What To Do For a Concussion

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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 it can also result from a shaking or jarring motion such as in a motor vehicle accident resulting in whiplash. Whiplash causes the brain to move back in forth in the skull resulting in a disturbance in brain function and performance. Each year, 3.8 million concussions happen in sports alone, and millions more likely go undiagnosed.

What are the symptoms of a concussion?

A concussion can lead to a wide variety of symptoms, which is likely why so many go undiagnosed. Some people who have a concussion experience only one symptom, but most people exhibit several concussion symptoms.

PHYSICAL SYMPTOMS
Headache
Nausea/Vomiting
Difficulty Sleeping
Balance Problems
Dizziness
Double or Blurred Vision
Neck/back pain

EMOTIONAL SYMPTOMS
Drowsiness
Fatigue/Lethargy
Sadness/Depression
Nervousness/Irritability
Restlessness
Mood Swings

COGNITIVE SYMPTOMS
‘Slowed Down’ feeling
‘in a fog’ or ‘Dazed’
Difficulty Concentrating
Difficulty Remembering
Confusion
Decreased ability to think/problem solve

What should I do if I have signs 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 the next steps detailed 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 ensure you’re able to follow the next steps
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  • 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 a physical therapist, to help you resolve your concussion symptoms.
  • You should be continuously monitored for the first 48 hours after the injury that caused your concussion. 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 be taken 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
    • Vomiting
    • Seizure
    • Fluid/blood coming from ears, nose, mouth, eyes
    • Slurred speech

How is a concussion diagnosed and treated?

Seek treatment by a healthcare provider specifically trained in concussion diagnosis and care. The ImPACT program outlines several Concussion Trajectories for the treatment of post-concussion syndrome.

At Therapeutic Associates, a comprehensive evaluation looking at all aspects of your concussion is done immediately during your first session. 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.

Concussion 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
woman balance training

Don't wait. Get started today!

If you think you have sustained a concussion or have been diagnosed with a concussion or post-concussion syndrome, please contact one of our concussion trained specialists. We are happy to schedule you an appointment and to assist with any questions, or guidance you need.

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