Concussion Management

According to Parachute Canada, a concussion is “a brain injury that can’t be seen on routine X-rays, CT scans or MRIs. It affects the way a person may think and remember things, and can cause a variety of symptoms. Any blow to the head, face or neck, or a blow to the body that jars your head, could cause a concussion.”

Symptoms of a concussion are varied but can include:
• Feeling slowed down
• Drowsiness
• Fatigue
• Headache
• Light/noise sensitivity
• Dizziness
• Fogginess
• Difficulty remembering and concentrating

Likewise, management of a concussion is varied.  There is a saying among practitioners that treat patients with a concussion: “If you have seen one concussion, you have seen ONE concussion.”  This saying emphasizes the necessity for specific assessment and treatment strategies for the individual. This is a tenet of our philosophy at the Kinsmen Sports Centre Physical Therapy Clinic.  Each patient is unique and deserves to be assessed and treated that way.

Assessment following a concussion will include a detailed interview, evaluation of head and neck movements and strength, visual tracking, focusing, and convergence testing, motion sensitivity, balance, exercise tolerance and goal setting specific to the individual.

Treatment following a concussion involves 48 hours of initial rest and then a specific, graded return to school, work and sport.  Depending on the specific signs and symptoms of the patient, other treatment strategies will be utilized including balance exercises, ocular-motor or eye exercises, aerobic exercise, manual therapy, and acupuncture.

There are many different educational opportunities for our physiotherapists in this area.  The entire team has the knowledge and skill to assess and evaluate your specific case.  Specifically:

Managing a concussion is complex and specific.  If you suspect you have suffered a concussion, please get assessed early and start on a physiotherapy program specific to your case.

Simon Cooke, PT