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KSB Physical Therapists Can Help to Rehabilitate Concussion Patients

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) estimates that 1.6 million to 3.8 million people experience concussions during sports and recreational activities annually in the United States. Although this is true, concussions can occur at work, at home, from falls or vehicular accidents, and can in some cases cause loss of consciousness and symptoms lasting weeks to months.

A concussion is a brain injury typically caused by an impact or force upon the head. Concussions should be considered significant brain injuries in that they can cause structural damage and metabolic disturbances in the brain, which can manifest as dizziness, headaches, imbalance, fatigue, difficulty concentrating or focusing on work or school, etc.

Recent studies are now indicating that for some, concussion may not appear on typical imaging, and investigation of neuromuscular systems is required to determine if rehabilitation would be beneficial to alleviate symptoms. Because many systems can be affected and a myriad of difficulties can exist for patients following a concussive injury, a physical therapist’s assessment is key to return to normal functioning and can instrumentally and more efficiently improve symptoms than simply waiting to feel better.

Physical therapists are skilled in the assessment and treatment of neurologic, orthopedic, and cardiovascular impairments that patients may face following a head injury. Often, a significant rest period is required in order for the brain to repair any damage that may have occurred and to allow for “reboot” of brain systems post-concussion.

In many cases, returning to typical work or school can prolong symptoms, as adequate rest is not allowed and impairments persist. Working in conjunction with the patient, physical therapists help to reduce symptoms and give coaching on appropriate rest, utilization of cognitive skills, exercise practices, and techniques to “reboot” the system faster!

Kaitlyn Smith, DPT is a physical therapist certified by the American Institute of Balance in evidence based concussion management. Kaitlyn works with concussion patients to determine their deficits post-concussion, and work to rehabilitate those deficits to allow them to return to work, sports, or simply everyday activities. 

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To schedule an appointment with KSB Rehab Services, please call 815-285-5591.

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