Does Physiotherapy For Concussion Is Helpful?

When someone suffers a concussion, it can be a worrying time. This type of head injury, often stemming from a bump, blow, or jolt to the head, can lead to various health issues, notably impacting brain function.

Physiotherapy is a powerful tool for those recovering from a concussion. By focusing on balance, coordination, and specific exercises tailored to each person’s needs, helps ease symptoms like dizziness and headaches.

Our team at Proremedy Physio understands the challenges concussion brings and designs programs that support your journey to feeling better. With professional guidance, patients often notice significant improvements. If you’re dealing with concussion effects, consider reaching out to us for a consultation to see how we can help.

What is a Concussion?

A concussion is a form of traumatic brain injury (or TBI) that occurs from a bump, blow, or jolt to the head. It can also occur from a hit to the body that makes the head and brain move rapidly back and forth.

This unexpected motion has a possibility of the brain slipping around or rotating in the skull consequentially changing the substances in the brain and sometimes deforming and even damaging a brain cell.

Concussions are categorized as severe injuries; this is even though they are commonly called “mild TBIs’ because they tend to disrupt the normal functioning brain. Symptoms may be very wide-ranging and may disturb the physical, cognitive, and emotional aspects and sleep patterns of you.

The common symptoms are headache, dizziness, nausea and confusion among others including ringing the ears, slurred speech, and fatigue. Some trauma patients can display their symptoms very quickly while others may see behaviour variations or experience changes in their skills and capabilities weeks, days or time after a traumatic event.

Causes of Concussion

  • Falls
  • Motor vehicle-related collisions
  • Sports injuries
  • Playground accidents
  • Bicycle accidents
  • Physical violence, including domestic violence and child abuse
  • Military combat injuries
  • Explosive blasts and other combat injuries
  • Being struck by or against an object

Is Physiotherapy Beneficial for Concussion?

Yes, physiotherapy can be highly beneficial for individuals recovering from a concussion. Concussions can affect various aspects of physical and cognitive function, leading to symptoms like balance issues, dizziness, headaches, and difficulties with concentration. Physiotherapy offers a targeted approach to address these issues and support the recovery process. Here are some ways physiotherapy helps:

Addressing Physical Symptoms through Manual Therapy

Manual therapy, which is the main form of treatment in physiotherapy, effectively improves two primary concussion symptoms – headaches and neck pain. These methods help in easing the muscle and the pain that usually comes from the concussion as a result of traumatic brain injury.

Vestibular Rehabilitation for Dizziness and Balance Issues

Vestibular rehabilitation has proved to be efficient in the management of balance problems as well as dizziness symptoms which are normally observed in the post-concussion condition. Through this therapy, the basic function of the inner ear and brain, and ears are being restored to their usual positions to help one maintain balance.

Visual Motor Rehabilitation to Improve Coordination

Post-concussion, many individuals report issues with blurry vision and coordination. Physiotherapists employ visual motor rehabilitation exercises designed to enhance the connection between visual inputs and physical responses, crucial for recovering normal activities and brain function.

A Gradual Return to Activity

Physiotherapy highlights the vital aspect of the slow adaptation to activities, so the brain cells and functioning may be sufficient after an acute concussion. The use of this gradual, monitored approach of exercise helps in the prevention of symptoms progression, while facilitating the resumption of routine activities associated with sports or daily life.

Cognitive and Psychological Benefits

Stretching and strengthening the muscles through physical therapy exercises and activities not only speeds up physical recovery but also enhances cognitive abilities and overall well-being. Engaging in physical exercises is proven to elevate your mental status and increase brain performance.

Education and Prevention Strategies

Physiotherapists play a key role in educating patients about concussion management and prevention, including the recognition of common symptoms and the importance of physical rest immediately after a head injury. This knowledge is vital for preventing future concussions and ensuring a full recovery.

Symptoms of Concussion

  • Headaches
  • Dizziness
  • Confusion
  • Blurry vision
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Slurred speech
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Memory problems
  • Sensitivity to light or noise
  • Balance issues
  • Mood changes, such as irritability
  • Sleep disturbances, including sleeping more or less than usual
  • Feeling slowed down
  • Feeling like “in a fog”

The Bottom Line

In conclusion, recognizing the signs of concussion, such as vestibular disorders, double vision, and muscle weakness, especially in the neck muscles, is crucial right from the initial injury. Emotional symptoms and the current state of symptoms can greatly affect the recovery time, making it essential to give the brain enough time to heal.

A successful return to the desired level of activity, whether it’s daily tasks or sports, requires a carefully monitored period. Online courses and resources can offer valuable guidance during this time. Utilizing tools like brain scans can help in understanding the extent of injury and tracking the return to normal brain function. Patience and adherence to professional advice are key to a safe and effective recovery.

FAQs

1. What are the most common symptoms of a concussion? The most common symptoms involve headaches, dizziness, disorientation, and visual blurring.

2. How can physiotherapy help after a concussion? The role of physiotherapy includes soft tissue manipulation, balance training, and an incremental reactivation program.

3. How long does it take to recover from a concussion? Recovery may come in different forms, with recovery time per person ranging from several weeks to a couple of months.

4. Is it safe to return to sports after a concussion? Yes, but under the condition that it is done after a gradual process, and with the green light of a healthcare professional.

5. What should I do if I or someone I know suffers a concussion? First, get medical attention and see a physiotherapist with a recovery plan made and tailored for you.

Picture of Physiotherapist Arpan Hundal

Physiotherapist Arpan Hundal

Arpan has been practicing as a physiotherapist since 2010, starting her career in a trauma center in India where she worked with post-traumatic and post-operative cases. She moved to Canada and continued her independent practice, specializing in musculoskeletal, orthopaedic issues, sports injuries, and pelvic health physiotherapy. She has experience dealing with MVA and WSIB clients and has been working in the Mississauga community since 2015.

Picture of Physiotherapist Arpan Hundal

Physiotherapist Arpan Hundal

Arpan has been practicing as a physiotherapist since 2010, starting her career in a trauma center in India where she worked with post-traumatic and post-operative cases. She moved to Canada and continued her independent practice, specializing in musculoskeletal, orthopaedic issues, sports injuries, and pelvic health physiotherapy. She has experience dealing with MVA and WSIB clients and has been working in the Mississauga community since 2015.

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