- Understand what a concussion is and how they occur
- Learn the signs and symptoms that can be indicative of a concussion
- Become aware of the referral process and the treatment that will be provided
What is a concussion?
The American College of Science Medicine defines a concussion as an injury to the brain resulting from a sudden force, which causes the brain to move around in the skull and may result in swelling and chemical changes. This can occur following a low or bump to the head; however, not all blows to the head result in a concussion. Many people with concussions may recover in 7-14 days. Those with multiple concussions or delayed treatment may incur post-concussive syndrome, in which symptoms may linger for weeks to months.
Signs and Symptoms
- Confusion or lack of clarity
- Difficulty concentrating
- Decrease in memory
- Personality changes
- Heightened emotions
- Changes in sleep patterns
- Clumsy or off balance
Referral to a Physical Therapist Patient most often are referred to physical therapy from a sports medicine, orthopedic, neurologic or primary care physician when dysfunction is noted that can be address and assisted by a physical therapist.
- Our goal is to alleviate all concussion related symptoms so that you may return to a normal, symptom free life.
- Vestibular (balance and dizziness), oculomotor (how our eyes interact with the world), cognitive (recalling information and memory), and cardiovascular (increasing our heart rate for exercise or daily activities) exercises will be incorporated into your treatment. Some exercises will bring on symptoms, which is normal. By inducing symptoms in a controlled manner, we are retraining the brain to adapt to these demands.
- Symptoms can be limited at home, school, and work by minimizing screen time, especially at night, and learning when your body and brain need to rest.
- Exercises will slowly increase in duration and intensity as your treatment progresses and your brain begins to heal.
- All individuals are different, so there is no specific time period in which a full recovery will occur.
- We also offer Buffalo Concussion Treadmill Test, a new standardized tool that can assess whether or not a patient is cardiovascularly ready to return to full activities in conjunction with concussion symptoms.
Physical Therapy Team
Abbey McClanahan PT, DPT
Kimberly Vu PT, DPT
- Karlson, K. Concussion in Sports [Internet]. ACSM 2011 [cited 2017 July 21]. Available from: https://www.acsm.org/docs/brochures/concussion-in-sports.pdf.
- Center for Disease Control and Prevention. What is a Concussion? [Internet]. Georgia: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services [updated 2017 Jan 31; cited 2017 July 20]. Available from: https://www.cdc.gov/headsup/basics/concussion_whatis.html.