What To Do For a Concussion


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.

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 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
soccer players holding heads lying on ground
  • 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.

Man and woman biking outdoors

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