Physical Therapy for Concussions

In General Health by jesse1Leave a Comment

Jesse Lewis, PT, DPT, OCS

Physical therapy can help with what?! Even those that have had physical therapy often don’t understand all of the conditions that physical therapy can help. This series is designed to shed some light on some conditions that you might not know our physical therapists can work with you on. First up, concussions.

Concussions have been in the spotlight lately thanks to football, but they are still largely misunderstood. A concussion is a mild traumatic brain injury that happens with either impact to the head or a whiplash where the head is thrown forward/backward or to the side. They are common in sports but also can happen with car accidents or falls.

The symptoms of concussions can include:

  • Dizziness
  • Headaches
  • Neck Pain
  • Balance Deficits
  • Trouble Concentrating
  • Sensitivity to lights and/or sounds
  • Nausea/vomiting
  • Many, many others

The symptoms are wide ranging and affect everyone differently. Concussions can be extremely frustrating because it affects so many different parts of your life.

Treatment

Treatment for concussions should always involve multiple health providers to treat the wide variety of symptoms. Your concussion team should involve your primary care physician, a neurologist, a physical therapist and consist of other specialists as well.

What Can Physical Therapy Do?

You might not realize that physical therapy can help with your concussion. The good news is physical therapy can help with a large variety of the symptoms experienced with concussions.

Neck Pain/Headaches

This is one of the most common symptoms from concussions and also one that physical therapists are best suited to help. We can evaluate the muscles and joints surrounding your neck and create a plan to improve those to support your head and neck better. This can make a huge difference in the pain you are experiencing after a concussion.

Dizziness/Blurry Vision

This is often caused by a problem with your vestibular system, which is how your brain receives information from your body. When you have a trauma to your head and neck this system often is disturbed and your brain has trouble with the information it receives. Physical therapists are trained to evaluate this system and create a plan to retrain it to reduce your dizziness, blurry vision or other vestibular symptoms.

Decreased Activity

It’s very common after a concussion to have difficulty returning to activity or exercise because of all of the symptoms we have mentioned. It’s easy to become frustrated and confused as to how to exercise or be active while you’re recovering. An expert physical therapist can be invaluable to give you guidance for how to be as active as possible without worsening your symptoms.

If you aren’t sure if physical therapy can help your concussion, our physical therapists are more than happy to talk about what you’re experiencing and if we can help. Feel free to contact us at info@districtperformancephysio.com anytime.

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