What is Post Concussion Syndrome?

Have you or a loved one ever suffered from a concussion? Head trauma can occur when the head strikes a stationary object, the head is stuck by an object, or from an acceleration/deceleration such in an auto accident in which rapid movement of the head occurs. These injuries can cause quick shifting of delicate brain tissue within the skull. An individual does not have to have a loss of consciousness for a serious head injury to occur. According to current research, nerve signals in the brain can be disrupted for up to 30 days after one single concussion. If additional concussions occur, there will be an increase in recovery time and symptoms can worsen. Often times brain imaging does not show significant changes in the brain, but an individual may still have significant symptoms. Symptoms lasting 10 days after head trauma are classified as Post Concussion Syndrome. One week of cognitive rest is recommended according to recent studies. If you have any of these continuous symptoms please see a concussion specialist such as Mary Finck, PT, DPT at ESP Sports Medicine.

COMMON SYMPTOMS AFTER CONCUSSION/HEAD INJURY

Serious Head Trauma
•Neurological changes (weakness in arms or legs), vomiting, seizure activity, loss of conscious, unequal pupil size, confused or slurred speech, or memory/cognitive changes.
Vestibular or Visual Dysfunction (90% have oculomotor (eye changes))
•Dizziness
•Blurry or Double vision
•Difficulty reading – due to visual-vestibular dysfunction not reading comprehension.
•Balance Deficits
Tension Headaches
Increased Fatigue levels
Light/Sound Sensitivity
Thinking Remembering
(May need Cognitive therapy)
•Unclear thinking, slowed processing, difficulty concentrating, memory loss
•Difficulty with work or school activities
Emotional
•Irritability, sadness, more emotional, nervous or anxious
Sleep
•Sleeping more than usual, loss of sleep, trouble falling asleep


COPING WITH SYMPTOMS FROM CONCUSSION
•Brain gets better at what it’s asked to do
Neural plasticity and the brain have the ability to create new networks for healing
•Ongoing dysfunction “steals” energy from healing
•Remember to do things you enjoy to lessen the likelihood of depression
•Gentle physical and cognitive activities are best for recovery
•Take rest breaks

Research shows prolonged rest can slow down the recovery time and make symptoms more severe.
Limit visual activities 30-45 min, then rest for 10-15
Pressure on eyelids or corner of brim of nose can help with pain
Slowly expose your brain do different environments and do not over exhaust yourself with errands.
Window of recovery may take a long time due to genetics be patient as you recover
Mechanism of Injury makes a difference
Therapy & Education are Key! Please listen to your health care providers
Please contact us if you or a loved one has suffered a concussion; seeking help can result in lifelong benefits!