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A concussion is considered a mild traumatic brain injury (TBI) which affects how your brain functions.

In most cases, the effects are temporary. You may have a headache or difficulty with memory or concentration.

Your doctor may be unable to give you a firm timeline for recovery because it’s highly variable. Some people feel better in a few days, while others need weeks to recover.

However, a small percentage of people may suffer some permanent effects from a concussion.

Surprisingly, many people experience concussions without knowing it. Estimates suggest that as many as 5 out of 10 concussions go unreported or unnoticed.

If you’ve had any kind of head injury, even one that seems minor, we recommend seeking medical treatment. By getting the care you need and taking it easy while you recover, you’ll improve your chances of having a full recovery.

Additionally, your doctor can rule out a more severe head injury (which is not always immediately apparent).

Grayson Concussion Treatment Options

If you go to the emergency room after a head injury, you will usually be given an MRI, CT scan, or some other type of imaging to determine the extent of your injuries.

Your doctor will want to make sure that you don’t have a more severe problem like a brain bleed that would require immediate treatment. If not, they will likely diagnose you with a concussion and keep you for observation for a few hours or possibly a day.

Then, if you don’t have any concerning symptoms, they will probably send you home with instructions to rest. You should avoid physically or mentally taxing activities until your symptoms subside, then slowly resume your usual routines.

This is all good advice, but there is one thing that ER doctors frequently leave out of their discharge instructions: Follow-up care.

Unless you have potentially severe symptoms like seizures or speech difficulties, most doctors won’t recommend a follow-up appointment with a neurologist or other specialist. However, it’s a good idea to pursue follow-up care on your own. By seeing a specialist about your symptoms,  you can address any lingering difficulties and reduce the risk of developing permanent complications.

Some patients find that their symptoms don’t resolve completely. Research shows that between 15 and 20 percent of concussion patients have persistent post-concussive symptoms or Post-Concussive Syndrome.

If it’s been several weeks and you’re still experiencing headaches, vertigo, and other troubling symptoms, please contact Optimum Health Rehab for a consultation. Here are some potential treatment options:

Neurological Services

One of the first things we do for post-concussive patients is to perform a neurological evaluation to learn the full breadth of their symptoms.

Many people come in because of symptoms like headaches or blurred vision, but after an evaluation, we learn they also have other symptoms, such as cognitive or memory difficulties.

In a neurological evaluation, we will assess your physical and mental skills.

We’ll ask questions to determine if you’re struggling with forming new memories or concentrating on a subject. We may also ask you to do certain physical tasks, such as standing on one leg or walking in a straight line.

This part of the evaluation can reveal if you’re having trouble with balance or coordination. After completing the evaluation and other tests as needed, we will make a diagnosis and recommend a treatment plan.

Physical Rehabilitation

This is an essential aspect of concussion recovery. Your physical therapist will help you improve your balance and coordination and work on regaining any lost skills or functions.

They may use a variety of therapies, including:

  • Light exercise. It’s important to rest until your symptoms begin to improve, but then you should begin a light exercise program – supervised by a PT specialist – to recover your strength and flexibility. We may have you start with stretching or simple balance exercises and work toward more aerobic exercise as you continue to improve. Your therapist will tailor your weekly activities to your progress and current abilities and work to ensure you don’t overdo it.
  • Strength training can help as you work on coordination and motor skills. The stronger your muscles are, the better control you will have for daily activities like lifting objects or walking.
  • Eye-tracking exercises can help improve oculomotor function (your brain’s ability to adjust and coordinate eye position), which is sometimes affected after a concussion.

We know that physical rehabilitation can be difficult at first, and we don’t expect you to do all of the exercises perfectly. The idea is to keep doing them until you improve.

However, it is crucial that you make an effort to do the prescribed exercises every day. You will have some sessions with a Physical Rehab specialist, who will send you home with instructions on ‘homework.”

We only ask that you do your best to complete the assigned exercises as often as recommended. If you’re struggling with one of the exercises for any reason, please let your therapist know so they can find a solution.

Chiropractic Treatment

Many factors affect headaches, dizziness, and other post-concussive symptoms. Sometimes tension in the neck and back muscles can contribute to head pain or poor mobility, and a chiropractic adjustment may be helpful.

Signs You May Have a Concussion

If you had what you believed to be a minor head injury and didn’t see a healthcare provider, you should be on the lookout for any of the following symptoms. Remember that concussion symptoms don’t always appear immediately but may pop up a few days or weeks later.

  • Trouble with your memory, especially if you have a hard time remembering events around the time of your injury.
  • Visual disturbances. These vary from blurred vision to flashes of light that aren’t really there.
  • Feeling sluggish, moving slowly, or being less “coordinated” than usual.
  • Slurred speech. (This can also be a sign of other neurological issues, such as a stroke, and should be considered an emergency. If your speech suddenly becomes slurred for no obvious reason, please seek medical care immediately.)
  • Loss of consciousness.
  • Mood swings or changes or sudden shifts in personality. (People around you may notice these changes before you do. If someone you know well says you don’t seem like yourself, take them seriously.)
  • Headaches.
  • Vertigo symptoms, such as dizziness, nausea, and vomiting.
  • Becoming sensitive to bright lights or noise.
  • Tinnitus, or ringing noise in the ears.
  • Feeling tired or drowsy.
  • “Brain fog,” which may be a feeling of confusion or finding it hard to think clearly. Often this is accompanied by difficulty concentrating or focusing.
  • Any new challenges with doing your usual tasks or activities. For instance, some people find that their balance or coordination is affected, so they have a hard time walking or picking up objects.
  • New sleep disturbances. Some patients may have trouble falling asleep, while others are excessively drowsy or can’t wake up quickly.
  • Blood or clear fluid leaking from the ears. (This is another situation where you should immediately get medication attention.)

If you have any of these symptoms, please see a healthcare provider for an evaluation, and let them know when your head injury happened.

What Causes Concussions?

Most concussions are caused by a blow to the head. The most common reasons for such an injury are car accidents, falls, and sports injuries, but if you hit your head for any reason, you can develop a concussion.

One important thing to remember is that while hitting your head is the most common way for a concussion to happen, it is possible to have a head injury without hitting your head.

If you suffer any kind of trauma where your head is jarred, your brain can contact the inside of your skull, leading to a concussion. One example would be if you were in a car accident, causing your vehicle to halt suddenly.

You might be thrown forward and stopped by your seatbelt, but your head is jerked forward and back sharply.

Get Help With Your Concussion Symptoms

If you’re recovering from a concussion or suspect you might have one, please contact Optimum Health Rehab for a consultation. We’ll evaluate your symptoms, run tests if necessary, and create a customized treatment plan based on the results.

Our office staff members are always available to assist you with insurance questions or scheduling, so please call (678)985-7286 today.

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