Concussions are a complex injury and can affect more than just athletes. A concussion can be caused by any direct or indirect blow to your head or neck as a result of a fall, car accident or sport-related injury.
Symptoms vary greatly and can arise hours or days after your injury. Common symptoms include but are not limited to:
- neck pain
- balance problems
- blurred or double vision
- exercise intolerance
- difficulty sleeping
Symptoms may be a result of dysfunction of your vestibular system (balance system), oculomotor system (vision), cervical spine (neck) and/or autonomic nervous system (center that controls your heart rate and blood pressure).
Our physical therapists are trained to conduct a thorough evaluation of each of these systems to determine the source or sources of your symptoms and develop a comprehensive treatment plan to help guide you safely back to your previous activities. The therapist will prescribe an individualized exercise program consisting of drills to improve your neck’s range of motion and strength, balance, eye-hand coordination and dizziness.
Aerobic exercise is also prescribed to help restore your ability to tolerate activity/sports. Some individuals have difficulty with cognitive activities, which affects their ability to perform physical and mental activities at the same time (dual task). Specialized interventions targeted at improving your ability to perform dual task activities may also be prescribed and integrated into your treatment program.
If you are an athlete, current medical guidelines recommend a graded return to physical activity supervised by someone trained in concussion management. Our physical therapists will work with you through the return-to-play process and ensure you are safe to return to competition. In the state of Florida, youth athletes are mandated to complete a return-to-play protocol, and our therapists are qualified to implement this protocol.