Seventy percent of concussions resolve within a few weeks, while 30% have persistent symptoms after one month. Early intervention is the KEY to recovery.
The effects of brain injury vary greatly depending on the severity of the injury and may include:
Common symptoms may present as confusion, dizziness, headache, memory loss, impaired mental ability, and difficulty concentrating. Other signs may include visual disturbances, such as blurred vision or double vision, light and/or noise sensitivity, ringing in the ears, slurred speech, and nausea or vomiting.
As the brain is a very complex organ, treatment for brain injuries can vary greatly depending on the severity of brain trauma, the systems involved, and other factors. Fortunately, treatment options for brain injuries have improved significantly over the years, including physical therapy, medications, and rehabilitation services. Evidence no longer supports resting in a dark room, turning off screens, or limiting activities that require attention or concentration. Prolonged rest can lead to depression, fatigue, and deconditioning. Early intervention consists of symptom-controlled activity to help calm the hyperactive nervous system and retrain the connections between many of the body’s systems.
Physical therapy is often used to help individuals recover from brain injury. An active, individual approach can identify the causes of symptoms and may include treatment involving:
A physical therapist will perform an initial evaluation, which will include taking a history and performing a physical exam. The examination will consist of a series of clinical tests that both screen and assess all the above systems. If any red flags are identified that are outside the scope of physical therapy practice, you will be referred to the appropriate provider. Based on the findings of the exam, the PT will determine a treatment plan that is individualized to the patient. On average, 1-2 weekly sessions for 4-8 weeks is appropriate, and usually includes a home exercise program.
Baseline testing measures brain function in a healthy state. In the event of a concussion, the baseline will help to safely and confidently guide recovery and return to sports. The test takes approximately 30 minutes and includes cognitive testing, oculomotor screening, the King-Devick test, balance, range of motion, and strength baselines.
If you or someone you know has experienced a concussion, seeking medical attention as soon as possible is vital.
Contact us today to learn more about our physical therapy services in the treatment of concussions in either Summit or Eagle County.