Concussions can be very debilitating and dangerous. In fact, they are a type of brain injury that can result in long-term brain damage and reduce the normal functioning of the brain. This condition is caused by a severe impact to either the head directly or to the body which causes the brain to move inside the skull very rapidly. Concussions can result from such incidents as whiplash during a car accident or when players collide with each other on the field. Concussions can occur without the loss of consciousness – in fact most concussions that are sports related do not result in loss of consciousness. If you have suffered one of these incidents it is important to understand what is available in terms of treatment for concussions. Missoula residents who have suffered a concussion can benefit from the various treatment options available today.
Signs and Symptoms of a Concussion
Symptoms of a concussion can show up immediately or they may not appear for several days or weeks subsequent to the injury. If you experience any of the following symptoms after an injury that could cause the concussion, it’s important for you to seek medical attention and obtain the right type of treatment for concussions.
- Clumsy movement
- Change in personality or behavior
- General confusion
- Stunned or dazed appearance
- Inability to remember events before or after injury
- Loss of consciousness
- Unsure or forgetful of the score, game, sports plays, or opposing team
- Sensitivity to noise or light
- Vomiting or nausea
- Problems with memory or concentration
- Headache or feeling of pressure in the head
- Blurry or double vision
- Dizziness or problems with balance
- Hazy, sluggish, or groggy feeling
The Work of Physical Therapists
Many times, physical therapists will be involved in the treatment for concussions. Due to their training and knowledge, these individuals are able to evaluate and treat various issues related to concussions. Since no two concussions are exactly the same, it’s important for physical therapists to provide individualized assessments of patient conditions. Some of the treatment options provided can include manual therapy, vestibular rehabilitation, balance retraining, and visual training.
A type of service that can help athletes in the event of a concussion is balance testing. With this testing, measurements can be taken before the start of the sports season, with the results of the testing available to be used later in the event of a concussion. The testing can serve to determine the severity of any balance problems that occur after a concussion, which may lead to the implementation of a particular type of treatment for concussions. It can also help indicate when an athlete may safely return to the playing field.