How concussion management works
If you or someone you know has suffered a concussion, the lingering effects can be frustratingly stubborn. Lack of balance and coordination, headaches, and dizziness may remain, even after the traditional waiting period of 24 hours has passed. Post-concussion syndrome treatment is especially important to prevent long-term ill effects and to return more quickly to normal activities. At the Sunshine Network, our physical therapists will design an individualized program to treat your post-concussion symptoms safely, so you can return to your normal life as soon as possible.
What is a concussion?
Concussions are defined as a traumatic brain injury that results in disrupted brain function. A direct blow to the head or a direct force impact to the upper body that, in turn, transmits force to the head causes a concussion. The injury may or may not cause a loss of consciousness.
Most victims of a concussion are athletes participating in high-impact sports like football; however, car accidents, falls, household mishaps and other incidents also cause concussions. While most concussions are relatively mild, seeking a full medical evaluation is vital to ensure the patient receives timely post-concussion treatment to achieve a full recovery.
Patients who do not seek follow-up medical care may be susceptible to second-impact syndrome, also known as post-concussion syndrome. Symptoms may include a loss of balance and coordination, loss of muscle control, dizziness, and headaches, sensitivity to light or sound, difficulty concentrating, as well as blurred vision.
Depending on the individual, post-concussion syndrome treatment may vary. Your doctor can evaluate your case and recommend the best course of action.
Symptoms of a concussion:
Symptoms of a concussion appear in moments following the injury and may linger for days or months. Prompt post-concussion syndrome treatment helps speed recovery. The immediate symptoms may include amnesia surrounding the event, a dazed look, confusion or mental fogginess, slurred speech or delay in responses, difficulty with concentration, dizziness, and a tired feeling. Nausea or vomiting, ringing in the ears, and headache may also indicate a concussion. It’s important to have a medical evaluation as soon as possible if you suspect that you or your child has received a concussion. With Direct Access, you can receive the care you need right away.
Assessment of a concussion:
Identifying symptoms of a concussion include testing the following:
- Oculomotor Functions: Testing coordinated eye movements, tracking, and focusing
- Vestibular Evaluation: Assessment of dizziness and balance deficits
- Musculoskeletal Assessment: Evaluation of muscle strength, flexibility, and coordination
- Cardiovascular Response: Post-concussion individuals often experience an elevated heart rate. A treadmill test, also known as a Balke Test, is performed to determine safe exercise parameters.
Schedule your appointment today at an Sunshine Network location near you to learn more about our concussion management program.