As a physical therapist with advanced concussion training, Dr. James Chen, PT, DPT is here to answer your questions on concussions.
What is a concussion?
A concussion is when there is an acceleration and deceleration of the head and brain, creating deformation of the brain cells. This leads to an imbalance of ion concentrations (inside vs. outside), resulting in increased firing of signals between brain cells (action potentials). It takes a lot of energy to restore the normal concentrations in the cells. A concussion’s symptoms are due to the deficiency and depletion in energy molecules (ATP).
What are the symptoms of a concussion?
Symptoms of a concussion DO NOT have to manifest right away – they can come on over the course of the next few hours or up to 3 days. They include, but not limited to: headaches, dizziness, fogginess, nausea/vomiting, memory impairments, slurred speech, and vision changes.
A common myth is that loss of consciousness is necessary to be diagnosed as having a concussion – THIS IS NOT TRUE!
Make sure you monitor your athlete/child to make sure that symptoms do not progress or become worse over the next few days/hours after the injury. If their condition changes, you need to bring them to the Emergency Room to rule out other serious pathology.
How can Physical Therapy help?
We can treat the physical manifestations of a concussion which include but not limited to:
- Trigger points in the neck and shoulders
- Balance and/or vestibular deficits
- Cognitive impairments
- Standardized tests for RETURN TO SPORT
Book Your Appointment Today!