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Concussion Management

Concussion Assessment and Treatment

What is a concussion?

 A concussion is a disturbance in brain function caused by a direct or indirect force to the head. This causes a biochemical imbalance within brain cells as well as decreased blood flow and temporary energy deficits within the brain. 
Concussion is in essence a mild traumatic brain injury which results in a variety of non-specific signs and/or symptoms, and most often does not involve loss of consciousness.  
Concussion should be suspected in the presence of any one or more of the following:  
Symptoms (e.g., headache), or  
Physical signs (e.g., unsteadiness), or  
Impaired brain function (e.g. confusion) or  
Abnormal behaviour (e.g., change in personality).  

What to do in case of an acute concussion?


 If you, or someone you know is experiencing ANY of the symptoms above following a significant hit or blow to the head or body, you should have a high suspicion of a concussion injury. Call 911 if symptoms worsen and patient is deteriorating.  
Following a suspected concussion, a player should be immediately removed from play, assessed and placed on complete rest in order to recover from the energy deficit. Player should not be permitted to return to sport the same day if a concussion is suspected.  
Studies show that the brain is extremely vulnerable to additional trauma (mental or physical) in the immediate days following a concussion, where even smaller impacts can lead to another concussion; and these second concussions can cause severe brain injuries with potentially permanent or fatal outcomes.  
At Performance Physiotherapy and Wellness, our Physiotherapists are trained to assess the severity of your concussion and help you return back to your pre-injury level of function through personalized, graded, and evidence-based rehabilitation.  

Concussion Testing and Rehabilitation

What is baseline testing? 
An excellent way to know when the brain has fully recovered and is out of this vulnerable period is to compare current brain function to when the individual was healthy. This is known as a baseline test, done BEFORE a concussion happens to measure every area of brain function that could potentially become affected following a concussion.  
At Performance Physiotherapy and Wellness, our Physiotherapists recognize that baseline testing is the most important thing to get done prior to beginning your sports season on a yearly basis. In order to know when an athlete has fully recovered and is safe to return to their sport, it is important to know where they were when they were healthy. We can conduct your and/or your team’s baseline testing efficiently and accurately.  
What to expect from concussion rehabilitation?  
Our Physiotherapists will tailor your concussion rehabilitation to help you recover from your personalized symptoms. Our services include, but are not limited to: 
Baseline and/or concussion assessment  
Management of vestibular or oculomotor dysfunction (your balance system and/or the way your eyes move) 
Associated whiplash or neck dysfunction treatment  
Graded exercise and aerobic capacity enhancement  
Guidance regarding planning and pacing daily activities  
Relaxation and massage therapy techniques 
Referral to dietician, BEI, and IEM as needed 


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