What is Concussion?

A concussion is a brain injury caused by acceleration or deceleration of the brain following a significant impact to the head or elsewhere on the body. The impact causes biochemical imbalances within brain cells, resulting in decreased blood flow and temporary energy deficits. Symptoms may include loss of consciousness, headache, pressure in the head, neck pain, nausea or vomiting, dizziness, or balance problems, among others.

Why Treat Concussion?

Returning to activity too soon following a concussion can result in the continuation or worsening of symptoms and also places you at risk of more persistent problems if you are subjected to another concussion. A thorough examination to assess for cognitive and physical deficits and then the monitoring of symptoms as you gradually return to activity can minimise these risks. Capital Clinic Physiotherapy provides the following services to help in the management of concussion:

Treatment Options

Step 1: Multimodal Baseline Testing

Multimodal baseline testing is a series of physical and cognitive tests that provide a pre-injury overview of healthy brain function. These tests can offer healthcare practitioners an objective benchmark on which to compare should an athlete sustain a concussion.

As concussion symptoms often disappear days to weeks before the brain has recovered, having valuable baseline information can help healthcare practitioners to make safer return to play decisions.

Step 2: Concussion Treatment

During the early stage following injury, a period of relative symptom limited physical and cognitive rest is recommended. Research suggests 24 to 48 hours; however, these decisions are made on a case-by-case basis.

Following a short period of rest, the International Consensus Statement on Concussion in Sport recommends a gradual increase in mental and physical activity guided by a licensed healthcare practitioner trained in concussion management. If symptoms persist beyond 10 days, exercise therapy, manual therapy of the neck, diet and nutrition changes, and vestibular and visual
rehabilitation can be effective treatment options in these cases.

Step 3: Return to Learn, Work and Play

Standardised concussion treatment and Return to Learn, Work, and Play strategies ensure adequate recovery time, and thereby limiting the risk of further injury.

At Capital Clinic Physiotherapy, Declan Gillian has completed extensive training via Complete Concussion Management and is available for Baseline Testing and the assessment and management of concussion.

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Book an appointment

Appointments are available in our two Canberra City locations. Call or book online.

Bookings can also be made with our physiotherapists in Deakin by calling ACT Pain Centre.