What is Concussion.
A concussion is a type of head injury which can be sustained in a number of different ways. Whilst they are typically associated with sporting events, a concussion can occur in many different environments and scenarios. A concussion typically involves a significant amount of force being experienced through the brain tissues and structures, which is followed by the onset of a number of concussion symptoms. Importantly the current classification of ‘a concussion’ does not require a loss of consciousness. Recovery from a concussion can vary from person to person, which is why it is very beneficial to have a health professional oversee you during this period.
What happens to me during a concussion?
During an incident where a concussion is sustained, the brains tissue and structures are subjected to a significant degree of force, which can temporarily impact on the normal functioning of the brain. Depending on the mechanism of injury you can also sustain injuries to adjacent structures such as the neck, jaw and inner ear structures. Symptoms from injuries to these structures can overlap with post-concussion symptoms and you need a skilled health professional to work through these with you.
How can a physiotherapist help?
Physiotherapists experienced in concussion assessment and recovery can assess your symptoms and advise on an appropriate treatment plan. This may include; manual therapy to address neck issues, balance re-training, prescription of a graduated return to exercise, education regarding recovery timeframes and expectations. The physiotherapist will also liaise closely with your GP and advise on appropriate services which can be accessed through ACC.
Concussion and return to sport.
Physiotherapists apply the latest evidence-based practice in guiding your return to sporting activities. This includes prescription of a graded exercise program that ensures a return to exercise at the right intensity, during your period of recovery post-concussion. A full medical clearance from you GP is always encouraged prior to return to full-contact sports.