Preventing Concussions

There may be a cause for concern if your child plays sports. There are more and more cases of adolescent head injuries & concussions reported over the last few years. Concussions or head injuries can occur at the blink of an eye, especially if your child is involved in a high impact sport like football. There has been much more publicity about concussion, head injury and the possible longer term effect in the past few years. The University of Michigan Health System and The Centers for Disease Control both reported that approximately 3.8 millions Americans get concussions just from sports injuries every year. Keep in mind there are many other ways to get a concussion other than sports such as motor vehicle accident or whiplash injury.

Definition of a “Concussion”:

When trauma “shakes” the brain inside the skull causing a vigorous, unnatural impact to the brain. This can lead to a change in the brains chemistry or energy supply.  In many instances of getting a concussion, the side-effects are mild, short in duration and “headache-like”. But, in some more severe cases, the concussion may result in altered or abnormal brain function.

Preventing Concussions:

Wearing a helmet is the obvious way to prevent a concussion however, it’s also crucial for children to learn upper trunk, posture and neck-strengthening exercises. If the muscles of the neck & trunk are strong & stable, the likelihood of concussions and injuries in high impact sports such as football are minimized.

For the younger population active in sports, an assessment at Back In Motion Sarasota Physical Therapy can help find out regions of the body which could use stability and strength training. Our adolescent sports injury program is performed by a licensed Physical Therapist. The tests and measurements performed during the PT assessment will be used to develop a customized and individualized strength and stability program that can aid with injury prevention & even prevent concussions caused by in part weak core musculature.

How To Reduce Concussion Risk

Concussions: it’s very possible to lessen the risk of getting one. The most effective way and most widespread talked about way to reduce concussion risk is with use of an appropriate helmet. When the activity or sporting event does not mandate use of protective headgear, the team at Back In Motion Sarasota Physical Therapy suggests that you have your child put one on to reduce the risk of head injury and concussion anyway. Teach your child early that a helmet is not an option but required for participation in the activity. When using protective headgear such as a helmet is instilled at an early age, the child will be more likely to utilize a helmet as they grow older. Start early with this rule and be consistent. Your child’s head, brain and overall safety is at stake.

Physical Therapy For Concussions

What is the damage caused by a concussion?

MRI scans will often show ‘white spots’ several years after the head injury happened. The meaning of these white-spots is often debated but are popularly indicative of a past concussion.

No matter what the severity of trauma to the head, you want to lessen it all that you can. Concussions can cause temporary visual impairment, speech impairment, problems with balance, memory problems, confusion, headaches, nausea or vomiting, slowed reaction to stimuli, sensitivity to light or noise, lack of energy and other problems. Emotionally, a person who has experienced a concussion may feel sad, nervous, anxious or easily upset/angered. Many people associate a loss of consciousness with a concussion however a loss of consciousness may or may not have occurred. How long these effects last depends upon the severity of the concussion and how soon the concussion was treated after it occurred. The symptoms may begin immediately or they may take up to months to develop. The long-term impact of a concussion is often debated.

PT can treat dizziness, headaches, promote core stability and much more.

We have certified balance and vestibular PTs at Back In Motion Sarasota Physical Therapy. We will provide you with specific exercises and training to reduce or stop the dizziness. Your PT at our clinic will assess you for neck problems and headaches following a concussion. We will also assess your spine for any contributing injury. Our physical therapist will work closely with other health care professionals working with you on your concussion. We will create a customized and personalized neck strengthening and core strengthening program. This will minimize the risk of future problems and concussions. We have access to FDA approved technology which promotes a healing process and is safe for use on adults as well as children.

Whether it is to promote injury prevention with a neck strengthening and upper trunk stability program or if its to treat headache, dizziness or pain after the concussion…We are the local experts in Sarasota Florida. Do not delay, sometimes the symptoms can take up to several months before they are even realized. If left untreated, the symptoms can magnify with intensity. Call our experts at (941)925-2700 today. You only have one brain.

About the Author Tim Burnell, PT

Tim Burnell is the Lead Physical Therapist at Back In Motion Sarasota. He has over two decades of clinical experience. He takes pride in getting to the root of the problem which helps get his clients better...Faster! He is a family man & enjoys spending time with the love of his life, Monique. He has 2 children & a dog named Annie. Tim's son, Andre' is 11 years old and his daughter Joliebelle (nicknamed Pooky) is 7 years old. He enjoys visiting his wife's side of the family in New Orleans and his side of the family in Vermont. Tim grew up in Vermont, went to Physical Therapy School in Alabama, got his first job at Tulane Hospital in New Orleans and moved to Sarasota Florida after Hurricane Katrina in 2006.

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