If you or someone you know has suffered a concussion, the lingering effects can be frustratingly stubborn. Lack of balance and coordination, headaches, and dizziness may remain, even after the traditional waiting period of 24 hours has passed. Post-concussion syndrome treatment is especially important to prevent long-term ill effects and enable patients’ return more quickly to normal activities. At Deborah Heart and Lung Center Physical Therapy with services by Ivy Rehab, our physical therapists will design an individualized program to treat your post-concussion symptoms safely, so you can return to your normal life as soon as possible.
What is a concussion?
A concussion is defined as a traumatic brain injury that results in disrupted brain function. A direct blow to the head or a direct force impact to the upper body that, in turn, transmits force to the head causes a concussion. The injury may or may not cause a loss of consciousness.
Most victims of a concussion are athletes participating in high-impact sports like football. However, car accidents, falls, household mishaps and other incidents also cause concussions. While most concussions are relatively mild, seeking a full medical evaluation is vital to ensure the patient receives timely post-concussion treatment to achieve a full recovery.
Patients who do not seek follow-up medical care may be susceptible to second-impact syndrome, also known as post-concussion syndrome. Symptoms may include a loss of balance and coordination, loss of muscle control, dizziness and headaches, sensitivity to light or sound and difficulty concentrating, as well as blurred vision.
Depending on the individual, post-concussion syndrome treatment may vary. Your doctor can evaluate your case and recommend the best course of action.
Symptoms of a Concussion
Symptoms of a concussion appear in moments following the injury and may linger for days or months. Prompt post-concussion syndrome treatment helps speed recovery. The immediate symptoms may include amnesia surrounding the event, a dazed look, confusion or mental fogginess, slurred speech or delay in responses, difficulty with concentration, dizziness, and a tired feeling. Nausea or vomiting, ringing in the ears, and headache may also indicate a concussion. It’s important to have a medical evaluation as soon as possible if you suspect that you or your child has received a concussion.
Assessment of a Concussion
Identifying symptoms of a concussion include testing the following:
- Oculomotor Functions: Testing coordinated eye movements, tracking, and focusing
- Vestibular Evaluation: Assessment of dizziness and balance deficits
- Musculoskeletal Assessment: Evaluation of muscle strength, flexibility, and coordination
- Cardiovascular Response: Post-concussion individuals often experience an elevated heart rate. A treadmill test, also known as a Balke Test, is performed to determine safe exercise parameters.