Updated: May 5
What is a concussion:
A concussion, also known as a mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI), occurs when there is an external force which results in a bump, blow, or jolt to the head or body. This impact causes the head and brain to move rapidly back and forth. This movement can cause the brain to bounce around or twist in the skull creating chemical changes in the brain. Some concussions result in a loss of consciousness, however most do not. Symptoms may begin to start immediately or they may be delayed.
Causes of a concussion:
Falls remain the number one cause of concussions. Sports, particularly impact sports such as football, soccer, lacrosse, basketball, gymnastics, and wrestling are among the top causes. Other causes are car accidents, objects falling onto the head, and falls off bicycles. Research continues to evaluate means to assist in the reduction of concussions especially in sports, however there is no equipment that will prevent concussions. It is critical that individuals whom sustain a concussion have complete resolution of their symptoms and have a full recovery before they return to sport/activity.
Symptoms of a concussion:
There is a wide spectrum of symptoms one may experience with a concussion. Some of the most common are: headaches, nausea, vomiting, dizziness, vertigo, blurred vision, light and noise sensitivity, loss of balance, sleep disturbances/changes, fatigue, decreased coordination, confusion, difficulty concentrating, changes in speech, decreased memory, emotional changes
How can a Physical Therapist help in the recovery from a concussion?
Many people whom sustain a concussion will recover with time and rest. Others may continue to struggle with their symptoms which affects their daily life routines. A Physical Therapist trained in vestibular rehabilitation can evaluate, assess and assist you in retraining the visual, vestibular and sensory systems to restore normal function and thus reduce/eliminate your symptoms.