A concussion is brain injury that is most often caused by a blow to the head. At Nepean Sports Medicine & Physiotherapy Centre, our physiotherapists offer concussion rehabilitation to help you feel like yourself again.
What is a Concussion?
A concussion is a mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI) that is usually (though NOT necessarily) caused by a blow to the head. Following a concussion, there is a period of change in brain function that may last anywhere from 10-14 days or more, as suggested by recent Canadian research. A concussion cannot be identified on routine x-rays, CT scans, or MRIs.
Concussions do not always come with a loss of consciousness. Symptoms of a concussion usually start to improve within 10-14 days, but in some cases it can take weeks or months to heal. Repeated concussions may take even longer.
How Can a Physiotherapist help with a concussion?
A physiotherapist can offer education and support to help ensure the best possible outcome following a concussion. We highly recommend that you seek physiotherapy treatment as soon as possible after your concussion.
What will the physiotherapist do at my first assessment?
During the initial assessment, the physiotherapist will review the full history of your injury/accident, any past medical history, and ask detailed questions about your current symptoms.
The physiotherapist will then complete a physical evaluation of your neck and upper back in order to rule out any injuries to these areas.
If the physiotherapist finds that you are at the proper stage of healing, she will perform an assessment of the visual and vestibular systems (your vision and balance).
After the physiotherapist explains her findings to you, you will receive clear instructions to ensure the best recovery.
Canadian Stats on Concussions
- 64% of visits to hospital emergency departments among 10-18 year-olds are related to participation in sports, physical activity and recreation.
- Among children and youth (10-18 years) who visit an emergency department for a sports-related head injury, 39% were diagnosed with concussions, while a further 24% were possible concussions.
- Football, soccer and hockey have all shown a greater than 40% increase in rates of reported head injury (relative to other injuries) between 2004 and 2014 for children and youth.
What kinds of treatments do physiotherapists do for concussions?
Physiotherapy treatments are geared to each individual’s specific needs based on the mechanism of injury, injury type, and assessment findings. They may include manual therapy to restore any joint problems in the neck, upper back and shoulder area, exercises to regain mobility, strength and balance, acupuncture, and visual motor and vestibular retraining exercises to restore normal brain function.
How long will it take to recover from my concussion?
Every individual is different. The therapist will support you throughout your recovery process and will progress your treatments as your condition allows.
What kind of training do your physiotherapists have?
We have physiotherapists on staff with specific experience and training in the management of concussions, manual therapy, acupuncture, dry needling, visual motor integration training and vestibular rehabilitation therapies.
Warning Signs & Symptoms of a Concussion
Symptoms of a concussion can appear immediately or a few days after the injury occurred. It is typical to experience one or more of the following symptoms:
- Pressure in the head
- Sensitivity to light
- Neck pain
- Blurred vision
- Loss of consciousness
- Noise sensitivity
- Fatigue/low energy
- Difficulty concentrating
- Poor sleep quality
- Sleeping too much
- Feeling of being “not right” or in a fog
Activities linked to Concussions
- Playground injury
- Car/bike accident
- Sports-Related Injury
Ready to improve your mobility and get active?
Contact Nepean Sports Medicine & Physiotherapy Centre today.