A concussion is a traumatic brain injury from a direct blow that alters the way your brain functions. Effects are usually temporary, but can include problems with headache, concentration, memory, judgment, balance and coordination.
Concussion, also known as mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI), is a very common condition in the United States, accounting for 80% of all traumatic brain injuries with as many as 3.8 million injuries occurring yearly from sport-related events alone. Although the vast majority of individuals with a single concussion recover within days to weeks, a significant minority develop long-term problems which collectively are known as post-concussion syndrome.
Although concussions usually are caused by a blow to the head, they can also occur when the head and upper body are violently shaken as in an accident of some sports. These injuries can cause a loss of consciousness, but most concussions do not. Because of this, some people have concussions and don’t realize it.
Concussions are common, particularly if you play a contact sport, such as football. But every concussion injures your brain to some extent. This injury needs time and rest to heal properly. Luckily, most concussive traumatic brain injuries are mild, and people usually recover fully. A medical evaluation is necessary to evaluate the severity of any concussion, in order to determine if treatment is indicated and also to determine when resumption of driving, work or sports is appropriate.
Post-concussion syndrome is a complex disorder in which a variable combination of post-concussion symptoms – such as headaches, dizziness and loss od balance – last for weeks and sometimes months after the injury that caused the concussion.
Concussion is a mild traumatic brain injury, usually occurring after a blow to the head. Loss of consciousness isn’t required for a diagnosis of concussion or post-concussion syndrome. In fact, the risk of post-concussion syndrome doesn’t appear to be associated with the severity of the initial injury.
In most people, post-concussion syndrome symptoms occur within the first seven to 10 days and go away within three months, though they can persist for a year or more. Post-concussion syndrome treatments are aimed at easing specific symptoms. Physical therapists are often called upon to manage post traumatic position al vertigo and the loss of balance and equilibrium that often results in post-concussion syndrome. Computerized balance testing is very helpful in assessing patient condition, guiding treatment and determining progress objectively. Many athletic programs perform pre participation balance evaluation and screening in order to obtain an object baseline of the athlete’s balance capabilities, in the event that a concussive injury is sustained during play.
What Sets Us Apart
FYZICAL Therapy and Balance Centers provide expert evaluation and treatment to children and adults with concussion and other head injuries. The clinicians in our enters bring together a wide range of techniques and the most up to date balance recovery technology from physical medicine and rehabilitation, orthopaedics and sports medicine. We manage all aspects of balance recovery from concussion and other head injuries, help people and their families to cope with lingering effects, and offer recommendations about returning to sports, school, work, and other activities.
A person with a head injury should be treated immediately in an emergency room. You can also call the FYZICAL Therapy and Balance in Lake Success at (516) 482-0100 between 8:30AM and 6:30PM, Monday through Friday, to speak with one of the center’s highly trained physical therapists, who can determine whether you need emergency care or an appointment with one of our clinicians. Our concussion referral specialists ensure that you are seen in a timely manner and match you with the appropriate physician.
Vestibular Rehabilitation in Concussion Management
Vestibular rehabilitation is an exercise-based therapy that maximizes the body’s natural ability to maintain balance and equilibrum. The Vestibular Rehabilitation Program at FYZICAL Therapy and Balance of Lake Success is one of the most comprehensive of its kind in the tri-state area. Our vestibular physical therapists work with your neurologist or otolaryngologist to diagnose and treat patients experiencing dizziness, imbalance, headaches or visual disturbance related to concussion or head injury.
A wide range of conditions can result in feeling dizzy or off balance, including: benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV), labyrinthitis, vestibular neuritis, Ménière’s disease, acoustic neuroma, perilymph fistula, inner ear concussion syndrome, traumatic brain injury, stroke, and post-concussion syndrome.
Diagnosis and Treatment
We evaluate you to determine the specific nature of your vestibular dysfunction and create a treatment plan that works best for you. Therapies include balance retraining exercises, oculomotor and gaze stabilization exercises, sensory organization training, aerobic conditioning, and canalith repositioning treatment for BPPV.
Over 200 million adults and children participate in organized and recreational sports each year. While the benefits of sport participation go without question, the risk for injury is certainly present. Despite substantial effort to understand the various predisposing factors that may contribute to injury, significant risk is inherent with all athletic participation. Researchers are spending considerable effort looking at ways to recognize individuals at high risk for future injury. While a number of mechanical causes for lower extremity injury have been identified, limited information is available on the risk of musculoskeletal injury post-concussion. Concussion has garnered attention recently due to the serious long-term cognitive consequence that may occur from repeated head trauma. This newsletter will review concussion and the current evidence regarding the risk for musculoskeletal injury that may ensue.
Concussions occur at all levels of athletic participation across a myriad of sports. Evidence suggests that up to 3.8 million concussions transpire in sport and recreational activities each year.1 While the risk of getting a concussion is likely higher in contact sports, all recreation sports likely possess some risk for head injury. Reports indicated that up to 19% of rugby and football players are likely to suffer a concussion during their respective seasons.2 Evidence also suggests that repeated concussions increase the potential for long-term cognitive, emotional and physical consequences. Thus, recent research efforts have focused on ensuring an athlete is ready to return to sport post-concussion as to avoid further brain injury. However, until recently, the literature has been void of information regarding the risk of musculoskeletal injury following concussion.