I often get asked about what I do for a living and when I respond that I am a physical therapist many people ask me what kind of injuries I see. My response usually begins with the orthopedic injuries, which everyone kind of already expects, but one area in particular that almost always catches people off guard is when I tell them that I treat concussions.
What can a physical therapist do for a concussion?
That is a great question! Let me share with you the basics on what a concussion actually is.
Concussions: A mild form of traumatic brain injury, which is caused by a bump, blow, or jolt to the head. These injuries may be classified as mild but the symptoms they cause can be devastating to the people who are experiencing them.
Symptoms: Dizziness, headaches, poor balance, trouble concentrating, depression from lack of participation ability. Surprisingly, the symptom most correlated with a lengthened recovery is dizziness. For more information on the basics of concussions visit www.concussionfocus.org.
Now that you understand the basics of a concussion, I promised that I would begin to reveal the three unexpected concussion treatments…and here they are!
- Exertion therapy is used to help get the body back to regulating its normal functions like heart rate, and also returning the patient back to sport or work.
- Finally, the musculoskeletal piece is used to help with neck or back pain, which often goes hand in hand with a concussion.
- Vestibular therapy is used to help address dizziness, headaches, and lack of balance.
In order to avoid getting too long winded, I will be breaking down each one of these three main areas in future blog posts. For now I know this is a very general overview so if you have any further questions feel free to contact me!
Written by, Josiah Parker – PT, DPT
Question: What do you want to know about concussion therapy?