PT's treat concussions?

Is it a concussion?

Concussions are complex injuries. Contrary to popular belief, concussions do not always result in a loss of consciousness, so it is important to know other signs and symptoms. Concussions are caused by direct and indirect blows to the brain. Our brain is suspended in a liquid within our skulls. Therefore, in a concussion, the brain moves within the skull, hitting the skull and elongating. This trauma causes damage and sometimes death to the neurons within the brain. Without proper care, concussions can have serious consequences including degenerative brain diseases.

Signs and Symptoms

The most common symptoms are headache, nausea, and vomiting. However, not all concussions are the same, even if they occur in the same person. You could also feel confused, fatigued, blurry vision, and ringing of the ears. You could have difficulty concentrating and have sensitivity to light and sound. You may also experience mood changes. If you witness a concussion, the patient may have slurred speech, delayed response to questions, forgetfulness, and temporary memory problems. Concussions are a medical emergency if there are uneven pupils, uncontrolled vomiting, a loss of consciousness occurred, or any of your symptoms suddenly get worse. A medical professional should be consulted if a concussion is possible.

Treatment

Concussions require rest from activity, including both school and physical activity. Do not be afraid to sleep if you are tired, a common myth is that those who have suffered a concussion should be woken up frequently, but current science shows that this is not true. There is a important balance between sleep/rest and activity. Slow return to activity is important to help your concussion to heal. If you were to injury your ankle, you would rest and then seek help. A head injury should be treated in the same way. A physical therapist trained in vestibular rehabilitation can help you with this. They can help you manage your symptoms and monitor your progress. As you progress, they can give you exercises to help with balance, vision issues, as well as exercise specific activities that will help you get back to normal safely. Exercise is an important component of recovery from a concussion. The PT’s at Pick PT will help design a plan of care that will help you get back to normal.

Prevention

Wear protective gear that fits properly when participating in contact sports. In these sports make sure to use proper falling technique and teach proper tackling.  A  helmet does not prevent concussion as it is meant to protect you from skull fractures. Wear your seatbelt in the car as this could prevent concussions in the case of an accident. Take time to strengthen your legs and improve your balance to avoid falling. Spread awareness on concussions. Encourage avoidance as well as proper care when they do occur. It is also important to encourage good sportsmanship to reduce chance of a intentional head injury.

Why is this important?

Concussions, when treated properly, are not causes of great concern. However, undiagnosed or untreated concussions can lead to second impact syndrome and chronic degenerative brain diseases like Parkinson’s disease and Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE). As of now there are not cures for these degenerative diseases and these can happen at young ages due to concussions. Call or message us today if you or a family member has had a concussion is in need of PT. We specialize in treating concussions.