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May 26th, 2022

Concussion and Physiotherapy


Learn how Concussion can be successfully treated using Physiotherapy to help achieve recovery and regain function.

What is a Concussion?

A concussion is a type of traumatic brain injury (TBI) caused by a physical impact onto the head. A concussion is caused by a direct impact, sudden deceleration, or other impact to the body travelling to the head. Each of these types of impacts cause the brain to shift and hit the inside surfaces of the skull leading to changes in brain function.

What are common symptoms of a concussion?

A concussion can vary from mild to severe. Symptoms can show up immediately or a few hours following the injury. The types of symptoms experienced can vary greatly depending on the severity of the injury.

Symptoms of a mild to moderate concussion can include:

  • headache
  • temporary loss of consciousness
  • dizziness
  • feeling stunned, dazed, or confused
  • temporary memory loss
  • nausea / vomiting
  • ringing in the ears (tinnitus)
  • fatigue
  • irritability

Severe concussions can involve brain bleeding and require immediate medical assistance.

If you have sustained a mild to moderate concussion, chances are you will likely make a full recovery in about 2-3 weeks. Sometimes, it can take up to a few months. But, for others, symptoms of concussion (headache, dizziness, nausea, fatigue, sleep irregularities, difficulty concentrating and reading, mood disturbance) can persist.

A trained Physiotherapist can assess and treat any number of systems responsible:

  • Cervical: the joints and soft tissues of your neck
  • Vestibular: the balance apparatus in your inner ear
  • Physiological: dysregulation of the autonomic nervous system
  • Visual: processing visual information and controlling eye movements

A physiotherapist with experience treating concussion, can help determine what might be the leading cause and start you back on the path to recovery. Physiotherapy treatments for Concussion includes a thorough health intake and assessment, treatment for the affected areas and systems involved, a treatment plan for recovery, and homecare recommendations to help facilitate your return to function.

About Claire McGlynn, PT, BHSc, BSc(PT), Dip. Manip. PT, FCAMPT

Claire treats a number of musculoskeletal injuries and conditions with a special interest in concussion and vestibular rehabilitation. She sees patients for concussion symptoms, vertigo, dizziness, as well as sports injuries, postural dysfunction, repetitive strain injuries, and acute and chronic spinal disorders.

She holds a Diploma of Advanced Manual and Manipulative Physiotherapy from the Canadian Physiotherapy Association, a Certificate in Contemporary Medical Acupuncture and is certified in GUNN IMS (Dry Needling).

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