A concussion is a serious — sometimes life-changing — medical event. Worse, many people who have suffered a concussion delay treatment because they are not aware of how serious their condition is.
The medical consequences of a concussion tend to worsen over time when left untreated, and any delays can prolong the process of recovery.
When you have been dealt a concussion, know that you have options for resolving the aftereffects, helping you care for your body in order to restore function as much as possible.
Optimum Health Rehab works with your medical care team to coordinate treatment across multiple vital areas.
We always begin your healing process with a comprehensive examination and medical evaluation. We have a range of diagnostic tests available, and you will be able to see multiple specialists who will help you determine the most effective treatment plan possible.
From physical rehabilitation to neurological treatments to regenerative therapy and even massage, our facilities are at your disposal so that you can not only treat symptoms but build a foundation for strong health — now and into the future.
Schedule your initial appointment and case review to see how we can help you reduce the risk of long-term effects from your concussion while improving your overall health and wellness. Call 877-704-1761 or contact us online to schedule your appointment today.
How to Know if You Have a Concussion?
One of the worst aspects of concussions — and traumatic brain injuries (TBI) in general — is that they can be difficult to detect. Symptoms may not emerge until hours or sometimes even days later.
Associated symptoms can also be confused for other issues, such as infection, congestion, allergies, lack of sleep, dehydration, or other issues that can raise similar cognitive symptoms to a TBI.
According to the CDC, in 2019, there were 223,000 individuals who were hospitalized as a result of a serious TBI. Making things worse, thousands of individuals who suffer from TBIs each year do not seek the medical care they need to fully diagnose and treat their condition.
Foregoing treatment can mean that aspects of the TBI, such as brain swelling and damage to vital nerve centers, can grow worse over time. For this reason, prompt diagnosis and treatment are essential.
Any time you have suffered a blow to the head or violent physical trauma, such as a car accident, know that there is the risk that your brain made contact with the side of your skull: the very definition of a concussion.
It is safest to have yourself evaluated even if you do not present symptoms after any fall, car accident, major trauma, or even a substantial “bonk” to the skull.
After an accident or injury, the following signs could indicate that you have suffered from a concussion:
- Difficulty remembering the events immediately prior to or after the blow or fall
- Blurred vision or bright bursts of light
- Slow or uncoordinated movement
- Slurred speech
- Loss of consciousness
- Swings in behavior, mood, feelings, or personality
- Persistent headaches
- Nausea, dizziness, and vomiting
- Sensitivity to bright light or certain noises
- Ringing in the ears
- Fatigue, drowsiness, and “brain fog”
- Trouble balancing or performing certain tasks
- Difficulty maintaining focus or concentration on a line of thought
- Clear fluid or blood leaking from the ears
- Challenges falling asleep or waking up
Again, only some or none of these symptoms may be present, yet the accident victim will still have suffered a concussion.
The best course of action is to take precautions and see a doctor after any serious accident or substantial impact on the head, especially when loss of consciousness is involved.
Options for Treatment With a Concussion Specialist
Many patients who have sustained a traumatic brain injury will not have follow-up care strongly recommended by their primary treating physician unless there are cognitive and neurological effects they are concerned about.
However, every injury to the brain should be addressed with as much care as possible, increasing the chances that the injury victim will avoid long-term cognitive and health effects.
After you have suffered from a concussion, Optimum Health Rehab can help you recover in the following ways.
Neurological testing and qualitative exams can provide useful pieces of the puzzle when trying to determine the extent of the damage. Exams can measure response and reflex times, nerve conduction velocity, and other areas indicating nervous system health.
Once a diagnosis is determined, the neurologist can recommend physical rehabilitation, refer you to a nutritionist, and provide you with a comprehensive care routine to maximize your chances of recovery.
Your neurologist can also evaluate your progress regularly, ensuring that you are trending towards improving functioning while keeping a close eye on possible issues like hemorrhaging (bleeding) or swelling (edema).
While rest is the most common recommendation after a concussion, it is important for the patient to engage their brain and body in light forms of exercise in order to reduce the risk of further loss of function.
Restoration of balance and strengthening of the stabilizing muscle groups is beneficial towards reducing the weakness and loss of coordination that can stem from a brain injury.
Rehabilitative exercise, as well as massage, may be recommended for the neck and upper back, as these areas are often affected by injuries to the skull.
Stretching and aerobic exercise will increase blood flow, reduce stiffness, and engage the brain to retrain it to command the body more gracefully. Your physical therapist may also recommend eye-tracking exercises to reduce the effects of oculomotor dysfunction.
Such dysfunctions can make it harder for TBI patients to see and react to the environment around them, so they are just as important to address.
Chiropractic adjustments may be recommended when there are upper back and neck issues contributing to a lack of mobility, pain, stiffness, headaches, and even low-grade neuropathy.
Trigger point therapy can help to reduce the risk that the patient will have limited strength and mobility as a result of pain activated in critical joints and muscle groups.
Massage can be beneficial when soft tissue injuries affect the patient’s mobility and ability to fully engage in their physical rehabilitation program.
Nutrition and Diet
Hydration is absolutely important in the wake of a concussion, as brains that are dehydrated have more difficulty coping with swelling and tend to heal more slowly.
Additionally, your nutritionist may recommend low-inflammation foods as well as foods that boost the body’s natural healing and recovery process, including foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids.
How Are Concussions Diagnosed?
In order to determine if you have suffered a likely (or certain) concussion, your care provider will likely request images from an MRI or CT scan. However, many forms of damage to the brain do not show up obviously on imaging.
The best method of determining if an injury victim has suffered from a concussion, therefore, is to perform an evaluation based on the patient’s testimony and their responses to a series of questions.
Because concussions can cause cognitive changes that make it difficult for the sufferer to accurately perceive their own behavior, the physician may also question family members, housemates, and others who have spent time around the concussion victim.
The physician will be looking for signs of changes or cognitive challenges, including neurological symptoms that can affect normal body functions.
It is critical for anyone who has suffered from a concussion to have regular follow-up evaluations, as well. Many TBI victims will improve within a few days of their initial incident, but other cases may progress as the brain is unable to fully heal itself.
Paying For Concussion Treatment After a Car Accident or Personal Injury
Car accidents, slip and falls, and other common forms of personal injury have an outsized risk of concussion and subsequent brain injury. After suffering from an accident, patients may delay treatment or assume that they do not have a brain injury.
What they should know is that not only is seeking care vital but it can be potentially paid for from the liability insurance of the at-fault party.
Optimum Health Rehab helps you avoid paying out-of-pocket for the costs of treating a concussion by helping you get a full, comprehensive diagnosis and treatment as close as possible to the date of your accident.
Accepting an insurance settlement too early can mean missing out on coverage for these vital care areas, so be sure to speak with a personal injury attorney to weigh your options for seeking compensation in the wake of our accident.
If you do not currently have an attorney, Optimum Health can recommend a reputable brain injury lawyer with a history of successful recovery for cases like yours.
Work With Concussion Specialists Who Want to See You Recover!
Everyone deserves full care and support in the aftermath of a concussion or TBI. We encourage everyone to take all the necessary steps to ensure that they are not delaying or avoiding treatment that can make a huge difference in their eventual medical outcome.
You will receive personalized care coordinated across multiple areas, all in concert with your primary treating physician or trauma specialist.
We have a reputation for helping our patients not just recover but excel, giving them a solid foundation for a future full of health, hope, and happiness.