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Layers of Concussion: Symptoms & Treatment

Layers of a Concussion: Symptoms & Treatment

by Sarah Lohmeyer, PT, DPTLeave a Comment

It is common for some things to be overwhelming and confusing after a concussion. Like any recovery, concussion rehabilitation is not linear, but full of peaks and valleys.

Throughout rehabilitation for a concussion, patients may experience new symptoms after a more prominent symptom has resolved. Some people might even have a hard time relating symptoms directly to their concussion. Fortunately, physical therapists trained in concussion management are able to recognize these signs and symptoms and guiding patients through rehab.

Read below for some symptoms that someone can have following a concussion as well as information about how physical therapists can help through treatment.

Symptom: Neck Pain & Headaches

Physical Therapy Treatment:

  • Physical therapists may use manual therapy and/or dry needling to assist with muscular restrictions, restricted and/or painful range of motion, which can contribute to headaches. The physical therapist may also prescribe specific exercises to address posture and stability of the head, neck, and core.
  • Educate how to modify activities or responsibilities throughout the day to improve or prevent flare up of symptoms

Symptom: Changes in Walking or Balance & Dizziness

Physical Therapy Treatment:

  • Balance training: static and dynamic
  • Performing walking with multitasking, such as head turns and eye motions
  • Challenging the three parts of balance, including vision, inner ear and stability from muscles/bodily input

Symptom: Changes in Vision

Physical Therapy Treatment:

  • Use of oculomotor training to assist with symptoms of blurred or double vision, as well as, difficulty reading, concentrating at work or school

Symptom: Anxiety/Mood Changes

Physical Therapy Treatment:

  • Working with other health care providers to provide multi-dimensional approach to care

Symptom: Altered Energy Levels

Physical Therapy Treatment:

  • Studies have shown that early gradual aerobic exercise under the supervision of a concussion specialist can speed the recovery process following a concussion1

Although this lengthy list of symptoms may be overwhelming, your physical therapist can help guide recovery with an individualized plan of care. Not sure where to find a concussion therapist?
Click the button below to find one in your area.

Find a Concussion Therapist

Physical therapy is usually the thing you are told to do after medication, x-rays or surgery. The best way to fix your pain is to start where you normally finish – with physical therapy at Athletico. Schedule a free assessment in-clinic or virtually through a secure online video chat where our team can assess your pain and provide recommended treatment options.

The Athletico blog is an educational resource written by Athletico employees. Athletico bloggers are licensed professionals who abide by the code of ethics outlined by their respective professional associations. The content published in blog posts represents the opinion of the individual author based on their expertise and experience. The content provided in this blog is for informational purposes only, does not constitute medical advice and should not be relied on for making personal health decisions.

1. Leddy, John J., et al. “Exercise Treatment for Postconcussion Syndrome.” Journal of Head Trauma Rehabilitation, vol. 28, no. 4, 2013, pp. 241–249., doi:10.1097/htr.0b013e31826da964.

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