Common symptoms include:
- Memory problems
Loss of consciousness occurs in about 1 in 10 concussions. A person with a concussion might have trouble answering basic questions or move in an awkward, clumsy way. Symptoms can start quickly, or they can be delayed and appear over the next day or two.
The Prognosis with Concussion Injuries
For about 9 in 10 people with concussions, symptoms disappear within 7 to 10 days.
Scientists have been working to learn more about those who take longer to recover. In a NIH study the majority of these kids recovered quite quickly or showed no increase in symptoms at all. On the other hand, a subgroup of kids, about 10% or 20%, showed a dramatic onset of symptoms after their injury and persistent symptoms that in some cases remained even 12 months after the injury.
If someone has symptoms of concussion, they shouldn’t try to finish the quarter or finish the game. They need to be taken out of play right away and be seen by a health care provider.
Our physical therapists have special vestibular and concussion rehabilitation training to help patients with a safe and optimal recovery time (optimal does not necessarily mean fast).
No two concussion injuries are the same. Different areas of the brain may be involved so your physical therapist will perform a thorough evaluation of your neurological system, musculoskeletal system, and balance systems.
Treatment may include:
Rest and recovery – patients with concussions often need to rest their brain and body during the recovery process. This includes a personalized and closely monitored program to limit physical, thinking, and remembering activities to avoid symptoms getting worse. Proper sleep hygiene (sleep habits) are also very important and our specialists can help with education to help concussion patients get a better night’s rest.
Restoring strength and endurance – rest can quickly lead to deconditioning of your body or in other words, the rest and recovery after a concussion means you will “get out of shape”. Our trained clinicians will prescribe a graded neuromuscular and endurance training program to help you get back to daily activities and/or sporting events.
Stopping dizziness and improving balance – dizziness is a common symptom after a concussion. It may be due to injury to the vestibular system. We may be help reduce or even eliminate dizziness and associated balance problems with specialized treatment and training techniques that may include:
- strength and motion exercises
- eye exercises
- hands-on techniques
- the use of specialized balance devices
Return to Sport and Your Normal Daily Activities – it’s important to add the appropriate level of exercises and functional activities gradually because too much stimulation may cause the symptoms to TEMPORARILY worsen.
With a proper assessment and closely monitored treatment program most patients will fully recover with minimal residual deficits. It is very important to follow the instructions of our physical therapist that are highly trained in the rehabilitation of concussion injuries.
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