A concussion is a mild form of traumatic brain injury caused by a bump, blow to the head, or jolt to the body that causes the brain to move back and forth. Most concussions occur because of falls but they may also occur as a result of a car wreck, sports injury, or any event that causes the brain to move back and forth too quickly within the skull. A concussion may occur in all stages of life and can occur without ever hitting your head.
Concussion is an invisible injury. Most concussions occur without loss of consciousness and cannot be diagnosed by x-ray, CT, MRI or blood tests. Physicians frequently order these tests however, to rule out other significant injuries or conditions. This makes progressing through the recovery process very dependent on patients reporting any symptoms that they are experiencing whether they believe it to be related to the concussion or not.
The majority of concussions resolve within four weeks. Even when the physical and emotional symptoms of a concussion have disappeared, the brain may not be healed. At times, symptoms can continue and impact your daily life. The effects of concussion can be devastating at any age. These effects range from brief time out of athletic activity to significant time off of school or work. Worse yet, these injuries can cause prolonged learning and brain processing issues.
Experts know that what seems to be a minor head trauma can cause serious chemical and physiological changes in the brain and alter brain function. As noted in recent research, the long term effects of repeated head trauma are potentially more significant than originally believed. It is essential to understand the changes that can occur in the brain and the proper care needed to overcome the concussion. Remember that no two concussions are the same, and all concussions need proper evaluation, rest, monitoring, and treatment regardless of the symptoms.
You may have experienced a concussion if you have had any of the following symptoms; particularly if they have persisted over time:
- Headaches while watching tv, working on the computer
- Balance problems
- Feeling tired/lack of energy
- Difficulty seeing clearly
- Double vision or eye strain
- Difficulty reading
- Increased sensitivity to light or sound
- Loss of consciousness
- Changes in sleep pattern
- Sleeping too much or too little
- Difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep
- Difficulty focusing or concentrating
- Difficulty learning or remembering things
- Decreased organization
- Emotions seem to be more exaggerated
- Decreased motivation
- Frustrated more easily
- Feeling anxious or depressed
Why Choose NeuroRehab and Balance Center?
The team at NeuroRehab and Balance Center provides comprehensive services to manage and improve your recovery. Our staff have specialized training in concussion
management and use advanced technologies to help each patient reach their goals and promote recovery. If your symptoms do not resolve within a few weeks, you need to
seek out therapy.
We have a team of physical therapists with national certifications in vestibular therapy and specialized equipment to accurately assess and treat your concussion symptoms. Sensory Organization Testing by Equitest uses a force plate under the feet that measures body sway. Dynamic visual acuity testing by inVision™ is a computerized test that compares how quickly you see with your head clear versus with your head in motion, which provides information about the function of your vestibular system. Treatment may address balance problems, unsteadiness with walking in varied environments, difficulty seeing clearly with head motion, sensitivity or dizziness in busy visual environments or dizziness related to head or neck pain.
Speech-language pathologists provide treatment in areas such as memory, attention, focus/concentration, organizational skills and problem solving. You will learn strategies to reduce the impact of these deficits in your daily life, work and/or school through education, counseling, environment modification and your personalized treatment plan.
In addition to establishing and assisting in school accommodations, SLPs may teach you ways to academically succeed in the classroom via test taking strategies, memorization techniques, pacing, organization of academic material, managing written assignments, tracking concussion symptoms, academic progress and environment modification.
Occupational therapists (OTs) work with adolescents and adults after concussion to assess cognitive deficits such as working memory and attention to task. OTs also evaluate and treat vision issues such as visual processing, visual tracking and scanning, and visual memory. OTs then relate this information to everyday living skills such as being able to manage a household, return to school or work, or previous community activities.
Occupational therapists will holistically evaluate how a client is managing their daily living skills after a concussion and provide treatment focusing on the individual's needs to best manage post concussive symptoms. OTs teach energy conservation techniques and visual and cognitive compensatory strategies in order to return to school, manage a household or return to work.
For school aged students, your SLP and OT will collaborate with the athletic and administrative personnel, nursing, school counselors and teachers to implement the necessary academic accommodations and/or modifications to promote school success. OT's and SLP's also work closely with employers to assist clients in returning to that environment.
We value coordinated care. Understanding and seeking appropriate care after suffering a concussion can be difficult. Our case manager will help you find the right care team, offer support, and advocate for your health to help your journey to recovery run smoothly.
Together, OTs, PTs and SLPs collaborate with our case manager to best determine a successful plan according to your individual needs.
"Several months ago, I slipped and fell on the floor hitting the back of my head. The blow caused a large number of neurological and physical problems that greatly affected my health. My family doctor diagnosed me with concussion syndrome and I was referred to the NeuroRehab and Balance Center.
Thanks to their rehabilitation program, I was able to see different therapists who took care of the different aspects of complex problems involving taste, smell, speech, vision, audition and neck pain. I can tell you that meeting the therapists has been an absolute blessing for my health.
My speech therapist was able to provide advice and help with the problems that greatly interfered with my work at a time that I was totally confused about what was happening to me. With her great care and specific advice that I could apply to my everyday living, I began to function better. I am very indebted to her.
I also started PT on my neck and upper back. My physical therapist was also outstanding in her care. She has been helping immensely with my headaches and acute neck pain. Not only did she provide solutions to the problems that I brought to her attention, she also explained the physiological and anatomical foundations behind them in a very didactic and courteous manner. I am also very indebted to her.
I also will praise the vestibular therapist and occupational therapist. They too, quickly identified the problems related to vision, balance and concentration that looked insurmountable to me. In all occasions they helped me, providing along the way exercises and practical advice that I could take home with me. I am also very thankful for them.
A complex problem like concussion affects so many systems and requires a thorough and multi-pronged health program, just like the one here at the NeuroRehab and Balance Center. I am tremendously grateful having found it and am grateful for my team of therapists who work hard, diligently and with great technical expertise, knowledge and ability. They have made a tremendous difference in my life. God bless them."
Brain Injury Support Group
For more information on concussion and brain injury, please visit:
Upper Valley Medical Center- Conference Room A & B
3130 N County Rd. 25 A, Troy, OH
Contact Shirley Whitmer: (937) 339-0356 for more information
Access Center for Independent Living
901 South Ludlow Street
Dayton, Ohio 45402
Heads up to Youth Sports
The CDC's Injury Prevention and Control: Traumatic Brain Injury
Management of Sports-Related Concussion in Children and Adolescents