A concussion is a mild traumatic brain injury that typically occurs after a blow to the head. It can also occur with violent shaking and movement of the head or body, such as in a whiplash injury. The initial injury does not have to be severe, and you don’t have to lose consciousness to get a concussion or post-concussion syndrome. In many individuals, post-concussion syndrome is a complex disorder in which many symptoms appear within 7-10 days and last for weeks and sometimes months after the injury occurs. Symptoms can sometimes persist for a year or more.
Persistent post-concussion symptoms may be caused by structural damage to the brain or disruption of the signal within the nerves or may be related to psychological factors, as the most common symptoms (headache, dizziness and insomnia) are similar to those often experienced by individuals diagnosed with depression, anxiety or post-traumatic stress disorder. In most cases, physiological effects of brain trauma and emotional reactions to these effects play a role in the development of symptoms.
The goal of treatment after a concussion is to effectively manage your symptoms. Post-concussion symptoms may include;
- Loss of concentration and memory
- Ringing in the ears
- Blurry vision
- Noise and light sensitivity
Post-concussion headaches can vary in frequency, intensity and duration. Headaches may be associated with a neck injury that occurred at the same time as the head injury and may result in tension type headaches or cervicogenic headaches and dizziness. If you have experienced a head injury severe enough to cause confusion, even if you have never lost consciousness, you should seek medical attention so that you don’t risk worsening your injury.
Skilled physical therapy intervention can be very effective at alleviating acute or chronic symptoms associated with post-concussive syndrome. At Balance Solutions you will be evaluated by a skilled licensed physical therapist to determine factors contributing to your condition, such as; oculomotor exam, videonystagmography, upper cervical spine mechanics, passive intervertebral mobility (segmental movement of each vertebrae), range of motion, muscle strength, joint mobility, soft tissue mobility, postural alignment, body mechanics, sensory integration and balance assessment. Following a thorough evaluation, a personalized plan of care with goals will be constructed specifically to meet your individual needs.