A concussion is defined as a mild traumatic brain injury induced by a hit to the head or whiplash-type injury. This causes shearing and twisting of the brain tissue and creates a mismatch between the energy supply and demand within the brain. It often leads to a temporary functional disturbance and patients may experience various symptoms, including but not limited to headaches, dizziness, sensitivity to light/noise, emotional imbalance, etc.
An acute concussion should be assessed and managed by a healthcare practitioner within days of the injury. This is, of course, important to prevent a potential secondary and fatal injury but also to optimize recovery and return to sport when appropriate. If symptoms persist beyond two weeks in an adult and four weeks in an adolescent, that is defined as Post Concussion Syndrome.
Our certified therapists are able to provide treatment for both acute concussion and Post Concussion Syndrome (PCS). Assessment of acute concussion or PCS in the clinic includes screening to rule out serious injuries, a thorough patient history questionnaire (ie. how the injury happened, previous concussions, symptoms, etc), evaluating eye movement and coordination with the inner ear, as well as an assessment of the neck.
Patients will receive education regarding concussion management at home which includes information specific to their condition (ie. appropriate cognitive or physical activity, retraining for the inner ear and eyes, and/or exercise prescription for the neck). You may also receive hands on treatment in the clinic for neck dysfunction. Guidance will be provided for a safe return to sport, school or work, based on recent research. If a more serious injury is suspected, the therapist may refer the patient back to their medical doctor at any point in the recovery process.
If an individual presents with any of the following, take them to the Emergency Room:
- Worsening headache
- Inability to recognize people/places
- Repeated vomiting
- Unusual behaviour, confusion or irritability
- Drowsiness or inability to be awakened
- Weakness or numbness in arms or legs
- Unsteadiness on their feet
- Slurred speech
If you require an assessment and treatment for a concussion, contact Summit Physio's clinic in Red Deer today.