Speed up your recovery from concussion with Physiotherapy

What is a Concussion? A concussion is a mild traumatic brain injury caused by a strong impact to the head or neck, or elsewhere in the body where high pressures are transmitted to the head. Concussion symptoms differ broadly, yet normal indications incorporate headaches, fatigue, dizziness, and sleeping problems. In general, these symptoms are the aftereffect of systematic changes with the brain, not permanent structural damage.While the recovery period of a concussion varies widely, there are many treatments that could help catalyze recovery.

Physiotherapy can help relieve the symptoms of a concussion as well as speed up the recovery process for a concussion. A physiotherapist can help balance rest and active recovery together though monitoring symptoms while gradually guiding you to get back into your normal functioning.

The Role of a Physiotherapist in Helping Patients with Concussion

The implementation of your treatment plan is carried out by your physiotherapist based on an in depth assessment of your concussion through performing several tests that would assess the symptoms you are experiencing as well. After such is identified, the management of your concussion will focus on your particular symptom area.

The following are what a physiotherapist can help with depending on the present issues your body is exhibiting:

Cervical Spine Issues
This refers to issues with the neck or spine affected by the concussion of an injury.

  • Strengthen neck muscles
  • Manual Therapy, to ensure joints are moving well
  • Myofascial Release Techniques, To ensure good mobility of the surrounding soft tissue

Vestibular Issues
This refers to vestibular problems involving dizziness and lack of proper balance.

  • Balance Training
  • Canalith Repositioning Maneuver, to move the ear crystals to an area of your inner ear that eases dizziness

Visual Disturbances
This refers to issues regarding vision or sight after a concussion.

  • Ocular Reflex Training, to improve visual motor control
  • Reduce Visual Disturbances

Exertion Issues
This refers to issues with exertion affected by the concussion of an injury.

  • Exercise Prescriptions, to progress movement through individually tailored exercises

Relevance of Physiotherapists in Concussion Management

The role of a Physiotherapist in Concussion Management is vital for recovery because they serve the purpose of evaluating and treating many problems related to concussion. Since concussions vary from one person to another, they assess your specific body systems such as neurological, orthopedic, and cardiovascular, to prescribe a treatment plan that best suits your symptoms and way of life.

These are the five goals a Physiotherapist will aim to accomplish in the process of your Concussion Management:

Rest and recovery
Based on your condition, your physiotherapist will prescribe you the right rest and recovery program that would benefit you best. Rest is important because it helps heal your brain and alleviate your symptoms as quickly as possible. Limitations should be kept track of and you should wait for a while before resuming to all your daily activities.

Restoring strength and endurance
While monitoring your symptoms, your physiotherapist will help guide you to regaining your strength and endurance in a gradual manner. Since rest will result in weakened muscular activity and physical endurance for you, it is important to improve this as soon as the period of rest is over.

Stopping dizziness and improving balance
Vestibular physiotherapy is most ideal when dealing with symptoms such as dizziness and difficulty with balance. Your physiotherapist will prescribe you with special treatments and specific exercises that will help relieve your vestibular system from these symptoms.

Reducing headaches
This will be based on the possible causes of your headaches, and your Physiotherapist will give you designated treatments and exercises to gradually reduce and eliminate this issue. The treatment may include stretches, range of motion exercises, eye exercises, specialized massages, or electrical stimulation.

Returning to normal activity or sport
This is the greatest goal of your physiotherapist, in helping you return to your normal life in the quickest and safest way possible.Your physiotherapist will act as your guide in helping you progressively return to your daily activities without worsening the symptoms you are feeling. This is done in a careful and specific manner that is made to fit your normal lifestyle.

Concussion Treatment

Concussions are treatable, and specialized individuals such as physiotherapists can help in identifying and managing your symptoms to prescribe the right treatment for your case and way of life. While it is hard to detect and may hinder you from performing your daily activities now, there are many individuals who are willing to help you in your journey to recovery and will restore the life you were accustomed to. These individuals include the properly trained physiotherapists who design patient-based outcomes reflected on the treatment plans they created specifically for you.

Frequently Asked Questions

Concussion symptoms may not show up immediately and may last for days, weeks, or even longer. These are the usual symptoms of a concussion based on severity:

Physical Signs and Symptoms

  • Headache
  • Ringing in the ears
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Fatigue or drowsiness
  • Blurry vision

Behavioural Signs and Symptoms

  • Confusion or feeling as if in a fog
  • Amnesia surrounding the traumatic event
  • Dizziness or “seeing stars”
  • Temporary loss of consciousness
  • Slurred speech
  • Delayed response to questions
  • Dazed appearance
  • Forgetfulness, such as repeatedly asking the same question

Other Symptoms that May or May Not Occur Immediately After Injury

  • Concentration and memory complaints
  • Irritability and other personality changes
  • Sensitivity to light and noise
  • Sleep disturbances
  • Psychological adjustment problems and depression
  • Disorders of taste and smell
Concussions can be caused by a violent blow to your head and neck or upper body because your brain is forcefully impacted back and forth within the inner walls of your skull. Sudden impacts caused by acceleration or acceleration of the head after a car or any other accident could also result in brain injury.
The most important thing to do after getting a concussion is getting the necessary rest you need and seeking treatment from a specialist like a physiotherapist. You’ll have to slow down from your daily activities and allow your brain to gradually restore to its normal state through a combination of exercises, rest, and therapy found in your treatment plan.

Based on the severity of your condition, your physiotherapist will prescribe you with a combination of exercises and therapies that would suit you best. During this time, it is necessary that you follow your physiotherapist’s instructions regarding intensity and duration to safely guide your way to recovery and always remember to maintain proper communication as well.

Some treatment options include:

  • Retraining the inner ear balance system called the vestibular system
  • Exercises that train your visual system
  • Manual Therapy on the neck to help with headaches
  • Exercises that target deep muscles in the neck
  • Cardiovascular exercises
  • Education about the return to activity

Like any other medical appointment, there are three basic processes you should expect in your first appointment.

1. Medical History

This is the part where your physiotherapist will assess your medical history which may include your personal health profile, your body’s history with illnesses, medications, etc., and the symptoms you are currently experiencing regarding your condition. This would serve as your medical background that the physiotherapist will use in creating a treatment plan that would fit you well.

2. Physical Assessment

This is the part where your existing physical health is assessed. This will include your balance, gait when walking, range of motion, heart rate, inner ear condition, and vision. This will help in assessing the type of condition you are experiencing.

3.Treatment Plan

After assessing all those necessary information on your health, your physiotherapist will begin discussing with you the current state of your condition and begin the formulation of your treatment plan. The physiotherapist will design a treatment that works best for you and will answer any of your questions.

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