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5 Simple Steps for Concussion Management

Concussion Therapy Step 1.) Rest

The first step is rest! This means having full mental and physical rest so if that means taking a day or two off of work/school that may be your best option to help in the early stages. Also, cutting out physical activity in the early stages will be beneficial as the brain needs some time to heal; raising your heart rate may complicate the healing process early on. Lastly, eliminating the amount of time we spend watching TV or on our phones can have a huge effect on speeding the recovery time early on.

Concussion Therapy Step 2.) Get Assessed

This one may sound like a no brainer but, in cases where you suspect you have a concussion get assessed for it! As Athletic Therapists, we are highly trained in the assessment, management and, rehabilitation of a concussion. We are taught how to recognize the signs and symptoms of a concussion and how to deal with them appropriately. This means asking you questions related to the injury, assessing your neck and cranial bones together, looking at neurological signs (i.e. cranial nerves, reaction time, etc) and, exercise prescription.

Concussion Therapy Step 3.) Have Patience

Realize that the brain needs to heal and that this will take time. It may be frustrating that you can’t get back to all your usual activities right away, remember that this is a marathon, not a
sprint. Every concussion is different, some resolve quicker than others and some may not fully resolve depending on how the injury occurred and if previous concussions have been sustained.

Concussion Therapy Step 4.) Get Treatment

This would involve working not only on the neck muscles but, the cranial bones as well! Depending on the type of impact and the severity some of our cranial bones get a little stuck.
Craniosacral Therapy can be very beneficial to help facilitate the movement of these bones and help the fluid around the brain flow more effectively post-injury. Additionally, Neuromeningeal
Manipulations can help to provide better movement of the bones as it directly works to move the planes of the bones and nerves effectively. A combination of the above-mentioned therapies can optimize your recovery process.

Concussion Therapy Step 5.) Return to Play, Work and, Learn Programs

As Athletic Therapists we want to not only get you back to work and school but, we want to help get you back effectively to all your daily activities. For work and school, it would be a modified return with different directions to help get you back to your full-time passions. Return to Play programs helps us get back to our activities we love to do! This is an essential part for athletes as they are trying to come back from a concussion; we want to make sure it is done safely and effectively. If you were sat for the remainder of a game or practice due to a suspected concussion why wouldn’t you want to know if your body is ready to go back to full activity? It makes sense to be put through a Return to Play program so that we can make sure all the correct decisions are being made out of the best interest of the athlete.

At Competitive Edge, we deal a lot with concussions and we have a great concussion management program! Above are just a few simple steps to helping you get the best out of your recovery from a concussion.

If this sounds like you or someone you know feel free to give us a call or book online.

Written by Michelle Gaudet
Certified Athletic Therapist CAT(C)

Categories
Blog Concussion

Things You Need to Know If You Have a Concussion!

You might not know that technically our full name is “Competitive Edge Sports Therapy and Concussion Management.” It’s a bit of a mouthful, so we end up going by Competitive Edge or just “CE” to our inner circle.

BUT we do designate a lot of our time working directly with individuals who have sustained a concussion. Most of these clients fall into two main groups a) Young athletes who are enrolled in our concussion management program with their sports team and b) Adults who have sustained a concussion either from a motor vehicle accident, slip and fall, etc.

So for the sake of concussion awareness and management, we have compiled our best pieces of advice to help you recover from your concussion as quickly and safely as possible!

1.) Concussion Management: Rest

We are hoping that this isn’t news to you and that either your Athletic Therapist, doctor or other health care provider who has evaluated you has given you this guidance already. Physical and Mental rest is a MUST for allowing your brain to heal. On the physical side, you shouldn’t be doing anything that gets your heart rate up. So this means no sports, work-outs, long strenuous walks, etc.  Just take it easy (especially at first!). Mental rest means avoiding things that take a lot of mental energy; this may be work or school, reading, etc. Focus on gentle, restful activities that will allow you to recover.

2.) Concussion Management: Listen to Your Symptoms

Your body will tell you what is too much for you. When you notice symptoms coming on or worsening, that is your brain saying “Woah, that’s more than I can handle right now!” and that should be your cue to back off. Go lay down in a quiet and/or dark room and rest until your symptoms return to a more manageable level.

If you pay attention to your symptoms, you will start to notice your triggers and can better avoid things that are going to make you worse. Every person, every brain, and every concussion is different. Triggers for you might be bright lights, loud noises, social interaction, screens, visual tracking, mental stimulation, etc. Figure out what your triggers are and do your best to avoid them.

If your injury was your ankle and you were to run on it and cause pain and swelling, you would, of course, understand when that evening and the next day it felt substantially worse, and it took you longer to recover. It’s the same thing with a brain injury!

3.) Concussion Management: Avoid Screens

Anything that is strenuous on the body is also strenuous on the brain. Meaning, if your eyes are straining and/or tired from looking at a TV, phone, tablet, or computer, then more stress and strain is on your brain as well. Limit your use of screens as much as you possibly can while you recover from your concussion.

4.) Concussion Management: Find Restful, Safe Activities to Occupy your Time

We know it can be boring to lay in a dark, quiet room and do nothing but rest. And moments like that are precisely when you are tempted to go out and do things you shouldn’t do (meaning potentially leading to a flare-up, an increase in symptoms and prolonging your recovery!). Find ways to occupy your time without increasing your symptoms. For example things like listening to podcasts/ comedy / music quietly, quiet socializing, crafts, cooking or baking, simple puzzles or games, etc usually feel fine for most individuals.

5.) Concussion Management : Progress Slowly!

Remember that starting to feel better doesn’t necessarily mean you are better. Feeling ok while laying in a dark room is very different than feeling ok while going about your day to day activities. Slowly add in a little mental stimulation in small increments. Remember that a spike in symptoms doesn’t always happen immediately and can take 24-36 hours to come on. So try a little bit one day and wait to see how it makes you feel. If you are still feeling good, do a little more the next day.

 

And if your symptoms don’t seem to be improving with rest alone, remember that there is more that can be done! Book in for an Athletic Therapy appointment for us to provide concussion treatment to aid your recovery. We will evaluate you and determine if anything is delaying the healing process. We will asses your vision, balance, head, neck, jaw and spine and provide hands on manual treatment as well as guidance on what to do or not do from home and exercises that can speed up your recovery. Give us a call to discuss how we can help!

 

 

 

Looking for help with your injury, ache or pain? The experts at Competitive Edge Sport Therapy can help! We can identify and resolve the root cause of your complaint and pain. Contact us today, at (403) 252-6222 | info@cesporttherapy.com