Concussion Management

Concussion Management, Treatment, and Rehabilitation at Pro Function

Concussions have become a focus for both professional and amateur athletes around the world, and Pro Function Sports Injury Clinic strives to be at the forefront of concussion diagnosis, management, and rehabilitation. We utilize a comprehensive, multi-modal, and evidence based approach to treating concussions which is based on current advances in concussion research.

What is a Concussion?

A concussion is a brain injury caused by acceleration or deceleration of the brain within the skull following a significant impact to the head or elsewhere on the body. The impact causes a temporary biochemical imbalance within the brain cells, resulting in decreased blood flow and energy deficits within the brain. The current recommended approach to concussion treatment is “Recognize; Remove; Rest; Rehab”

Following a suspected concussion, it is important to be assessed by a trained and knowledgeable health care professional within the first 24-48 hours. Early and proper management of concussions can help optimize recovery time as well as decrease the likelihood of experiencing prolonged symptoms.

What Are the Symptoms of Concussion?

Individuals who sustain a concussion frequently complain of a headache, feeling “out of it”, feeling off balance and dizzy. They may also have neck pain, mood and sleep changes and difficulty thinking, remembering and concentrating. Light, noise and “busy” situations may make them feel worse.

How Long Before I Can Return to Learn/Work/Sport?

Recent literature suggests that improvement in symptoms does not mean the brain has fully recovered. Although individuals may feel better within days of suffering a concussion, it is important to know that the brain is still undergoing the recovery process and vulnerable to another injury.

For most patients, concussion recovery time is less than a month, however, greater than 30% of all concussions will go on to have long-standing symptoms. Being assessed by a healthcare practitioner trained in concussion management is the first step in understanding recovery time. There are many aspects that can delay recovery and understanding how best to manage your condition is vital. Through individualized assessment and rehabilitation protocols, Pro Function takes the necessary steps to help patients and athletes who are experiencing symptoms safely return to school, work and sport.

What is Baseline Testing?

Baseline testing is a series of physical and cognitive tests that provides a pre-injury overview of healthy brain function. It is completed when an athlete is healthy and does not have a concussion. Baseline testing focuses on areas of the athlete that are most often affected following a concussion. At Pro Function baseline testing includes the evaluation of:

Baseline testing is not needed for everyone. It is best suggested for those athletes who participate in contact or collision sports, where the risk of concussion is higher. The goal of baseline testing is to compare an athletes pre-concussion state to their post-concussion state to best assist practitioners in making a safe return to play decisions. By comparing how an athlete performs on the same tests before and after a concussion we may better know when the athlete has fully recovered. Baseline tests in very young children may not be as helpful as in those over the age of 12.

What does the latest Research on Concussions Say?

The current international consensus states that too much rest may promote prolonged symptoms in those recovering from a concussion. After 24-48 hours of rest, patients are encouraged to gradually begin activities that do not worsen their symptoms. Activities can include light exercise and cognitive tasks.

Research on acute concussions has shown that continued rest greater than 5-7 days may not be as helpful as once thought. Researchers showed that children who rest too long are more likely to experience prolonged symptoms relative to those who rested less and began light activity earlier.

First Appointment at Pro Function

Your first visit to Pro Function consists of a full physical assessment and review of your medical history with our concussion practitioner, Dr. Joseph Greenwood. Dr. Joseph’s primary goal will be to safely rule out any underlying medical conditions that may require additional care. Following your evaluation, he will educate you on the mechanisms responsible for concussions, how to best manage your symptoms both in the short term and long term, and prescribe an evidence based treatment plan that is specifically tailored to your needs, your goals, and the outcomes you desire.