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Concussions in the Workplace

Concussions in the Workplace

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Approximately 1 in 4 mild traumatic brain injuries (mTBIs) in adults occur at work and are associated with substantial productivity loss, economic burden, persistent symptoms, and occupational disability1. Concussions in the workplace are most commonly caused by falls, getting struck in the head by falling objects, or motor vehicle accidents2. Most adults recover from an mTBI or concussion within 7-10 days; however, individuals who continue to have persistent symptoms beyond this timeframe are more at risk for further co-morbidities, including aerobic deconditioning, chronic pain, anxiety disorder, depression, as well as poor work performance3.

Persistent Post Concussion Symptoms include:

  • Headache
  • Neck pain
  • Light-headedness
  • Pressure in head
  • Concentration Difficulties
  • Slow Processing Speed
  • Fatigue
  • Blurred, double or fuzzy vision
  • “Feeling foggy”
  • Dizziness or vertigo
  • Sensitivity to light or noise
  • Nausea

These persistent symptoms may be due to dysfunction of one or more of the following systems:

  • Vestibular System
  • Oculomotor System
  • Cervical Spine
  • Autonomic System
  • Cognitive/Anxiety/Mood

The good news is that physical therapy, specifically vestibular rehabilitation and treatment of the cervical spine, has been shown to improve persistent post-concussion symptoms and get the injured employee back to work.

How a Physical Therapist Can Help

If you are experiencing any persistent post-concussion symptoms preventing you from working or doing what you love, seek help from a physical therapist that specializes in concussion management. Start by scheduling a Free Assessment where one of our experts can assess your cervical spine, vestibular and oculomotor system and recommend a customized treatment program to fit your needs.

Request a Free Assessment

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. Terry D, Iverson G, Panenka W, Colantonio A, Silverberg N. Workplace and non-workplace mild traumatic brain injuries in an outpatient clinic sample. A case-control study. PLos ONE 13(6): e0198128.
2. Colantonio A, Salehi S, Kristman V, Cassidy D, ect. Return to work after work-related traumatic brain injury. NeuroRehabilitation. 2016; 39(3):1-11.
3. Kashiuba S, Paniak C, Casey J. Persistent Symptoms Associated with Factors Identified by the WHO Task Force on Mild Traumatic Brain Injury. The Clinical Neuropsychologist. 2008, April; 22(2): 195-208.

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