Thanks to a heavy dose of attention from the media and leading professional sports leagues, concussions are now a hot topic for athletes and those who care about them. Fortunately, SportsCare Physical Therapy has recognized the need for a post-concussion rehabilitation program and implemented a six-step return-to-play protocol. Based on symptom tolerance, the program enables certified Physical Therapists and Athletic Trainers to properly monitor patients’ symptoms, plus physical and cognitive function.
It’s estimated that as many as 3.8 million concussions occur annually in the U.S., and while immediate consequences include dizziness, blurred vision, nausea, and unconsciousness, a single individual sustaining multiple cases of head trauma can experience more permanent negative effects, including cognitive impairment, depression and nervousness.
SportsCare realizes just how dangerous concussions can be. So we offer the most comprehensive rehabilitation possible to ensure athletes are completely ready to return to the game and not risk further damage from this incident. Baseline testing is an integral part of the protocol, comparing the pre and post-concussion test scores while working closely with the physician allows an accurate determination of when our patients are ready to return to their sport or activity.
For patients who already have suffered a concussion, SportsCare Physical Therapy has developed a physical therapy program that begins with a comprehensive evaluation to asses musculoskeletal and vestibular functioning, and determine the presence of such concussion-related symptoms as headache, nausea and vomiting. Patients are closely monitored by a physical therapist and referring physician as they progress toward being medically cleared to return to play. Balance training, improvement of hand to eye coordination, and strength enhancing exercises each are utilized to help patients return to peak condition.
SportsCare Physical Therapy also implements a sophisticated Biodex objective balance assessment machine that is invaluable in monitoring the progress of post-concussion recovery. Ideally, a baseline figure is assigned to an uninjured athlete, and if a concussion does occur, the Biodex unit is then able to compare post-injury balance to that individual’s healthy level.
Some of the therapies that may be included are; sensory integration exercises, visual motion sensitivity training, aerobic conditioning, and core strengthening. Every patient is different and your SportsCare Physical Therapist will develop an individualized rehabilitation program tailored specifically to each patient.
Research indicates the risk for concussion increases dramatically once an initial concussion has been sustained. This reality further strengthens the case for effective, accurate assessment measures.
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