top of page

Concussion Treatment

Ski Helmets

Concussion is another word for a mild traumatic brain injury. So it should be taken seriously. Concussions can be life changing and need to be managed carefully and slowly. Following a concussive event there's a number of things that can happen and should be accurately assessed being:

  • Brain function through SCAT questionnaire and reaction time testing

  • Vision Integration testing

  • Cervical Spine examination

There's a big push now to do pre-season baseline concussion tests. This is a great idea. If you'd like to do a baseline concussion test yourself you can do a basic one with reaction time testing and a self questionnaire

How a concussion is managed is entirely determined by its assessment. There are different parts of the brain that can be affected after concussion being visual integration, vestibular and musculoskeletal so there's no 'one size fits all'. If you think you've had a concussion and the self questionnaire points to that, you can start by reading this blog.

Following a concussion, the brain will also have less tolerance to input. Input can be understood as everything you do through your day. Whether that's going to appointments, working, watching TV, reading and general housework. The brain typically can do less until burnout which can result in what's called 'ANS confusion'. ANS confusion just means the brain has a hard time knowing when to 'rest and digest' and when to 'fight or flight'. What happens is when you're trying to sleep it can feel like you're being chased by a lion and when you're trying to work all you want to do is sleep. This can become understandably frustrating and actually lead to further burnout. As you start to treat the injured parts of the brain, they learn to habituate through a process called neuroplasticity. Over time with treatment, the brain heals and you're able to return to normal life. However, if you continue to let the brain burnout, it can create a negative feedback loop where the chronic stress following concussion can lead to further cognitive decline. This can lead to 'post concussion syndrome' where symptoms persist for some time after the injury. So it's really important that you have a staged recovery back into normal life.

Treatment you can expect at a physio can include:

  • Manual therapy and neuromeningeal manipulation to reduce strain on the nervous system

  • Training the muscles of the neck to work with your vision to reduce stress on your brain

  • Neck treatment and strengthening for resilience and long term resolution of your problem

  • A graded return to normal life

  • A home exercise program for vestibular or visual training to return to normal living.

If you've had a concussion and you'd like to know more about how integrative physio can help you click here.

bottom of page