What to Expect with Post Concussion Therapy
We get asked commonly what to expect during our concussion therapy treatments by our patients.
First, one of our physical therapists will examine many areas of function including (but not limited to): neck, shoulders, gait, balance, vision, memory, reflexes, and dizziness. Again, symptoms greatly depend on the patient, so the subsequent therapeutic treatments will be aimed at improving function in areas that are most affected. These findings will be communicated to the appropriate members of the healthcare team including athletic trainers, physicians, and/or even neurological specialists if needed.
One of the most important characteristics to understand about concussions is that they are fully expected to heal. Healing times vary depending on the age and previous concussion history of the patient. Typically, if no other complicating factors are present, adult athletes only take around 2-3 days, college athletes 7-10 days, high school athletes 14-21 days, and middle school athletes 28-35 days. To ensure the best/most efficient recovery possible, it is critical for the patient to begin physical therapy no later than 10 days post-concussion and preferably sooner. Furthermore, treatment is largely symptom-driven and is graded according to the response to slight changes in treatment intensity.
If symptoms persist or worsen, the intensity is decreased until symptom resolution occurs. If symptoms are no longer present, the intensity is increased until normal function is restored under normal day-to-day conditions. After graduating from your treatment at OC Sports and Rehab, it is still important to be on the lookout for warning signs of unresolved symptoms. Should any symptoms come back or new symptoms occur, further consultation with the medical team is warranted.
Learn more about our concussion therapy protocols by giving one of our expert Physical Therapists a call at our Lake Forest Physical Therapy, Foothill Ranch Physical Therapy, or Mission Viejo Physical Therapy locations.