A concussion is a mild traumatic brain injury (TBI) caused by a bump, blow, or jolt to the head or body. This injury leads to the brain’s temporary disruption. Concussions are common, resulting in approximately 3.8 million injuries a year. Most concussions are considered mild. However, they are still very serious and require quick attention and care. Concussions can occur due to a variety of accidents. Contact and non-contact sports can both result in concussions if accidents happen. Everyday accidents, from workplace injuries to unexpected falls, can also result in concussions. The good news is that concussion supportive therapy can help guide you through your recovery journey.
Listen to your body to recognize the symptoms
Concussion symptoms can vary from person to person. This makes it essential to recognize the signs and seek prompt medical attention. Some concussion symptoms may appear quickly; other symptoms can take hours or even days to emerge. Common symptoms include:
- Memory problems.
- Sensitivity to light or noise.
- Mood or behavior changes.
- Sleep disruption.
- Balance problems.
- Vision issues.
- Speech impairment.
A seemingly minor symptom should not be ignored. It’s always important to err on the side of caution when a head injury is concerned. When in doubt, get it checked out.
Supportive physical therapy for your concussion
Physical therapy can play an important supportive role in your concussion recovery process. Physical therapists are instrumental in guiding patients through a safe and effective journey back to normalcy after a concussion injury. Supportive physical therapy techniques to help aid concussion recovery may include:
- Vestibular rehabilitation — Vestibular rehabilitation is a specialized form of physical therapy focusing on supporting the vestibular system. The vestibular system comprises the inner ear and brain structures, helping to control your balance and eye movements. After you have a concussion, your vestibular system might be impaired, resulting in dizziness and imbalance. Vestibular rehabilitation is a supportive physical therapy technique that helps to retrain your brain and inner ear. Retraining can help reduce your symptoms and improve your stability. Personalized exercises will meet your needs. They aim to help restore your equilibrium. Exercise can also reduce the disorienting feeling that can be associated with concussions.
- Visual therapy — Concussions can impact your vision and cause you to have double vision or difficulty focusing. Visual therapy is an important component of supportive physical therapy. Your physical therapist will guide you through exercises designed to help improve your eye coordination, focus and tracking. Addressing these visual challenges can help improve the clarity of your vision. It can also help alleviate associated symptoms like headaches and difficulty concentrating.
- Neck and cervical spine exercises — Your neck plays a crucial role in helping to stabilize your head and maintain your balance. After a concussion, your neck muscles might become strained and cause tension and discomfort. Your physical therapist can help guide you through specialized exercises intended to strengthen your neck muscles, support your head and boost overall stability. Improving your neck strength and mobility can help reduce headaches and dizziness. This improvement can also help you to have a smoother recovery process.
- Cognitive rehabilitation — Concussions can impact your cognitive functions, including memory, attention and problem-solving skills. Cognitive rehabilitation is a supportive physical therapy technique. It incorporates challenges to help stimulate your brain. Stimulation can aid in your functional recovery. Your physical therapist may have you do memory games, puzzles or problem-solving tasks to help engage you mentally. Improving your cognitive abilities can help promote your mental clarity and allow you to regain your focus and confidence.
- Relaxation techniques — Dealing with post-concussion symptoms can be emotionally challenging. Your physical therapist may incorporate relaxation techniques into your sessions to focus on calming your mind and reducing stress. Techniques like deep breathing exercises, mindfulness practices or gentle yoga can help you manage your anxiety and promote relaxation.
- Gradual exercise and activity progression — Your physical therapists will devise a personalized exercise program tailored to support your symptoms and recovery pace. These programs will involve a gradual progression of activities and exercises, allowing you to rebuild your strength and endurance over time. Introducing activities at an appropriate pace can help prevent the worsening of symptoms and help you regain your physical resilience without overwhelming your brain recovery. This methodical approach can help ensure a safe and effective return to your regular physical activities.
Concussions require careful attention, specialized care and a supportive team — REPAIR SI can help
Concussion supportive therapy at REPAIR SI can help guide you through your recovery journey. We offer tailored techniques and a personalized approach, helping to ensure that you receive the best care in your treatment. With the right support, you can emerge stronger and more resilient than ever before. Your recovery matters, and we can help you have a smooth road to recovery, reclaiming your life after your concussion injury.