With fall sports in full swing, concussions are certain to ramp up within the mainstream consciousness. And while conventional wisdom often states that “time and rest” are the best and only options for recovery from concussion, studies now suggest managed exercise and movement can hasten recovery.
In 2010, researchers at the University of Buffalo were the first to show that specialized exercise regimens can relieve prolonged concussion symptoms. Focusing on both athletes and non-athletes, researchers based their findings on the hypothesis that “the regulatory system responsible for maintaining cerebral blood flow, which may be dysfunctional in people with a concussion, can be restored to normal by controlled, graded, symptom-free exercise.”
Nearly 3.8 million people suffer from concussions each year in the U.S., according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Many of these are a result of athletic injuries or motor vehicle accidents, and 5 to 10 percent of those suffering from a concussion may experience symptoms that last beyond six weeks. Concussions are serious medical conditions that can hold you back for days … even weeks. The good news is that physical therapy can guide a patient through the healing process, making recovery more proactive and possibly even quicker.
When choosing physical therapy to aid in recovery, a physical therapist will first provide concussed patients with thorough neurological, orthopedic and cardiovascular evaluations in an effort to develop an individualized treatment plan that addresses specific needs and goals. Then, following some rest and recovery, a physical therapist can determine when it’s best to begin treating the problems related to the concussion (dizziness, balance and headaches) while also starting a light, guided exercise program for the restoration of strength and endurance, putting the patient on track to a full recovery.
If you or a loved one are suffering from a concussion, do not delay in getting help. The quicker you seek help, the faster you can return to your normal activities. Call us today to set up an evaluation and let us help you get back on track!