If you or someone you know has experienced a concussion then keep reading to learn the benefits of physiotherapy for concussions.
Concussions are mild traumatic brain injuries (mTBI) that can occur due to a blow to the head or violent shaking. They are commonly seen in sports-related injuries, but can also happen due to falls, car accidents, and other types of trauma.
The symptoms of a concussion can vary widely depending on the severity of the injury. Still, they may include headaches, dizziness, confusion, memory loss, blurred vision, sensitivity to light or noise, and difficulty concentrating. These symptoms can significantly impact your daily life and ability to perform everyday tasks.
Physiotherapy is a form of rehabilitation that uses exercise and movement-based interventions to help individuals recover from injuries or illnesses. In recent years, physiotherapy has become an increasingly important part of concussion management as research has shown that it can help patients recover more quickly and effectively than traditional rest-based approaches alone.
In this blog post, we’ll explore how physiotherapy can be used to manage concussions and help you get back to your normal routine as soon as possible.
Signs and Symptoms of Concussions
Concussions can cause a wide range of physical, cognitive, and emotional symptoms that can vary in severity from person to person. Some common signs and symptoms of concussions that may require physiotherapy intervention include:
- Headaches or pressure in the head
- Dizziness or balance problems
- Nausea or vomiting
- Sensitivity to light or noise
- Blurred vision or ringing in the ears
- Memory loss or difficulty concentrating
- Confusion or disorientation
- Changes in mood or behaviour, such as irritability, anxiety, or depression
It’s important to note that not all symptoms of a concussion may appear right away. In some cases, symptoms may take hours or even days to develop. That’s why it’s crucial to seek medical attention after any head injury – even if you feel fine initially.
If you do experience any of the above symptoms after a head injury, it’s essential to consult with a medical professional as soon as possible. They can assess your condition and determine whether physiotherapy is an appropriate treatment option for your specific needs.
In the next section of this blog post, we’ll explore how physiotherapy can help individuals recover from concussions more quickly and effectively than traditional rest-based approaches alone.
Why Physiotherapy is Effective for Concussion Management
Physiotherapy is an effective treatment option for individuals recovering from concussions. A physiotherapist can work with patients to develop a personalized treatment plan that addresses their unique symptoms and needs.
Here are some ways that physiotherapy can help with concussion recovery:
1. Restoring Physical Function
A concussion can impact various physical functions, such as balance, coordination, and vision. Physiotherapists can use specialized exercises and techniques to help patients regain these physical functions more quickly and effectively.
2. Reducing Pain and Discomfort
Concussions can cause headaches, neck pain, and other types of discomfort. Physiotherapy interventions such as manual therapy techniques can help reduce pain levels in affected areas by improving blood flow, reducing muscle tension or spasm, and promoting relaxation.
3. Preventing Secondary Complications
Individuals with concussions may be at risk of developing secondary complications such as muscle weakness or atrophy due to prolonged bed rest or immobility. Physiotherapists can design exercise programs to prevent these complications while promoting overall health and well-being.
4. Improving Cognitive Function
Concussions can also affect cognitive functions such as memory, attention span, and concentration levels. Visual therapy exercises may be used to improve cognitive function in individuals who have sustained a concussion.
Benefits of Early Intervention with Physiotherapy
Early intervention with physiotherapy following a concussion diagnosis has been shown to lead to faster recovery times and better outcomes overall. By seeking medical attention immediately after a head injury occurs, individuals can receive prompt evaluation and treatment recommendations from healthcare professionals.
Physiotherapy offers several benefits for individuals recovering from concussions by restoring physical function, reducing pain levels and discomfort while preventing secondary complications from arising early on in the recovery process. It is important to seek medical attention promptly if you suspect you have suffered a concussion so that you may receive appropriate care from healthcare professionals including a qualified physiotherapist to facilitate your recovery journey towards optimal health and wellbeing.
Types of Physiotherapy Treatment for Concussions
When it comes to treating concussions, physiotherapy offers a variety of interventions that can help patients recover more quickly and effectively than rest-based approaches alone. Below are some of the different types of physiotherapy treatments available:
Vestibular Rehabilitation Therapy (VRT)
VRT is a type of physiotherapy that focuses on improving balance and reducing dizziness or vertigo symptoms. It involves exercises and techniques designed to stimulate the vestibular system – which controls our sense of balance – and improve its function.
VRT may include a range of exercises such as gaze stabilization exercises, head movements, balance training, and exercises. These exercises are tailored to each patient’s specific needs, depending on their symptoms and level of impairment.
Manual Therapy Techniques
Manual therapy techniques involve hands-on manipulation of soft tissue structures such as muscles, tendons, ligaments, and joints. This type of treatment can help reduce pain and stiffness in the neck, shoulders, and other areas affected by a concussion.
Some common manual therapy techniques used in concussion management include myofascial release, trigger point therapy, joint mobilization/manipulation, and soft tissue massage.
Aerobic Exercise Programs
Aerobic exercise programs can help improve cardiovascular fitness and promote overall physical health after a concussion. These programs may include activities such as walking or jogging on a treadmill, stationary cycling or rowing machines.
The intensity level should be adjusted based on individual tolerance levels. The physiotherapist will monitor patients’ progress closely to ensure that they do not experience any adverse effects during exercise.
Visual Therapy Exercises
Visual therapy exercises are designed to help individuals with visual disturbances caused by concussions. They can help improve eye-tracking ability, reduce headaches caused by visual stimuli sensitivity (photophobia), and improve depth perception (binocular vision), among others.
Visual therapy exercises may include pursuits or tracking exercises with moving objects or focusing on stationary objects at different distances. The goal is to retrain the eyes to work together more effectively while reducing any discomfort caused by visual stimuli.
The Benefits of Physiotherapy for Concussions
Physiotherapy can be a highly effective treatment option for individuals recovering from concussions. Here are some of the ways in which physiotherapy can benefit patients:
Faster Recovery Time
Research has shown that physiotherapy interventions such as VRT, manual therapy, aerobic exercise programs, and visual therapy exercises can help speed up the recovery time for individuals suffering from concussions. These treatments can help reduce symptoms such as headaches, dizziness, balance problems, and cognitive impairments.
Individualized Treatment Plans
Physiotherapists tailor their treatment plans to each patient’s specific needs and symptoms. This individualized approach ensures that patients receive the right level of care and support throughout their recovery journey.
Non-Invasive Treatment Options
Unlike other medical interventions such as surgery or medication, physiotherapy is a non-invasive treatment option that carries little to no risk of adverse side effects. Patients can feel confident in knowing that they are receiving safe and effective care without any unnecessary risks.
Improved Quality of Life
Concussions can have a significant impact on an individual’s quality of life, affecting their ability to perform daily activities or engage in physical activity. Physiotherapy interventions such as VRT and aerobic exercise programs can help improve balance and cardiovascular fitness levels – allowing individuals to resume normal activities more quickly.
How Long Does It Take to Recover from A Concussion?
The recovery time for a concussion can vary depending on several factors. While some individuals may recover within a few days or weeks, others may require months of rehabilitation and support.
Factors that Affect Recovery Time from Concussions
The severity of the concussion is one of the most significant factors affecting recovery time. A mild concussion may only take a few days to recover from, while a more severe concussion can take several weeks or even months.
Individual factors such as age, overall health, and pre-existing medical conditions can also impact the length of recovery. Additionally, previous concussions or head injuries can increase the risk of longer recovery times.
Other factors that can affect recovery time include:
- The individual’s ability to rest and avoid physical activity
- The type and intensity of symptoms experienced
- The availability and quality of medical care and support
Expected Timeline for Recovery Based on Severity and Individual Factors
The expected timeline for recovery from a concussion will vary based on the severity of the injury and individual factors. In general, mild concussions typically resolve within 7-10 days, while moderate to severe concussions may require 2-4 weeks or longer for a full recovery.
It is important to note that every individual’s experience with a concussion is unique, and there is no set timeframe for recovery. Some people may experience lingering symptoms or cognitive deficits even after they have been cleared by their healthcare provider.
Concussion Treatment at Bergin Motion
At Bergin Motion we take concussions seriously. We treat them for what they are, tramautic brain injuries. We have physiotherapists who specialize in treating neurological conditions. Give us a call at let us help guide you through your recovery process.
Concussion alliance article on why you should consider working with a physical therapist for a concussion.
Physio-pedia article on concussions.
Concussions are a common injury that can have long-lasting effects on an individual’s health and well-being. While rest is essential to recovery, physiotherapy can be a highly effective treatment option for individuals recovering from concussions.
VRT, manual therapy techniques, aerobic exercise programs, and visual therapy exercises are just some of the interventions that physiotherapists may use to help patients recover more quickly and effectively.
Physiotherapy offers several benefits for individuals with concussions, including faster recovery times, individualized treatment plans, non-invasive treatment options, and improved quality of life.
If you or someone you know has suffered a concussion recently, let our physiotherapists at Bergin Motion guide you through your recovery from a concussion.
About Bergin Motion
Bergin Motion is a Barrie Physiotherapy Clinic. Bergin Motion offers physiotherapy in Barrie to clients with a wide range of conditions.
The clinic in Barrie specializes in orthopedic, neurological, and pelvic health disciplines.
Bergin Motion treats clients both at their clinic and in the comfort of their own home if they cannot travel to the clinic.
Located in the south end of Barrie, Ontario, the physio clinic boasts 9000 sq. ft., with seven treatment rooms and a fully equipped gym.