Post Concussive Rehabilitation
The post-concussive rehabilitation program at Agility Physical Therapy is dedicated to injured athletes and/or individuals suffering head trauma. After a detailed consultation, our referring physician will connect the patient to a vestibular-trained physical therapist who will conduct a comprehensive examination and develop a successful treatment plan. Post-concussive rehabilitation in Tucson can bring the most effective results and training for patients suffering from debilitating issues with head trauma.
What Is a Concussion? (From APTA’s guide to concussion)
A concussion is a brain injury that occurs when the brain is shaken inside the skull, causing changes in the brain’s chemistry and energy supply. A concussion might happen as a result of a direct blow to the head or an indirect force, such as whiplash. You might or might not lose consciousness.
Signs and Symptoms
The symptoms of a concussion can vary but they can affect your physical, emotional, and mental well-being. Paying close attention to how you feel after a severe blow to the head can help in your recovery.
Physical symptoms may include:
- Difficulty with balance
- Difficulty with sleeping
- Double or blurred vision
- Sensitivity to light and sound
- Cognitive (thinking) symptoms may include:
- Difficulty with short-term or long-term memory
- Slowed “processing” (for instance, a decreased ability to think through problems)
- Difficulty with concentration
- Emotional symptoms may include:
- Mood swings
- Decreased tolerance of stress
How Are Concussions Diagnosed?
A concussion can be difficult to detect because diagnostic imaging, such as magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) or a computed tomography (CT) scan, usually tests normal.
This is usually related to the variety of possible symptoms that can interfere with day-to-day activity. It is important to seek coordinated medical care immediately. Your health care professionals may include a physician with expertise in concussion, a neuropsychologist, and a vestibular physical therapist (a physical therapist who specializes in treating balance disorders and dizziness).
After a concussion, limit any kind of exertion. The brain won’t have time to heal if you increase physical exertion too soon—such as returning to social activities or sports—or if you increase cognitive demands too soon, such as returning to school or work. You can slowly resume normal activities only once your symptoms have improved and stay improved.
How Can a Physical Therapist Help during post-concussive rehabilitation?
Physical therapists can evaluate and treat many problems related to concussions. Because no 2 concussions are the same, the physical therapist’s examination is essential to assess your individual symptoms and limitations. The physical therapist then designs a treatment program.
Help Stop Dizziness and Improve Your Balance
If you have dizziness or difficulty with your balance following a concussion, vestibular physical therapy may help. The vestibular system, which includes the inner ear and its connections with the brain, is responsible for sensing head movement, keeping your eyes focused when you move your head, and helping you keep your balance. A qualified vestibular physical therapist can provide specific exercises and training to reduce or stop dizziness and improve balance and stability.
Your physical therapist will examine you for neck problems following a concussion. Neck injuries can cause headaches and contribute to some forms of dizziness. Your therapist also can assess your back for possible injuries to your spine. Agility PT offers quality post-concussive rehabilitation while delivering education and information that will help you once your program is completed.
As symptoms due to concussion improve, your physical therapist will help you resume physical activity gradually, to avoid overloading the brain and nervous system that have been compromised by concussion.
It’s important that you follow the recommendations of all healthcare professionals so that you can achieve the best recovery in the shortest amount of time. For further information and understanding of post-concussive rehabilitation in Tucson, set your appointment today and allow Agility to help you on the journey to recovery.
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The examination details:
MUSCULOSKELETAL COMPONENT to assess the individuals muscles and joints to determine if there are any limitations or deficits in range of motion, strength or flexibility.
OCULOMOTOR SCREEN to assess an individuals’ oculomotor (eye) function. The client’s eye movements and their ability to track objects are examined, a common symptom of concussion.
KING DEVICK TESTING is performed, which is an effective concussion assessment tool and outcome measure. It is an objective, physical method of evaluating physical tracking and saccadic eye movements.
BALANCE ASSESSMENT determines which aspect of the patients’ balance system (vestibular, visual, somatosensory) may be impaired.
GRADUATED RETURN TO PLAY PROTOCOL is used to monitor symptoms as the athlete returns to sports under symptom-free conditions.