The Concussion Management and Recovery Program focuses on the assessment, management and treatment for concussions and sport-related concussions. Our team works to assist patients and their families to understand, manage and treat symptoms, and prepares them to return to pre-injury activities.
What Is A Concussion?
A concussion or a mild traumatic brain injury involves a disruption to the normal functioning of the brain. The most common causes of concussions are sport injuries, motor vehicle accidents and falls. A concussion is a serious event, but a patient can recover fully if the brain is given enough time to rest and recuperate.
Facts About Concussions
- A concussion doesn’t need to involve a loss of consciousness.
- 50% of athletes experience concussion-related symptoms per year, but only 10% report having a concussion.
- Helmets protect against head injuries, but do not prevent concussions.
- Returning to pre-injury activities too soon can increase your chances of prolonged problems.
What Are The Symptoms?
Concussions can cause a variety of physical, cognitive and emotional symptoms, such as:
- Headaches/neck pain
- Dizziness/double vision
- Balance problems
- Lack of energy
- Light/noise sensitivity
- Difficulty concentrating
- Easily confused/agitated
- Decreased reaction time
- Difficulty with multi-tasking
- Memory dysfunction
- Decreased motivation
- Social withdrawal
- Poor sleeping patterns
- Feeling sad or worried
- Difficulty working
What Does Treatment Involve?
Our Concussion Management Program involves a one-on-one approach with our skilled team of physiotherapists trained in concussion management. Treatment begins with a thorough evaluation focusing on signs and symptoms, memory/concentration testing, balance assessment, vestibular screen, heart rate measures, physical exertion exercises, pain management strategies and recommendations for return to work, driving, school and sports. Our team will design an individualized program to include education, symptom management and a graded exercise program.
Group Education Series
We offer a group education series provided by a neuropsychologist and physiotherapist. Sessions focus on learning about concussions, symptoms and problems related to concussions, and practical strategies on how to manage the symptoms.
Individualized sessions with the neuropsychologist are available. Neuropsychology services include assessment, treatment recommendations tailored to the individual, and personalized education and support. Cognitive testing can be done to examine a person’s thinking skills. Baseline testing for those adults who enjoy high-impact sports is available.
Stepwise Management Of A Concussion
- Diagnosis of a concussion
- Rest until cleared by a health care professional
- Begin graded exercise program
- Implement stepwise return-to-play/learn/work progression
- Return-to-play/learn/work fully following medical clearance
- Perform baseline ImPACT testing if required
How Long Does It Take To Recover?
The majority of concussions (80-90%) recover in a short period of time (10-14 days), although the recovery time period may be longer in children and adolescents. Some individuals may take up to 3 months to recover.
Note: If an individual returns to pre-injury activities before the initial concussion is completely resolved, the risk of further problems is substantially increased. Individuals should follow the stepwise approach to returning to pre-injury activities and should not return-to-play/learn/work until they have been given clearance from a qualified health care professional.