What is a concussion?
A concussion is a traumatic brain injury. A concussion is caused by a quick acceleration/deceleration movement causing a whiplash-like action, a direct blow to the head, or a blast injury shaking the brain. In all of these instances, the brain is injured as it comes in contact with the skull. During normal activities, the protective layers around the brain including pia, arachnoid layer with cerebral spinal fluid(CSF), and dura matter act to absorb a shock and protect the brain. But in the case of a concussion, the force overcomes the ability of these layers to protect the brain causing injury and inflammation.
A concussion will affect the brain possibly causing some or all of the following symptoms:
headaches, difficulty concentrating, impaired memory, impaired balance and coordination, sensitivity to light, sensitivity to sound, confusion or foggy feeling, ringing in the ears, nausea, fatigue, vision disturbance, dazed appearance and feeling, irritability, and depression. In many cases, these symptoms improve within weeks to a few months. In some cases, these symptoms may persist. This is called Post-Concussion syndrome.
In approximately 25% of concussions, the symptoms continue months after the insult. This is called post-concussion syndrome. The symptoms that usually persist are headaches, vertigo, thinking difficulties, and light sensitivity, and sound sensitivity. Some people experience post-traumatic headaches where only the headache persists or post-traumatic vertigo where only the vertigo persists.
It is important to seek help from a medical doctor and neurologist if symptoms persist. It is also important to rest and prevent further head trauma as multiple concussions are cumulative and can be dangerous.
Your doctor may refer you to a physical therapist as we can be very helpful with both concussion symptoms and post-concussion syndrome.
Physical therapy treatment for concussions
Advanced manual therapy is a very important treatment modality for concussions. Manual therapy can improve inflammation, improve proper movement and alignment, and relieve compression. Manual therapy for concussion has improved symptoms like headache, vertigo, fogginess, light sensitivity, sound sensitivity, and visual disturbances. Results of manual therapy after concussions have been dramatic in our clinic.