Concussion injuries are a type of brain injury that can occur in sports, physical activities, and accidents. They can cause a wide range of symptoms, such as headaches, dizziness, fatigue, and memory loss, which can significantly impact an individual's quality of life. In such cases, a sports injury physiotherapist can be extremely beneficial in helping people with concussion injuries to recover, regain their cognitive abilities, and get back to their daily activities. In this blog post, we will discuss how sports physios can help people with concussion injuries.
- Assessment of the Injury
The first step in the treatment of a concussion injury is to assess the extent of the injury. A sports injury physiotherapist will conduct a thorough assessment of the individual's concussion, which may include evaluating their cognitive and motor functions, balance, coordination, vision, and hearing. This assessment will help to determine the severity of the concussion and the best course of action to take.
- Developing a Treatment Plan
Once the concussion has been assessed, a sports injury physiotherapist will develop a customized treatment plan that is tailored to the individual's needs. This plan may include various forms of treatment, such as physical therapy, vestibular rehabilitation, and cognitive rehabilitation.
- Physical Therapy
Physical therapy is a crucial component of any treatment plan for concussion injuries. A sports injury physiotherapist will develop a rehabilitation program that includes exercises to strengthen the individual's neck and shoulder muscles, improve posture and balance, and restore range of motion. These exercises may include activities such as neck isometrics, shoulder shrugs, and balance training.
- Vestibular Rehabilitation
The vestibular system is responsible for regulating balance and spatial orientation. A concussion injury can disrupt the function of the vestibular system, leading to symptoms such as dizziness and vertigo. A sports injury physiotherapist can help to restore the function of the vestibular system through vestibular rehabilitation, which may include exercises such as gaze stabilization, balance training, and habituation exercises.
- Cognitive Rehabilitation
Concussion injuries can also affect an individual's cognitive abilities, such as memory, attention, and concentration. A sports injury physiotherapist can help to restore these abilities through cognitive rehabilitation, which may include exercises such as memory drills, attention tasks, and problem-solving activities.
- Graduated Return-to-Play Protocol
One of the ultimate goals of sports injury physiotherapy for concussion injuries is to help individuals safely return to their sport or activity. A sports injury physiotherapist will work with the individual to develop a graduated return-to-play protocol, which involves a stepwise progression of activity and exertion levels, while monitoring the individual's symptoms. This protocol is designed to ensure that the individual is fully recovered and can safely return to their sport or activity without risking further injury.
- Education and Advice
A sports injury physiotherapist will also provide education and advice to individuals with concussion injuries to help them understand their injury, manage their symptoms, and prevent further injury. They may also provide information on proper rest and sleep habits, nutrition, hydration, and stress management techniques.
In conclusion, sports injury physiotherapy plays a crucial role in the treatment and management of concussion injuries. They provide a comprehensive treatment plan that includes assessment, physical therapy, vestibular rehabilitation, cognitive rehabilitation, graduated return-to-play protocol, education, and advice. With their help, individuals with concussion injuries can recover, regain their cognitive abilities, and return to their sport or activity with confidence.
Interested in learning more?
Read on in our series of articles on Concussion!
About the Author - Sonia Gashgarian
Sonia Gashgarian is a registered physiotherapist who graduated with a Master of Science in Physical Therapy from the University of Toronto. Prior to this she completed her Bachelor of Science in Kinesiology with Honours from the University of Waterloo. Sonia has completed courses in sports taping and basic kinesio-taping, as well as the McKenzie Method of Mechanical Diagnosis and Therapy and Mulligan Concept. She also has her APTEI Acupuncture and Dry Needling Certification.
Sonia uses a variety of treatment techniques to help clients feel better and return to their regular activities as soon as possible. Her individualized treatments may include the following: education, joint mobilizations, exercise prescription, soft tissue release, trigger point release, taping, acupuncture and dry needling, cupping, and Gua Sha.
To book in please call us at (519) 442-2206 or click here.