Physical Therapy Can Help Young Athletes Recover From Concussions

Physical Therapy Can Help Young Athletes Recover From Concussions - Compleat Rehab & Sports Therapy Oct20th 2022

Have you noticed that since hitting their head, your young athlete seems “off?” Are headaches and difficulty concentrating making it challenging to tolerate school and/or homework? You or your loved one might be dealing with the effects of a concussions. Fortunately, at Compleat Rehab & Sports Therapy, our physical therapists are trained to handle post-concussion symptoms and safely return to sports!

Research has shown that female athletes may be more likely to sustain a concussion while playing sports than male athletes. In addition, female athletes have demonstrated higher post-concussion symptoms, have slower reaction times than baseline, exhibit more significant cognitive decline, take longer to recover, and have prolonged concussion-related symptoms.

Fortunately, our physical therapists at Compleat Rehab & Sports Therapy specialize in concussion management for young athletes, specifically young female athletes. If you are looking for solutions to resolve your symptoms and get back to doing what you love, don’t hesitate to request an appointment today!

What is a concussion?

A concussion is defined as a type of traumatic brain injury caused by a blow to the head or the body that causes the head and brain to move rapidly back and forth. It is common in contact sports like soccer, hockey, and football and occurs in non-contact sports like gymnastics, dancing, and cheerleading.

Female athletes are more likely to report an injury but unfortunately also tend to have lasting symptoms and prolonged recovery rates.

The most common symptoms of a concussion include:

  • Headaches
  • Confusion
  • Sleepiness
  • Dizziness

For some, the symptoms are more serious and debilitating, including:

A lack of coordination and balance dysfunction

  • Memory loss
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Visual disturbances including gaze instability
  • Ringing in the ears
  • Excessive fatigue

Fortunately, we can address most symptoms in a comprehensive physical therapy program. Our team will provide the most advanced techniques to optimize your recovery and help you safely return to sports participation.

What to expect at Compleat Rehab & Sports Therapy Clinics for concussions

Although there’s no specific cure for concussion, knowing what to look for and safely progressing an athlete is a key to resolving the symptoms. Early in the healing process, “relative” rest (i.e., mild activity without provoking symptoms) and restricting activities allow the brain to recover.

We will start with a comprehensive evaluation to identify all the factors contributing to the post-concussion symptoms. This will consist of a thorough history to understand more about the event that caused the injury and the athlete’s overall health status.

We will use this information to develop a comprehensive program that includes manual therapy, vestibular and oculomotor training, and progressive exercise training. We will use any appropriate safe, and effective technique in addressing injury-related impairments for individuals diagnosed with a concussion.

  • Exercise Therapy: Researchers have demonstrated complete resolution of concussion symptoms through a graded exercise program alone. There are even some indications that aerobic exercise might even help speed recovery in the early stages after concussion!
    It is essential to see a physical therapist that knows how to guide you through a program that is tailored to your specific needs.
  • Manual Therapy: Research has shown that the acceleration required to cause a concussion is more than necessary to cause whiplash, so we know those with concussions also have traumatized the muscles and joints of the neck.
    The ideal way to identify what symptoms are coming from the neck or a concussion is by visiting with a skilled physical therapist.
  • Vestibular and Visual Rehabilitation: Dizziness is one of the most common ongoing complaints of patients with persistent symptoms. This may be due to several possible issues with the balance centers of your brain, your visual system, and/or problems with your neck’s muscle and joint sensors.
    Our physical therapists will assess each of the systems and how they may interact to provide a program tailored to your specific needs.

Your physical therapist will then incorporate a gradual return of sport-specific activities to assist you in a safe return to training and competition. Every good therapy program will include before and after testing to ensure objective improvements back to baseline are achieved before returning to sport is considered.

At Compleat Rehab & Sports Therapy, our physical therapists are highly skilled and adept at treating athletes and anyone who has suffered from a concussions.

Request an appointment with Compleat Rehab & Sports Therapy today!

Having someone that regularly treats post-concussion symptoms is an important consideration to make. At Compleat Rehab & Sports Therapy, we know how to help you safely and efficiently recover and return to training and competition! Feel free to call us or schedule an appointment today.


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