Concussions and Physical Therapy

By Kayla Kranda – CC’s Staff

Concussions and Physical Therapy.

Concussions are a serious form of traumatic brain injury caused by a bump, blow, or jolt to the head or body causing the head and brain to move rapidly back and forth.1 Recently, there has been increased awareness regarding the need for prompt recognition and treatment of concussions due to concerns over long term brain damage in athletes involved in contact sports such as football. The typical treatment for concussions involves a multidisciplinary team of medical professionals, including physical therapists, with crucial input from the athlete, parents, and coaching/training staff.

Symptoms of a concussion can include headaches, nausea, vomiting, balance problems, dizziness, double or blurry vision, sensitivity to light or noise, fatigue, confusion, or problems with concentration or memory.1 Most symptoms will subside in a couple of weeks but can sometimes take months with more serious injuries or with repeated concussions.

When symptoms linger following a concussion this is termed post-concussion syndrome. Physical therapists can treat these persistent symptoms including neck pain, dizziness, headache, and impaired balance or coordination. Treatment options can include soft tissue mobilization, joint traction or mobilization, functional dry needling, or targeted stretching. Your physical therapist can also help to reduce dizziness and improve balance/coordination with vestibular rehabilitation. Another important aspect of rehabilitation is safe return to physical activity. This is done through sub-symptom threshold, submaximal exercise with skilled monitoring of the body’s response to determine appropriate and safe return to play.

If you or someone you know has experienced a concussion with ongoing symptoms give CC’s Physical Therapy a call and schedule your evaluation today to return to learn, return to work, or return to play.

1. “What Is a Concussion?” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 12 Feb. 2019, www.cdc.gov/headsup/basics/concussion_whatis.html.

Post Author: Kayla Kranda

Kayla is a PT, wife, and cat mom of 2 who enjoys traveling, running, reading, and all things outdoors


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