Our team at Britt Zink Physical Therapy Services LLC knows that dealing with a concussion can be scary. Our owner and founder, Britt Zink, is a Certified ImPACT ® Concussion Specialist and has undergone advanced training in evaluation and treatment for concussion and other associated symptoms such as dizziness and imbalance that are often present after sustaining a concussion. She is one of few physical therapists in the region who has completed advanced training in the assessment, management and treatment of concussion. This, combined with her specialty certification as a McKenzie MDT® Therapist means that she is able to offer highly-specialized spine, balance, and vestibular assessment and rehabilitation for the individual who has sustained a concussion.
A concussion is a common type of traumatic brain injury that is caused by moving forces such as a bump, blow, or jolt to the head or other part of the body that results an acceleration and deceleration of the brain within the skull. One common misconception is that someone must be hit in the head to cause a concussion and this is not true. A significant enough hit or jolt to the body may cause a whiplash effect that can result in a enough force to the brain to cause a concussion. A concussion can result in a variety of symptoms and temporary disturbances in cells caused by the acceleration and deceleration of the brain with the skull. This often produces temporary changes in mental status, coordination, and balance.
A concussion causes the brain cells to become excited initially after the injury, followed by a pronounced drop in energy. This may result in any of the following symptoms:
Always tell a parent, family member, coach, teacher, friend or teammate if you or a teammate may have sustained a concussion. When in doubt, sit them out!!!
The first 24-28 hours following a concussion are critical because there is a potential for a more serious brain injury that may require more immediate medical attention such as a bleed or swelling in the brain. Following the injury, the individual should be monitored for any worsening of their condition as this may indicate bleeding or swelling in the brain.
During the early stages following an injury, physical and cognitive rest is recommended for 24-48 hours. It is important to note that these decisions and recommendations are made on a case-by-case basis.
Following a short period of rest, treatment and rehabilitation may include a gradual introduction and increase of physical and cognitive activity under the supervision of a trained healthcare professional. If symptoms persist after 10 days, a holistic program including exercise therapy, physical and manual therapy for the neck and spine, diet and nutritional recommendations, and vestibular rehabilitation often result in effective treatment and recovery.
If you are concerned that you or a loved one has a concussion, a concussion specialist can perform an assessment that can provide you peace of mind.
Concussion specialists have been trained to recognize concussion symptoms and recommend concussion treatment specific to your case. Each concussion is unique. Treatment needs to be tailored to the specific needs of each patient. Our concussion specialists don't just treat sports-related concussions. We treat individuals who have also sustained concussion due to falls, car accidents, and many other non-sport injuries.
Early physical therapy intervention after a concussion is shown to dramatically improve recovery time.
Concussions normally DO NOT show up on a CT scan or MRI so your concussion specialist will use several other tools to assess for the presence of a concussion and recommend tailored treatment. These may include:
A healthcare provider who is not specialty-trained in concussion can make your symptoms worse. It is very important that you see a concussion trained specialist as concussion specialists have advanced training in concussion care and will develop a treatment plan that is right for you. Some individuals suffer from post-concussion syndrome. Our specialists can perform the appropriate assessment and develop an individualize treatment plan to help you in your recovery from post-concussion syndrome.
Our clinic offers ImPACT™ (Immediate Post-concussion Assessment and Cognitive Testing). Baseline testing is typically performed before an individual participates in activity. Baseline testing is comprised of computerized assessments that measure reaction time, memory capacity (visual and verbal), speed of mental processing, and executive functioning of the brain. Having an estimate of the individual's functioning prior to an injury helps the healthcare provider more accurately determine the extent of the injury and an appropriate treatment plan.
Our clinic is able to administer immediate post injury ImPACT™ testing to determine if the individual's results have changed from their baseline test. This can help determine readiness to return to participate in school, work and leisure/sports activities.
It is not acceptable for patients to wait to be seen following a concussion. Our clinic will ensure that you are seen right away to ensure the appropriate assessment and treatment is initiated promptly after your injury.