Concussion can cause long-lasting residual symptoms that can greatly impact quality of life. Fortunately much research has been done over the past 10 years regarding the prevention and treatment of this disorder. Research now indicates that early intervention, including physical and occupational therapy at 10 days post injury, allows for the best long term outcomes.
At St Lawrence Rehab Center, our therapists certified in the treatment of concussion are on top of the latest research. A Therapist performs a comprehensive evaluation and designs a customized and closely monitored program to maximize recovery and minimize down time.
What is a concussion?
A Concussion is a pathological process affecting the brain and induced by a direct or indirect blow to the head. This can be caused by a motor vehicle accident, sports injury, fall, assault or any other form of trauma. Routine imaging such as an MRI of the brain are typically normal since the injury is at a cellular level.
Symptoms of a concussion:Symptoms of a concussion can appear immediately following the injury or may develop over days or weeks following the injury. Symptoms can linger for days or months and greatly impact quality of life. Symptoms fall into these categories:
- Physical: visual disturbances, light/ noise sensitivity, headaches, dizziness, impaired balance, neck pain, nausea and fatigue
- Cognitive: mental fogginess, difficulty concentrating, delayed processing
- Emotional: irritability, sadness, nervousness, anxiety, labiality
- Sleep: drowsiness, altered sleep patterns
Comprehensive Assessment and Treatment Includes:
- Oculomotor System: Testing and retraining coordinated eye movements such as scanning, convergence/divergence, accommodation and saccades to allow for reading, use of a computer, driving and return to sports
- Vestibular Evaluation: Assessment and treatment of dizziness, vertigo and motion sensitivity, including BPPV (Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo), an inner ear condition that occurs frequently with concussion. May include use of Invision software (https://newborncare.natus.com/products-services/newborn-care-products/balance-mobility/neurocom-invision) to assess and pinpoint areas contributing to dizziness
- Balance Function: Assessment and treatment of balance responses including use of NeuroCom Balance Master (https://newborncare.natus.com/products-services/newborn-care-products/balance-mobility), one of the most advanced balance and mobility assessment and treatment tools available. A highly sensitive force plate connected to a computer measures the patient’s center of gravity and weight bearing symmetry as a patient performs various tasks under the close supervision of a therapist.
- Cognitive Function: Assessment and treatment of memory, attention, processing speed, articulation and comprehension, including the APT program (Attention Processing Training)
- Musculoskeletal System: Evaluation and treatment of the cervical spine (often painful after a concussion) as well as overall muscle strength, flexibility, and coordination
- Cardiovascular System: The Buffalo Concussion Treadmill test, recommended by leaders in the treatment of concussion, is administered, when appropriate, to determine safe exercise parameters
- Return to Sport: Return to play protocols recognized by the medical community are followed by therapists and used by therapists to transition an athlete to return to his or her sport
- Return to School or to Work: Therapists can assist in the transition back to school or work by communicating with school personnel or an employer and making recommendations for accommodations to limit excessive and bothersome external stimuli such as noises, crowds, and rich visual environments.
Schedule an appointment today with an experienced therapist by calling (609)896-2515.
For specific clinical questions please contact, Lisa Luskin, the Clinical Director at (609) 896-9500 ext 2383