Have you noticed that since hitting their head, your young athlete seems “off?” Are headaches and difficulty concentrating making it challenging to tolerate school and/or homework? You or your loved one might be dealing with the effects of a concussion. Fortunately, at Midland Sports Rehab and Freeland Sports Rehab, our physical therapists are trained to handle post-concussion symptoms and safely return to sports!
Research has shown that female athletes may be more likely to sustain a concussion while playing sports than male athletes. In addition, female athletes have demonstrated higher post-concussion symptoms, have slower reaction times than baseline, exhibit more significant cognitive decline, take longer to recover, and have prolonged concussion-related symptoms.
Luckily, our physical therapists at Midland & Freeland Sports Rehab in the tri-cities area specialize in concussion management for young athletes, specifically young female athletes. If you are looking for solutions to resolve your symptoms and get back to doing what you love, don’t hesitate to request an appointment today!
What is a concussion?
A concussion is defined as a type of traumatic brain injury caused by a blow to the head or the body that causes the head and brain to move rapidly back and forth. It is common in contact sports like soccer, hockey, and football. However, concussions also occur in non-contact sports like gymnastics, dancing, and cheerleading.
The most common symptoms of a concussion include:
For some, the symptoms are more serious and debilitating, including:
- A lack of coordination and balance dysfunction
- Memory loss
- Nausea and vomiting
- Visual disturbances including gaze instability
- Ringing in the ears
- Excessive fatigue
At Midland and Freeland Sports Rehab, we can address symptoms in a comprehensive physical therapy program. Our team will provide the most advanced techniques to optimize your recovery and help you safely return to sports participation.
What to expect with physical therapy for concussions
Although there’s no specific cure for concussion, knowing what to look for is key to resolving the symptoms. Early in the healing process, “relative” rest (i.e., mild activity without provoking symptoms) and restricting activities allow the brain to recover.
We will start with a comprehensive evaluation to identify all the factors contributing to the post-concussion symptoms. This will consist of a thorough history to understand the event that caused the injury and the athlete’s overall health.
We will use this information to develop a personalized treatment plan of action. This comprehensive plan includes manual therapy, vestibular and oculomotor training, and progressive exercise training. We will use any appropriate safe, and effective technique in addressing injury-related impairments for individuals diagnosed with a concussion.
Concussion Treating Techniques
- Exercise Therapy: Researchers have demonstrated complete resolution of concussion symptoms through a graded exercise program alone. There are even some indications that aerobic exercise might even help speed recovery in the early stages after concussion!
It is essential to see a physical therapist that knows how to guide you through a program that is tailored to your specific needs.
- Manual Therapy: Research has shown that the acceleration required to cause a concussion is more than necessary to cause whiplash, so we know those with concussions also have traumatized the muscles and joints of the neck.
The ideal way to identify what symptoms are coming from the neck or a concussion is by visiting with a skilled physical therapist.
- Vestibular and Visual Rehabilitation: Dizziness is one of the most common ongoing complaints of patients with persistent symptoms. This may be due to several possible issues with the balance centers of your brain, your visual system, and/or problems with your neck’s muscle and joint sensors.
Our physical therapists will assess each of the systems and how they may interact to provide a program tailored to your specific needs.
Your physical therapist will then incorporate a gradual return of sport-specific activities to assist you in a safe return to training and competition. Every program includes before and after testing to ensure objective improvements back to baseline are achieved before returning to sports.
At Midland Sports Rehab and Freeland Sports Rehab, our physical therapists are highly skilled and adept at treating athletes and anyone who has suffered from a concussion.
Having someone that regularly treats post-concussion symptoms is an important consideration to make. At Midland Sports Rehab and Freeland Sports Rehab, we know how to help you safely and efficiently recover and return to training and competition!