WHEN IT’S MORE THAN JUST A HEADACHE BY DR. COURTNEY BUMGARNER, PT, DPT
Did you know that an estimated more than two million concussions occur each year? A concussion is a traumatic brain injury that is caused by either a direct force/blow to the head or a force transmitted through the body to the head. Approximately 80% of concussions resolve after 2-4
weeks. If concussion symptoms do not resolve in 2-4 weeks, treatment may be indicated to facilitate recovery. For optimal results patient treatment should be targeted to address the individual’s specific symptoms. Concussions can cause a wide range of symptoms that can affect your ability to perform daily activities and hobbies that you enjoy. These symptoms often include but are not limited to: Headache, Nausea, Balance problems, Dizziness, Visual problems, Fatigue, Sensitivity to Light, Sensitivity to Noise, Numbness/tingling, Pain other than headache, Feeling mentally foggy, Feeling slowed down, Difficulty concentrating, Difficulty remembering, Drowsiness, Sleeping more or less than usual, Trouble falling asleep, Irritability, Sadness, Nervousness, Feeling more emotional If you experience a combination of the above listed signs and symptoms of concussion, and especially if they persist for greater than 2-4 weeks, you should be evaluated by a medical provider. A post concussive injury is an all hands on deck injury. It can often require a team of clinicians to identify, treat, and manage this condition. The leading causes of concussion are falls (40.5%), unknown/other (19%), struck by/against (15.5%), motor vehicle accidents (14.3%) and assaults (10.7%). A concussion is a neurophysiologic injury that can affect all domains of a person’s life from physical, cognitive, emotional,
vestibular, sleep, and behavior often with non-specific answers to the important patient question of “when will I get better?” Recovery takes different time periods for each person, as each individual injury is unique. Every patient must be carefully evaluated and treated based on their evaluation findings and their specific symptoms. A concussion patient’s port of access to the clinician of today is infinite. It can range from the athletic trainer, the emergency department physician, the primary care physician, the pediatrician, the nurse practitioner, the physician assistant, the school nurse, psychologist, physical therapist, and anyone who has direct access to the patient today. Do you have any of these persistent symptoms and think you may have suffered a concussion? Seek treatment today! You can start with Physical Therapy. Physical Therapists are doctorate level educated medical providers who provide detailed evaluations and interventions tailored to your specific functional deficits. Additionally, they have the knowledge to determine if Physical Therapy is right for you or when you may need to seek care from additional medical providers. If you think you have suffered a concussion, schedule your evaluation today - 434.200.6053.
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