Pang Physical Therapy

Concussion

Jump start your recovery with the most up-to-date evidence based methods

How does Physical Therapy Help a Concussion?

A concussion is a mild traumatic brain injury that occurs after someone sustains a head injury, resulting in brain tissue damage and a chemical imbalance within the brain. Common causes of concussion include falls, motor vehicle accidents, and sports injury. When symptoms persist beyond weeks or months, the term used is post concussion syndrome. 

Current best practices for concussion recovery are rapidly evolving. Many people do not realize that early rehabilitation intervention is now the gold standard for treatment. “Cocooning”, the standard practice of isolating oneself in a dark room for days on end, has been shown to actually delay recovery as compared to an active rehabilitative process. Ideally, those who sustain a concussion will begin physical therapy as soon as 3 days after their initial injury. Unfortunately, latest concussion treatment protocols are not well known, even by the healthcare community. At Pang Physical Therapy we are committed to using the most up-to-date methods and starting intervention early to ensure an optimal recovery so that you can confidently return to prior activities.

 

Common Symptoms of Concussion

  • Headache
  • Dizziness
  • Nausea/vomiting
  • Fatigue
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Poor Balance
  • Brain Fog 
  • Difficulty Concentrating
  • Irritability 
  • Anxiety/Depression
  • Double Vision
Therapist assessing concussion

Schedule a 15 Min Call Today!

Concussion Clinical Trajectories

Treatment Protocols

Concussions are like snowflakes. No two are ever alike. Generally speaking there are six clinical trajectories to classify concussion. Patient’s often present with a mixture of symptoms from all categories but frequently exhibit one or two dominant subtypes. But again, concussion is highly variable and all treatments and exercises should be curtailed to the individual.

Cervical subtypes of concussion involve neck pain and associated headaches. The force of impact with concussion is often times sufficient to also cause a neck injury. Symptoms of the cervical subtype can include headache, dizziness, neck stiffness, ear ringing, and fatigue.

Treatment will involve restoring normal neck motion through strengthening, manual therapy, stretching, and improving neck coordination. 

Oculomotor refers to eye movements. People falling into this category often have difficulty with visual tasks such as reading, screen time, double vision or walking in busy environments.  

Treatment will largely consist of eye exercises and gradual exposure to aggravating tasks to progress tolerance.

Vestibular refers to your sense of balance, often times related to the balance structures within the inner ear. People falling into this category often display poor balance, difficulty walking in busy environments, dizziness, and nausea.

Treatment will involve exercises to coordinate eye and head movements, improve upon balance, and restore equilibrium. Click here to learn more about how physical therapy can help with dizziness. 

Those following this trajectory will start to display migrainous symptoms such as sensitivity to light or sound, headache, dizziness, nausea, and sleep disturbance. 

Treatment will involve optimizing sleep habits, addressing any neck tightness, and often times vision and vestibular therapy. Click here to learn more about how physical therapy helps with migraine headaches. 

The cognitive trajectory results in difficulty with mental tasks. Symptoms often get worse as the day goes on and can include decreased concentration, irritability, and memory deficits.

Treatment will involve the development of an effective return to prior activity plan. Whether it be school, work, or sports related. 

People following this trajectory experience extreme worry and an inability to turn off negative thoughts. The important thing to remember is that concussion is a highly recoverable injury. 

Treatment will include exercise to normalize brain chemical imbalances and often times a referral to a mental health provider. 

Reviews

I would highly recommend Jimmy Pang as a physical therapist. His professionalism, knowledge and flexibility made my knee replacement surgery a safe, effective and positive experience. He made the best use of our time together and created an exercise plan that allowed me to recover fully in my home environment, making adjustments as I improved, and successfully helped me regain my flexibility, mobility and strength. Jimmy is also a great listener and just a pleasure to be around! I look forward to seeing him again after my next knee replacement surgery.

I worked with Jimmy over the course of several months. I was lucky enough to find someone knowledgeable in treating sciatic nerve pain. Several months into my pregnancy, I started to experience severe sciatic nerve pain rendering me unable to walk at times, and unable to find relief on my own. When I started working with Jimmy, he took the time to get to know me and my situation. I could tell the care plan was tailored to my needs. During our sessions, he focused on identifying activities that showed the best results. He also took the time to show me exercises to do on my own. As my belly continued to get larger, I expected my back to get worse. However, the table stretches, and exercises Jimmy put together for me improved my back. I was more ambulatory and comfortable further into my pregnancy thanks to his knowledge and personalized care. If I had not received the level of care he provided I would have been unable to continue working. I highly recommend him if you’re looking for a knowledgeable physical therapist who genuinely cares about the outcomes of his patients.

Jimmy took my pain seriously, both physical and emotional, and utilized a variety of strategies to address it. He is a gem when it comes to sharing new resources and has introduced me to so many new treatment approaches, particularly at the forefront of pain management research. From his own experiences with chronic pain, he delivers insightful comments of empathy and support that really stuck with me, validated my experience, and served as a mantra helping make the hard times easier to get through. I've gone to Jimmy with instances of both acute and chronic pain. Jimmy has helped me through the acute instances, and reframed my relationship with lifelong pain as a journey with trial and error, peaks and valleys, mindfulness, and acceptance.

Contact