What is a concussion?
A concussion is a mild form of traumatic brain injury that is caused by physical force. Most commonly this is due to a fall or blow to the head but can also result from a shaking or jarring motion such as in motor vehicle accident whiplash. This causes the brain to move back in forth in the skull resulting in a disturbance in brain function and performance. 3.8 million concussions happen each year in sports alone and millions more go undiagnosed.
What are the symptoms of a concussion?
A concussion can result in many different symptom types. Some people experience only 1 symptom, but most people have several of the symptoms below:
- Difficulty Sleeping
- Balance Problems
- Double or Blurred Vision
- Neck/back pain
- Mood Swings
- ‘Slowed Down’ feeling
- ‘in a fog’ or ‘Dazed’
- Difficulty Concentrating
- Difficulty Remembering
- Decreased ability to think/problem solve
What should I do if I have symptoms of a concussion?
- Immediately notify someone.
- If this is during a sporting event, notify your parents, trainer and coach. Trainers/coaches will have a protocol in place for helping you and your parent can help with steps 2 and 3 below. If a concussion is suspected, you should not return to sports until seen by a healthcare provider.
- If this is after a fall, motor vehicle accident, or some other impact, notify your family or a friend to help with step 2 and 3 below.
- Schedule an appointment with your Primary Care doctor. Having an assessment by a trained healthcare provider will help ensure you are not at risk for a brain bleed or swelling in the skull. Your doctor can then help you find a provider, such as us, to help you resolve your concussion symptoms.
- You should be monitored for the first 48 hours after the injury. This will help ensure that there isn’t a more serious injury requiring immediate medical attention such as a brain bleed or swelling in the skull. You should go to the nearest emergency department if you have any of the following signs/symptoms:
- Cannot be woken up or are very drowsy
- Drug or alcohol intoxication at time of injury
- Decreasing level of awareness/consciousness
- Unsteadiness with walking or standing
- Weakness/numbness in arms or legs
- Fluid/blood coming from ears, nose, mouth, eyes
- Slurred speech
What can be done to treat the concussion?
Seek treatment by a healthcare provider specifically trained in concussion care. The ImPACT program outlines several Concussion Trajectories for the treatment of post-concussion syndrome.
A comprehensive evaluation looking at all aspects of the concussion is done on your first session with us. Once your individual treatment trajectories are identified, specific treatment is performed by a team of specialists. We will work together to help eliminate symptoms and guide you in return to daily activities such as school, work, and recreation.
Treatment might include:
- Guidance in cognitive rest, sleep, screen time
- Tips for light and noise sensitivity
- Balance training, including vestibular therapy
- Sensory and special re-integration
- Exertion testing and prescription
- Manual therapy including joint mobilization, soft-tissue release, etc
- Exercises for rehabilitation of muscle, joint problems
- Vison Therapy and intervention for blurred or double vision
- Counseling and behavioral therapy
- Exercises and strategies for memory and recall
- Sport-specific re-integration including eye-tracking, sport drills, coordination, multi-direction physical exercises
How do I set up an appointment to see a concussion specialist?
We have ImPACT trained physical therapists (ITPT) and see patients directly, or by referral from a healthcare provider. If you think you have sustained a concussion or have been diagnosed with a concussion or post-concussion syndrome, please call us at 503-558-0112. We are happy to schedule you an appointment and to assist in any questions, or guidance you need. Treatment is covered by insurance and we are in-network providers with most insurance companies.