Following a concussion, the “sitting in a dark room” approach is only effective for so long (and in fact, research shows this practice has limited value beyond the first few days following the injury!).
Concussions, like any other physical injury, should be properly managed and rehabilitated. While physical and cognitive rest is the mainstay of acute concussion care, having a health professional guide you through this step-by-step may prove to be invaluable.
Recovering from a concussion can be a difficult and frustrating time. Kanata Orthopaedic Physiotherapy Clinic understands that each patient is affected differently, and as such, requires individualized care. Our rehab team has undergone training and education through The Shift Concussion Management Program, and ImPACT Program, both of which are evidence-based educational platform for Health Professionals working with concussion patients.
Management strategies are used to limit the amount of impairment as well as expedite recovery as much as possible. These strategies may include any one or a combination of the following and are case-dependent:
- Education around the injury, strategies for rest and recovery
- Instruction around home, work, or school activity restriction and accommodations
- Manual/physical therapy for associated complaints (neck pain, whiplash, etc.)
- Vestibular and oculomotor rehabilitation for dizziness, motion sensitivity and visual complaints
- Physical exertion testing and rehabilitation for return to an active lifestyle
For athletes and those participating in sport, it is recommended that a step-wise process of physical exertion testing be completed once the patient is free of symptoms. Similar to weight training, athletes recovering from a concussion should not skip to 100% exertion from 0% in a short time frame. Physical exertion testing is important not only for physical re-conditioning, but to guard against symptom relapse and help prevent premature return-to-sport.