Concussion Rehab

Dundas Physio & Rehab is a Certified Provider of The Shift Concussion Management Program.

Shift is a leader in concussion care and the program is an advanced approach to concussion rehabilitation. It guides athletes safely back to full participation in their sport and their lives.

Concussions and their long-term effects are one of the biggest challenges athletes face today.

What is a concussion?

A concussion is a form of brain injury resulting from a direct to indirect blow to the head, face or jaw causing an alteration in brain function. Concussions can produce a wide array of symptoms which pose a challenge for coaches, trainers, parents and health professionals involved in the care of an injured athlete. The time course of recovery also varies widely from athlete to athlete, making it impossible to employ a “cookie-cutter” approach to concussion rehabilitation and return to participation timelines.

For this reason, a growing emphasis has been placed on objective pre-participation (or baseline) testing protocols that can be used to track an athlete’s recovery and serve as a tangible measurement for return to play. The Shift Team believes the pre-participation testing requires a multifaceted approach. Baseline Testing is a vital component to the proper management and rehabilitation of concussive injuries.

Concussion RehabilitationConcussion Rehabilitation

Recovering from a concussion can be a difficult and frustrating time. At Shift, we understand that each athlete is affected differently and as such, requires individualized care. The below management strategies are used to limit the amount of impairment as well as expedite recovery as much as possible.

Individualized resting strategies and home instruction

Specific recommendations around employment or academic demands

Manual therapy for associated complaints( neck pain, whiplash etc.)

Screening and Referral for Vision Therapy if required

Rehabilitation: Balance, Coordination, and Vestibular-Based

Physical exertion testing and exercise plans for return to sport

Return to Sport ParticipationReturn to Sport Participation

An important and often overlooked cornerstone of return to play preparation is a graduated program of physical exertion testing. It is well known that concussive symptoms are typically aggravated during physical activity.

Injured athletes who may be symptom free should be thoroughly tested with a series of physical tasks to reduce the risk of premature sport activity.

At Hamilton Physio & Rehab we provide a standardized approach to supervised physical exertion testing when the athlete is the appropriate phase of recovery.

Four Pillars Step 1 – Education

Education is the vital component to the prevention and proper management of this injury. It’s about reaching out to all those affected: players, parents, teachers, coaches, trainers, officials, administrators, and health care providers. It will require a village approach to change the current mindset and provide a safer playing environment for today’s youth.

Step 2 – Prevention

Through education and sport specific platforms, we aim to change the mindset of the participants from the grassroots level and up.

Step 3 – Management

Its is as important to manage a concussion, as it is to diagnose it. If a concussion does occur, stopconcussion.com wants to be there for the athlete. This is where Shift Concussion Management comes into play – providing a high standard of care for athletes across many different sports and many different regions. Concussion management requires team approach across all disciplines of health care.

Step 4 – Research

Since concussions are virtually invisible injuries it is important to continue research in this area. Through establishing the stopconcussions.com network of specially trained researchers and qualified health care professionals, the sporting community is significantly enhanced to effectively assess and treat concussed athletes.

On television, injuries that turn out to be “just a concussion” are often anti-climactic events that the audience is led to believe will be over in days, if not hours. In real life, however, these traumatic brain injuries — which usually stem from a fall, severe shaking, a car accident or a direct blow to the head — can severely impact a person’s quality of life for several months.

Left untreated, concussions can even inhibit growth in young children, and bring on early dementia for older patients. Fortunately, the physical therapy field is continually discovering new ways to help patients suffering from long-term concussion complications.

Concussion-Related Issues

Chances are, you won’t be referred to physical therapy during the immediate aftermath of a concussion, when rest is the best way to cope with such short-term symptoms as vomiting, confusion, weakness and headaches. But if these problems persist and new ones arise, physical therapy can be helpful.

Long-term symptoms can be quite varied, depending on the nature of your injury, as well as your age and gender. Some problems for which people seek PT for concussions include:

  • Fatigue
  • Weight loss or weight gain
  • Ongoing headaches
  • Irritability
  • Loss of balance and frequent falls
  • Dizziness and lowered blood pressure
  • Muscle weakness and spasms
  • Decreased sex drive
  • Sudden loss of menstruation

How Physical Therapy Can Help

The natural fatigue and required resting that early concussion recovery entails often results in weakened muscles and lowered endurance. To combat that, your physiotherapist will customize a strength-building program for you, as well as guide you through aerobic moves that help you regain that endurance.

Occupational therapy may be also be helpful. Your physiotherapist will ascertain which daily routines have become challenging, and help you go through the steps of those routines, so that they don’t seem so overwhelming.

Headaches often come with the territory of recovering from concussions. To decrease their frequency, your PT sessions may include targeted massage, specific stretches, and even eye motion “workouts.”

Physical therapy programs for concussion often build in vestibular therapy, which helps you orient yourself during periods of lightheadedness or loss of balance. (Exercises such as fixing your gaze at a certain point in the distance, or using simple movements to stabilize your core and limbs, are invaluable during such moments.)

When you or a loved one need help coping with the emotional and physical toll of a concussion, contact us today at Dundas,Hamilton,Burliington & tobicoke, ON centers. We’ll tailor a recovery program to cope with, and eventually eradicate, these traumatic long-term symptoms.