A concussion is a traumatic brain injury caused by a force imparted to your brain. This force can be direct, such as from a hit to your head, or indirect, from an impact somewhere else on your body that transmits force to the brain. Concussions affect how the brain functions, but don’t show up on standard imaging tests like X-rays, MRIs, or CT scans.
Concussions can cause a variety of somatic, cognitive, and/or emotional symptoms, including headaches, dizziness, feeling foggy, or emotional lability. They can also affect balance, cognitive function, behaviour, or sleep.
Concussions affect different people in different ways, so your physiotherapist will start by assessing your condition. Often, the injury that causes a concussion may also cause a neck injury. Your physio will assess your neck, as well as your neurological status, balance, and overall function. Based on his or her findings, your physio may use some of the following treatment options to help you feel like yourself again:
· Manual therapy
· Stretching or strengthening exercises
· Balance and vestibular exercises
· Gradual exertion training
· Progressive return to activity or sport
Concussions are complex injuries and are treated best by a team of different health care professionals, especially if your symptoms are slow to recover. Your physio will work closely with the rest of your health care team to optimize your recovery, so that you can get back to doing what you love.