Physiotherapy For Concussions
Concussions are very common injuries experienced in sports, motor vehicle accidents, workplace accidents, or falls. The most common symptoms include headache, nausea, visual disturbances, memory and concentration issues, fatigue, and difficulties sleeping.
The first step after a concussion is to see your Family Doctor or Sports Medicine Doctor. Most people will recover from their concussion within the first few weeks without any additional treatment. Some people may not recover in the average time frame and will experience “persistent post-concussion symptoms”.
Physiotherapists trained in Concussion Treatment are able to identify which areas are creating your symptoms and develop a treatment plan to get you feeling yourself again.
Whiplash injury to the neck can cause dizziness, headaches, and pain from injured joints and muscles. Studies have shown that the amount of force needed to cause a concussion is more than enough to also cause a whiplash injury. This means that neck pain and dysfunction will be a part of nearly every concussion.
The neck plays a critical role in balance. Your brain receives input from the muscles and joints in your neck that give it information on position and posture. Dizziness coming from the neck is often described as imbalance or unsteadiness and often comes along with neck pain and stiffness. These symptoms are worsened with head movement
Although headaches have many possible sources in a concussion, neck dysfunction is a common cause. This is due to the whiplash force that goes through your neck in the accident. These headaches are usually felt throughout the upper neck, back of the head, the temples, and behind the eyes
Your vestibular system is your body’s balance system. After a concussion, this system may be impaired causing dizziness, imbalance, nausea, motion sensitivity. It may also cause issues stabilizing your vision while moving your head.
Some patients experience a condition called Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo (BPPV). This happens when crystals in your inner ear are knocked loose.
Many individuals will experience difficulty with certain eye movements after a concussion. This may result in blurred vision, double vision, difficulties reading or focusing your eyes. Often these symptoms can be resolved with exercises targeted at the specific eye movements that aren’t functioning properly.
It’s very common after a concussion for an individual to have difficulties with exercising. Or to experience a sharp increase in their symptoms when they do exercise. An exercise program done at the right intensity can help speed your recovery by improving blood circulation to your brain.