A knock to the noggin. A bump on the head. Call it what you want, but every 21 seconds someone in the U.S. experiences what is medically known as a concussion or traumatic brain injury. A concussion is an injury to your brain that causes problems with how the brain works.
What is a concussion? A concussion is a type of traumatic brain injury (TBI) resulting from a variety of causes including motor vehicle accidents, falls, sports injuries, a bump/blow/jolt to the head; anything that causes the head and brain to move rapidly back and forth. These injuries can be relatively minor or devastatingly severe. They can be especially dangerous -- even deadly – if a second concussion occurs before the first has enough time to heal. Kids that play sports are at a greater risk of head injuries, and safety precautions should taken to avoid head injuries, such as wearing appropriate safety equipment.
Concussions can occur at any age and may result in physical, cognitive and behavioral symptoms/problems such as:
- Low-grade headache or neck pain
- Loss of balance or coordination
- Feeling lightheaded
- Ringing in the ears or trouble hearing
- Blurred vision or eyes that tire easily
- Nausea or vomiting
- Feeling fatigued or tired
- Increased sensitivity to sounds, light, or distraction
- Change in sleeping pattern, sleeping more than normal or trouble sleeping
Common mental and emotional symptoms that could be indicators of concussion include:
- Trouble remembering things
- Trouble paying attention or concentrating
- Difficulty organizing daily tasks
- Difficulty with making decisions and solving problems
- Slowness in thinking, acting, speaking, or reading
- Mood instability or changes such as:
- Feeling sad, anxious, or listless
- Becoming easily irritated or angry for little or no reason
- Lacking motivation
How can therapy help? Our therapy team will do a comprehensive evaluation to determine how your concussion is impacting your daily activities and create an individualized treatment plan. You may see one or all of our therapists depending on your needs. Are you having difficulty with dizziness and balance? Are you experiencing changes in your vision or having difficulty reading? Are you having difficulty with concentration or memory? These are all things our team can help you with.
How long will I need therapy? Every brain is different and recovery timeframes can vary for each individual. We will make sure your treatment plan is individualized and focused on your recovery goals. Some individuals may only need a few visits while others may need more.
When should I start therapy? Most adults recover from a concussion anywhere from 7-14 days with the average being 10 days. If symptoms persist beyond two or more weeks, you may benefit from physical, occupational, and/or speech therapy.