still allowing your brain to heal properly.

Learn about Direct Access to Physical Therapy from The Jacksonville Orthopaedic Institute.

To schedule for JOI Rehab for Vestibular Therapy after a concussion, call 904-858-7045.

Schedule an Appointment with a JOI Physician who treats concussions; call 904-JOI-2000 or Click the link below.

By: Joe Stubbits, PTA

Book An Appointment with a JOI Physician in Jax.

Book An Appointment with a JOI Physician.

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