A concussion is a variety of mild traumatic injury that is caused by a blow to the face, neck or head. Concussions can cause a range of symptoms, some unnoticeable and some more obvious. Here, our physiotherapists at Motion Works Physiotherapy Orleans will walk you through some of the causes, symptoms and physiotherapeutic treatments for a concussion.
What is a Concussion?
Concussions are a pretty common form of traumatic brain injury. Since they can be caused by any kind of blow to your head if it is hard enough, they are most commonly found in people who engage in activities where such things are frequent. This includes sports like American football or hockey.
When an impact to the neck, head, or face jostles the brain, it can be damaged. It becomes more difficult for brain cells to communicate and properly function. It is estimated by the Brain Injury Institute that between 1.8 and 3 million concussions occur each year in the United States as a result of sports and recreation activities.
Symptoms of a Concussion
The symptoms of concussions can appear any time, from the moment you sustained a blow to your head to minutes or even hours after the injury. Symptoms may vary based on the severity of your concussion and may be divided into two categories: self-reportable ones and observable ones.
Here are some of the most common symptoms of concussions:
- A loss of consciousness, even briefly
- Difficulty remembering the time around the injury
- The individual shows changes in behavior, personality, or mood
- Individual looks dazed or stunned or seems confused
- Person moves more clumsily than usual and answers slowly
- Nausea or vomiting
- Headache or a sense of pressure in the head
- Unsettled by noise and light
- Issues with concentration or memory
- Problems with dizziness, balance, and double or blurry vision
Treatment for a Concussion
It usually takes anywhere from 7-10 days for the symptoms of a concussion to subside. However, it can sometimes take much longer.
Physiotherapy can be an effective treatment for the management of concussion symptoms. A sports medicine and physiotherapy clinic will be able to offer you a range of treatment plans which are tailored to your need—including the specific severity of your injury.
At an initial appointment with a physiotherapist, they will ask you a number of questions to try and collect as much information as possible about your injury, your medical history and any symptoms you are exhibiting. They will then conduct a comprehensive physical exam of your neck and back to ensure they have not been injured as well.
Depending on the stage of healing from your concussion you find yourself in, your physical therapist will either recommend lots of rest until you have healed more or will begin treatment. Rest is an incredibly important part of healing from your concussion. If you extrt yourself too soon, you can worsen your condition.
After you have had enough rest, your physiotherapist will begin treatment. this can include a number of different exercises targeted at your unique injury, but generally involves exercises to strengthen your neck and back muscles, balance training to help restore your vestibular system's function and ocular reflex training to get rid of any visual disturbances.
At Motion Works Physiotherapy Orleans, our concussion rehabilitation programs are designed not only to help you recover from your injury, but to help strengthen your body so that you are more resistant to such injuries in the future.
Have you recently suffered a blow to your head or face?
You may be suffering from the effects of a concussion. Our team of Orleans physiotherapists are here to help you recover.