What is a concussion?
A concussion is a form of mild traumatic brain injury caused by either a direct blow to the head or an indirect mechanism, such as whiplash, which can still cause the brain to shake violently inside the skull.
While the signs and symptoms are usually temporary, lasting between 1-2 weeks in adults, in some patients these symptoms may persist months after the injury, resulting in a condition called post-concussion syndrome (PCS).
While the signs and symptoms of a concussion can resolve rapidly, sometimes even within 24 hours, the long-term effects of concussion are still not well understood. It is important to remember that a concussion is still a brain injury, even if mild, and so it is imperative that we take the proper steps in making sure it is safe to return to sport.
How to treat a concussion
After conducting a thorough assessment, if an Athletic Therapist suspects a concussion, the patient is removed from contact sports and vigorous physical activities and is referred to a medical physician for further evaluation and diagnosis.
Current research indicates that after a few days of physical and mental rest, the patient should slowly start sub-threshold activities (Sub-threshold activities are defined as activities of daily life which do not increase symptoms). An Athletic Therapist can help a patient determine what is safe sub-threshold exercise. Athletic Therapists also help guide concussed athletes through a well-established protocol to help determine if it’s safe to return to sport.
If symptoms do persist beyond the typical recovery period, an athletic therapist can help to determine rehabilitation strategies that are based on the specific types of signs and symptoms a patient is experiencing. This could include soft tissue work and neck strengthening for cervicogenic factors such as neck pain and headaches, therapeutic strategies for oculomotor and balance issues, and referring patients for further evaluation for cognitive and emotional components. Symptoms can be present due to a number of different overlapping factors; therefore, it is essential to seek medical care immediately following injury in order to ensure safe and effective rehabilitation from injury for a safe return to activity and sport.
Our Athletic Therapist, Samantha Dillman, is here to help you with managing your concussion symptoms.
Call us today to book an appointment!
(905) 934 – 2121
Information gathered from YourFinishLineAthleticTherapy.ca