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Why neurological physical therapy is the answer to your concussion



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A concussion is a mild traumatic brain injury that is caused by a bump, blow or jolt to the head. It can disrupt the brain’s normal function and cause a variety of symptoms like dizziness, headaches, fogginess and balance problems. While most concussions can heal on their own, some people can experience lingering symptoms that can significantly impact their daily lives. Neurological physical therapy is specialized PT to help treat conditions that affect the brain, spinal cord and nerves. Regular physical therapy can be beneficial for some aspects of concussion therapy; however, neurological physical therapy takes a different approach. It focuses on the neurological side of healing, not just strengthening muscles. 

How neurological physical therapy can help a concussion

Working with a neurological physical therapist can help you:

  • Understand your brain — Your brain is a delicate control center, and a concussion can disrupt the pathways that send messages throughout your body. Neurological physical therapy can help you understand how these pathways work. Your physical therapist can show you how to do exercises to help reestablish these connections and promote optimal function. 
  • Tame the dizziness — Feeling like the room is spinning after a bump to the head can be a common concussion symptom. Your physical therapist can use specific techniques to help improve your vestibular system, the part of your inner ear that is responsible for balance and spatial awareness. 
  • Focus clearly — Sometimes, concussions can affect your vision. Your physical therapist can assess these issues and recommend exercises or strategies to help improve your visual tracking and spatial awareness. 
  • Avoid sensory overload — Increased sensitivity to light and noise can make daily life difficult after a concussion. Your physical therapist can help guide you on techniques to manage these sensitivities and gradually return to your normal activities to help make daily life more comfortable.

What does neurological physical therapy look like?

Neurological physical therapy doesn’t involve heavy weights or intense workouts. Your session may include:

  • Balance exercises Balance exercises help challenge your vestibular system by helping it relearn how to interpret information from your eyes, inner ear and body. These exercises may involve standing on a wobble board, walking in a straight line or doing head movement exercises. They are designed to help improve your balance and reduce dizziness. 
  • Eye movement training — Special exercises can help improve your visual tracking skills and spatial awareness, which can be affected by a concussion. Eye movement training can help retrain your brain to regain these important skills. 
  • Cognitive rehabilitation — Brain teasers, memory games and other exercises can help retrain your brain for improved concentration, memory and information processing. This mental workout can help strengthen your cognitive abilities and get your brain back in top shape. 
  • Education — Your physical therapist can educate you about your concussion and how you can manage your symptoms at home. This may include recommendations for getting enough sleep, taking breaks from screens and managing your stress. Learning about your concussion can help empower you to take charge of your recovery. 

The sooner you address a concussion, the better. You don’t want to wait to see if symptoms improve on their own. Neurological physical therapy can significantly reduce your recovery time and get you back to feeling your best. It can also help prevent long-term problems that can sometimes occur after a concussion if left untreated. 

How do you know neurological physical therapy is right for you?

Some signs that neurological physical therapy can be right for you include:

  • You’re experiencing lingering symptoms from a concussion like dizziness, headaches or fogginess. 
  • You’re having difficulty concentrating or remembering things. 
  • You feel off balance or unsteady on your feet. 
  • You’re experiencing light or noise sensitivity that’s impacting your ability to do your normal activities.

Working with your neurological physical therapist

The frequency and duration of your PT sessions will vary depending on the severity of your symptoms and the progress you make. Your road to recovery may include:

  • Initial assessment — Your physical therapist will do a thorough evaluation to understand your concussion history, symptoms and any preexisting conditions. This may involve balance tests, cognitive assessments and discussions about your daily challenges. 
  • Goal setting — Together, you and your physical therapist will set realistic and achievable goals for your recovery. These may involve reducing dizziness, improving memory or regaining confidence in doing daily activities. 
  • Treatment plan — Based on your assessment and goals, your physical therapist will create a customized treatment plan that incorporates various techniques to help you recover.
  • Open communication — Communication is key in concussion recovery. Discussing  any changes in your symptoms or challenges you’re facing will help your physical therapist adjust your treatment plan as needed. 

With the right support and a neurological physical therapist by your side, you can overcome the challenges of a concussion and reclaim your life. Neurological physical therapy can be the key to unlocking your brain’s healing potential and getting you back to the activities you love. 

REPAIR SI can help you take charge of your concussion recovery 

At REPAIR SI, we understand that concussions can be a frustrating setback, and we want to help you recover and get back to doing the things you love. Our team of experienced physical therapists is dedicated to guiding you through your concussion recovery journey with neurological physical therapy. We’ll work closely with you to understand your unique needs and develop a personalized treatment plan designed to help reduce your symptoms, improve your cognitive function, and restore your balance and confidence. We can help you unlock your brain’s healing potential and get you back to feeling your best. 

Contact our team today for more information or to schedule an initial appointment.