Management for Concussions in Grande Prairie
Kinesis Physical Therapy Corp provides management for concussions in Grande Prairie. If you are living with the effects of a concussion, we can help. A concussion is a brain injury and treatment should be coordinated with your doctor in an effort to eliminate long-term consequences. We are trained to critically evaluate each patient from a physical, neurological and cognitive perspective, and to treat according to best evidence. We have established an inter-professional network of concussion care, and will provide referrals to other health care providers if it is indicated. Contact us today for further information about how to manage your concussion.
What is a concussion?
A concussion is a brain injury. It may be caused either by a direct blow to the head, face, neck or elsewhere on the body with a force transmitted to the head. A concussion typically results in the rapid onset of short lived impairment of neurological function that resolves spontaneously. However, in some cases, signs and symptoms may evolve over minutes to hours. A concussion may result in neuropathological changes, but symptoms largely reflect a functional change rather than a structural injury. Often there is no abnormality seen on x-rays, CT scan, or other imaging. A concussion results in a variety of clinical symptoms that may or may not involve a loss of consciousness. Resolution of the clinical and cognitive symptoms typically follows a sequential course. However, it is important to note that in some cases symptoms may be prolonged.
(Zurich Consensus Statement, 2012)
The suspected diagnosis of concussion can include one or more of the following symptoms:
- Headache, neck pain
- Dizziness, vertigo, ringing in the ears
- Light sensitivity, blurred or double vision
- Nausea and/or vomiting
- Loss of consciousness, amnesia
- Behavioral changes, such as irritability, depression, or mood swings
- Cognitive impairment, including slowed reaction time and feeling “in a fog”
Current Treatment Protocol
Canadian (CanChild, Parachute) and International (2012 Zurich Consensus) concussion guidelines are a very general, graduated return to activity approach. They consist of multiple steps wherein symptoms are monitored and activity levels are gradually increased. With such a variety of possible symptoms, it is obvious that no two individuals will have the same response to sustaining a concussion. Accordingly, patients can and should be assessed and treated on an individual basis.
Kinesis Physical Therapy’s Approach to Concussion Management
The current return-to-activity guidelines are not wrong, but they are lacking a lot of important information. Again, a concussion is a brain injury, and treatment should be coordinated in a serious effort to negate any lasting consequences. Evaluation and treatment of specific symptoms is a major deficiency in the process of managing concussions. Although research has determined that the best thing for the brain is rest, there is more that can be done. Clinically addressing dysfunction of individual body systems including the vestibular and visual systems has been shown to improve long term outcomes for patients who have sustained a concussion.
Concussion treatment includes but is not limited to:
- Education regarding energy conservation
- Vestibular and balance rehabilitation
- Management of concurrent injuries to the head, neck, back, spine, jaw, or other body part
- Visual and proprioceptive system retraining
Already sustained a concussion?
After sustaining a concussion, it is very important to rest, as it gives the body a chance to use energy to heal, and return to normal. However, everyone has a life to live, and it is impossible to sit in a dark room and do nothing until you are symptom free. Here are some tips to help you achieve the rest you need, while still living your life. Tip #1, if it strains your eyes to read this, have someone read it for you!
- Reduce screen time
- Limit the use of handheld devices
- Wear sunglasses as needed
- Avoid busy environments
- Avoid naps
- Make a plan for school: take a few days off, but the return should be slow, with teachers well informed
- Avoid avoiding too much, as it can lead to or worsen depression
- Avoid driving, especially at night
- Take your time: everything these days seems to move fast, slow down and let others help you recover
Concussions can produce a wide array of symptoms, which poses a challenge for coaches, trainers, parents, and health professionals involved in the care of an injured person. The time-course for recovery also varies widely from person to person, making it impossible to employ a “cookie-cutter” approach to concussion rehabilitation and return-to-activity timelines. Currently, there is no reliable diagnostic test or marker that can be used to identify a concussion when it’s occurred, or similarly, determine when a concussion has resolved. For this reason, a growing emphasis has been placed on objective baseline testing protocols that can be used to track an athlete’s recovery and serve as a tangible measurement for return-to-play readiness. By measuring an individual’s “normal” level of functioning, we are better able to gauge the level of impairment that may exist post-injury by performing comparative testing. This requires a multifaceted approach and that no single test should be used in isolation. (Adapted from shiftconcussion.ca)
In addition to standard protocols, Kinesis Physical Therapy uses neurocognitive ImPACT testing for baseline and post injury assessment. We currently offer baseline testing for groups of athletes ages 12 and up. Pricing will vary per the number of individuals being assessed. Please direct all inquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org.
It is never too late to be treated for a concussion. We have treated individuals from age 8 to 70+. We have seen patients the day after concussion and months after concussion. We have found that regardless of one’s current condition or stage of life, there is always room for improvement.
Progressive Treatment for Your Pain
Kinesis Physical Therapy Corp provides physical therapy, injury rehabilitation, and concussion management in Grande Prairie.