Physiotherapy & Rehabilitation

How Can Your Physiotherapist Help With Concussion?

Physiotherapists can evaluate and treat many concussion-related problems. Because no two concussions are the same, your physio’s examination will assess your individual symptoms and problems, so that they can design a safe and individualized treatment program just for you. Treatment may include:

Rest and Recovery: Your physiotherapist will help you and your family understand why you should limit any kind of activity (physical, sport, recreational, electronic, school) after a concussion, until it is safe to return to these activities. A period of rest helps the brain heal and helps symptoms clear up, as quickly as possible. Your physio will prescribe the rest and recovery program most appropriate for your condition.

Restoring Strength and Endurance: The physical and mental rest required after a concussion can result in muscle weakness, and a decrease in physical endurance. Your physio can help you regain your strength and endurance, when the right time comes, without making your concussion symptoms worse. Your physio will design a therapeutic exercise program just for you, and closely monitor your symptoms as you participate in the program.

Stopping Dizziness and Improving Balance: If you have dizziness or difficulty with your balance following a concussion, a type of physiotherapy called vestibular physiotherapy may help. The vestibular system, which includes the inner ear and its connections with the brain, helps you keep your balance and prevent dizziness. Vestibular physio’s may be able to help reduce or stop your dizziness or balance problems after a concussion by applying special treatments or teaching you specific exercises. There even may be some simple exercises that your physio can teach you to do at home.

Reducing Headaches: Your physiotherapist will assess the different possible causes of your headaches, and use specific treatments and exercises to reduce and eliminate them. Treatment may include stretches, strength and mobility exercises, eye exercises, myofascial release and hands-on techniques.

Returning to Normal Activity or Sport: As symptoms ease and you are able to regain your normal strength and endurance without symptoms returning, your physio will help you gradually add normal activities back into your daily routine, avoiding overloading the brain and nervous system, as you increase your activity level. Overloading the brain during activity after a concussion interferes with the healing of the brain tissue, and can make your symptoms return. Your physiotherapist will help return you to your normal life and sport activities in the quickest and safest way possible, while allowing your brain to properly heal.