by Dr. Becky Korosi, PT,DPT,ATC
An evaluation by a Physical Therapist specializing in concussions can help answer many of your questions!
Anyone can have a concussion, and it’s a very stressful situation to deal with. Often the symptoms are hard to explain and are not visible to others. Many people come in to their first visit with the same questions- what is wrong with me, and how can physical therapy help my brain? There are many things that we will be looking into at your first visit with us. First, we look to understand how you sustained your concussion. This gives us clues into what systems of your body we need to look at. We ask about your medical history and about any past concussions you may have had. This will give us a better sense of your recovery time. We also ask you about what symptoms you have been experiencing and what activities may provoke these symptoms. Again, this all giving us clues on how we can help you best.
Conducting Your Exam
One of the most common complaints after a head injury is headache and neck pain. We will conduct an exam on your neck and upper back to see how you are moving, how your muscles are functioning, and how the nerves, joints and muscle tissues are all moving; we might even look at your shoulders and core muscles too. While doing this, we are taking note of what may provoke symptoms and what areas are not functioning to their full capabilities. Those are the areas in need of physical therapy! We create a list of the problem areas that we have found and put together a plan of ways to address them to reduce the headache and neck pain.
The Ripple Effect of Concussion Symptoms
If there are symptoms of dizziness, we will take you through a vestibular evaluation. This exam will help to show how your balance and sensation systems in your body are working, including your nerves, eyes, and inner ear system. This is a very complicated system in the body that is very often disturbed after a concussion. During this exam we look to be sure that the crystals in your ears (yes, we all have them!) are in place or if they may have moved during the injury, causing room spinning dizziness. These systems all give information to your brain about your body’s position in space. There are many treatments in PT that help regain normal balance and decrease dizziness.
If you are an athlete or active individual, we even have the capability to take you through testing to see what amount of exercise is safe for you to participate in while recovering from your concussion. We can then formulate a safe plan to return you to all activities again.
Our first visit, which typically takes about one hour, will lead us down the path in recovering from your concussion over the course of several weeks together.
We look forward to helping you on your road to recovery!