There is a dangerous trend of equating the severity of an injury with how visible the problem is. Of course a broken bone or a torn ligament is going to create a scene, but this isn’t a failsafe way to evaluate an injury. When an athlete blows out their knee, the pain on the player’s face merely confirms what everyone else is already thinking: that injury is real. That injury is painful, that person is going to need medical attention.
Head injuries aren’t typically as visible. When someone hits his/her head on a TV, he/she may become unconscious for a moment or may be able to stand up right away. They might look dazed and need a minute to regain their ability to think straight, but then walk off the field just fine. The injury doesn’t look as serious, and too often it isn’t treated as seriously.
A broken bone may be visible, but a concussion is in many ways far more serious. A brain injury requires immediate and ongoing care to ensure that the brain can regain optimal functionality. On television, injuries that turn out to be “just a concussion” are often anti-climactic events that the audience is led to believe will be over in days, if not hours. In real life, however, these traumatic brain injuries — which usually stem from a fall, severe shaking, a car accident or a direct blow to the head — can severely impact a person’s quality of life for several months.
Concussions are not something that can be overlooked. Following brain injury, whether as a result of a sport incident, a car accident, trip and fall, or other event, concussion therapy is absolutely necessary to ensure that there is no lasting damage following the trauma.
Finding Concussion Therapy Post-Trauma
The severity of a traumatic brain injury can vary dramatically. While some concussions are minor, and may not require physical therapy intervention, other brain injuries can have lifelong consequences.
In the immediate hours and days following a traumatic brain injury, the best treatment option is to take it easy. Resting your brain means turning off everything that stimulates your mind and to simply relax. This means limiting television, reading, loud music, and avoiding physical exertion. This may not sound like a very entertaining time, but this is what your brain needs to recover. Just like you’d put your feet up for a day or two after injuring your ankle, you need to give your brain time to rest and recover after an injury.
Most concussion symptoms resolve within 7-10 days, however if the symptoms of a brain injury haven’t subsided in this time, then physical therapy is recommended. Seeking out concussion therapy early on can prevent long-term issues and help you experience a quicker return to normalcy.
The Benefits of Physical Therapy
Concussion therapy is a highly useful tool in supporting recovery from traumatic brain injury. During concussion therapy, you can expect to work with a highly experienced physical therapist who will evaluate the severity of your brain trauma and match you with strategies to reduce discomfort, alleviate painful symptoms, and improve brain functionality.
Our physical therapists perform a thorough examination of your balance and vestibular symptoms. We evaluate your visual movements, positioning of your head, neck mobility and balance. Physical therapy programs for concussions often involve vestibular therapy, which helps you orient yourself during periods of lightheadedness or loss of balance. To encourage this your physical therapist will introduce you to specialized activities, including fixing your gaze at a certain point in the distance, or by using simple movements to stabilize your core and limbs. With proper guidance these strategies can be incredibly helpful in improving quality of life as you recover from a concussion.
A concussion is not something you can ignore. Regardless of the perceived severity, following a brain injury it is incredibly important that you check with a physician to ensure that there is no potential for lasting brain damage. If you or a loved one has experienced a concussion, Contact us at Bethpage & Ronkonkoma, NY centers to learn more about concussion treatment and therapy options.