How Physiotherapists Treat a Concussion

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Concussion is one of the most common types of mild traumatic brain injury. stated that a concussion results from the head and neck moving too rapidly backward and forward. “The rapid movement, often caused by a blow or jolt to the head or body, can cause chemical changes in the brain. This makes it more difficult for brain cells to function and communicate.”

Anyone who receives a blow or jolt to the head can be affected by a concussion, although not every accident will result in a concussion. Those who participate in sports are especially susceptible to concussion. According to the Brain Injury Research Institute, “An estimated 1.6-3.8 million sports- and recreation-related concussions occur in the United States each year.”  

What Are the Symptoms of a Concussion?

It’s important that people recognize the signs of a concussion. Understanding concussion symptoms can help individuals get early intervention if needed. Here are a few of the most common observed signs of concussion, per the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC):

  • Difficulty remembering events prior to or after the event 
  • Individual looks dazed or stunned or seems confused 
  • Person moves more clumsily than usual and answers slowly 
  • A loss of consciousness, even briefly 
  • The individual shows changes in behavior, personality, or mood

Here are some reported signs of concussion:

  • Headache or a sense of pressure in the head 
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Problems with dizziness, balance, and double or blurry vision
  • Unsettled by noise and light 
  • Feeling groggy or hazy 
  • Confusion
  • Issues with concentration or memory
  • Feeling down or not quite right 

“Children and teens who show or report one or more of the signs and symptoms listed below, or simply say they just ‘don’t feel right’ after a bump, blow, or jolt to the head or body, may have a concussion or more serious brain injury,” wrote a contributor to the CDC. 

Half of All Concussions Go Undetected

UPMC Pittsburgh stated that 5 out of 10 concussions go undetected. This is unfortunate since some concussions can have long-term effects. A contributor to UPMC Pittsburgh wrote, “Any level of a concussion can be a serious medical issue that requires prompt care by a health professional trained in managing concussions.” To ensure safety and recovery, any blow, bump, or jolt to the head that concerns you should be discussed with and evaluated by a doctor.

Physiotherapy is an Effective Treatment for a Concussion

When a patient has been diagnosed with a concussion, there are several treatment options available. One is physiotherapy. Physiotherapy is an effective, safe, drug-free treatment option for those suffering from a concussion. A physiotherapist can treat a concussion by…

  • Retraining the vestibular system (the inner ear balance system)
  • Leading a patient through exercises that train the visual system 
  • Performing Manual Therapy on the neck 
  • Exercising the muscles in the neck
  • Having a patient participate in cardiovascular exercises
  • Providing education about the return to daily activities

If you have a concussion, consider seeking treatment from a physiotherapist. Contact a local physiotherapy clinic to learn more.

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