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Agape Physical Therapy

What is a concussion?

A concussion is actually considered to be a mild-moderate traumatic brain injury that temporarily impairs brain function. The brain is injured either through direct contact, such as a forceful blow to the head, or through rapid acceleration-deceleration, such as a whiplash injury. 

Common causes of concussion are contact sports (such as football, soccer, and hockey), falls, and motor vehicle accidents. Symptoms of a concussion may include headache, light/noise sensitivity, nausea/vomiting, dizziness, fatigue, difficulty concentrating, and memory loss. It is not necessary to experience loss of consciousness in order to be diagnosed with a concussion. 


When should I see my doctor?

It is important to seek immediate medical attention if you experience the following “red flags”: 

  • Seizures

  • Loss of consciousness or inability to awaken  

  • Lingering or progressive changes in hearing, taste, and/or sight 

  • Numbness and/or weakness in arms and legs

  • Changes in behavior/increased irritation 

  • Unequal pupil sizes 

  • Persistent vomiting 

  • Symptoms that have significantly worsened or not improved after approximately 2 weeks

What should I expect for my rehab? 

Most doctors will advise physical and mental rest for a few days immediately following the injury. It is then recommended that you gradually re-introduce both mental and physical activities, as long as there is no significant worsening of symptoms. Your physical therapist will likely guide you through a series of progressively graded cardiovascular/general conditioning exercises, strength training exercises, and eventually sport-specific activities (if applicable), all while carefully monitoring symptoms throughout to prevent aggravation of condition. They may also prescribe exercises to address dizziness, balance concerns, vertigo, and other general feelings of uneasiness. The process may be slow, especially if the injury was severe and the symptoms are significant, but it is critical not to re-injure the brain while it is healing.

Amy Shurtliff PT, DPT
Physical Therapist
[email protected]
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