Physiotherapy for Post-Concussion Syndrome

image of x-ray skeleton showing concussed brain

Concussions are a common form of head injury that can have lasting impacts on your physical and mental health. While most concussions heal on their own through adequate amounts of rest and patience, like any muscle, you can work with it to increase strength and optimize the recovery process.

At Get Well Physio, our Abbotsford physio clinic can provide you with a personalized treatment plan to propel your concussion recovery in both time and quality.

What is a Concussion?

A concussion can vary from being a mild to severe form of traumatic brain injury caused by an indirect or direct impact to the head or neck through falling, excessive shaking, whiplash, body jolts, etc. When the head experiences impact, the brain can bounce around or twist in the skull, which can be damaging to the brain cells and create chemical imbalances.

As concussions cause not only physical but chemical changes too, concussions create physical, mental, and emotional symptoms that can be short or long-term. Some signs and symptoms of a concussion include:

  • Headache
  • Neck pain
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Dizziness
  • Sensitivity to light and sound
  • Fatigue
  • Ringing in the ears
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Moodiness and anxiety
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Behavioural shifts
  • Memory loss
  • Lack of concentration

 

While these symptoms are common in the first few days to weeks of a concussion depending on the severity, not all symptoms dissipate in the expected time frame. This is when you may be experiencing post-concussion syndrome.

What is Post-Concussion Syndrome?

This term applies to cases where the symptoms of a concussion persist for weeks or months after the initial injury. Should you have lingering symptoms such as headaches, light sensitivity, dizziness, etc., you must address them with a proper treatment plan.

Since concussion recovery time is evaluated on a case-by-case basis, you should seek professional advisement to evaluate your progress. Your physiotherapist will ask you a variety of questions to develop a clear understanding of your injury. This starts with identifying symptoms and uncovering associated complications such as testing your strength, coordination, cognition, vision, smell, hearing, and memory. This information is vital to track your progress and design a treatment plan.

Physiotherapy Concussion Treatments

At Get Well Physio, you will feel optimal comfort. We provide a calm, dark setting to avoid irritating your condition further. Irritants such as bright lights, loud noises, and strong scents can cause unnecessary discomfort and are avoided in your private room.

Along with a tailored setting, your physiotherapist will design a treatment plan to target your injury. Some important forms of treatment for concussions are:

Rest and Recovery

To allow your brain to heal safely, you’ll be prescribed an adequate amount of rest. This includes limited physical activity and brain stimulation; therefore, you should avoid exercise, music, screens, and socializing until told otherwise. Depending on the severity of the injury, this could last between 3 days to several weeks.

Reduce Pain

Concussions come with uncomfortable head and neck pain. To minimize discomfort, your physiotherapist may prescribe targeted stretches and treatments to reduce headache symptoms. Other treatments such as electrical stimulation, massage therapy, and eye exercises can assist with reducing tension and pain.

Restore Function

As concussions require a great deal of rest from physical activity, you may experience body weakness and fatigue. To address this, your physiotherapist will provide an array of low movement stretches and exercise to gradually restore your strength and endurance.

Return to Normal Life

It’s important to prioritize a gradual return to your normal level of activity and lifestyle. Jumping back into certain activities too quickly can aggravate your injury and increase your risk of further complications. As concussions become much more severe with reinjury, it’s crucial to receive professional advisement on returning safely to your pre-concussion lifestyle.

Complete Concussion Management

At Get Well Physio, we’re recognized by Complete Concussion Management Inc. (CCMI) and are licensed to provide treatment and rehabilitation to those suffering from a concussion. Our professional team of physiotherapists can evaluate your brain health through physical and cognitive testing to ensure optimal functioning. We also have specific concussion technology to track your progress and provide tips and prescribed rehab exercises through a free, specifically designed recovery app. Reach out to our Get Well Physio team to restore your brain health and improve your functionality at our Abbotsford physio clinic.

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