FYZICAL Therapy & Balance Centers at FYZICAL Natick is now recognized by Complete Concussion Management Inc.™ (CCMI) and joins a network of clinics around the world offering evidence-based concussion care. From initial pre-season multimodal baseline testing to concussion treatment and rehabilitation, our Physical Therapists collaborate with primary care physicians to co-manage concussions, helping patients and athletes safely return to learn, work and play.
How Complete Concussion Management Works
Through collaboration between trained healthcare practitioners, physical therapists, educated coaches and trainers, teachers, case managers, informed parents, and athletes, the CCMI system at FYZICAL educates and empowers our community to recognize concussions, and take the necessary steps to help an athlete, worker, or weekend warrior safely return to sports, school, or work.
What is a concussion?
A concussion is a brain injury caused by acceleration or deceleration of the brain within the skull following a significant impact to the head or elsewhere on the body. The impact causes a biochemical imbalance within the brain cells, resulting in decreased blood flow and temporary energy deficits within the brain. Symptoms may include loss of consciousness, headache, pressure in the head, neck pain, nausea or vomiting, dizziness, or balance problems, among others.
How can FYZICAL Therapy & Balance Centers Help?
Physical therapy programs for post-concussion symptoms (PCS) often use a specialized therapy called vestibular rehabilitation (VR), which helps you orient yourself during dizziness symptoms. Dizziness can be described many ways, but the most common subtypes of dizziness are:
> Vertigo: A feeling of spinning or turning
> Lightheadedness: A sense that you might pass out or floating sensation
> Imbalance: A feeling of unsteadiness when getting up, standing, or moving
> Motion Sickness: A sense of nausea or irritable stomach
> Behavioral: A feeling of apprehension, possible anxiety associated with your symptoms
Exercises For VR Include Three Primary Approaches:
> Adaptation Exercises: these exercises teach the brain to adapt to the dizziness feeling you might be experiencing. An example is riding a bicycle with the handlebars crooked. Your brain has to adapt to the error it is getting through practice but over time you learn and adapt. This might be a similar feeling driving a car out of alignment.
> Habituation Training: This training is used to desensitize you to the dizziness you are experiencing through repetitive movements. Think of how a figure skater can spin so fast and not get dizzy? They actually do in the beginning by habituate over time.
> Substitution Exercises: Sometimes the two exercise approaches will not completely resolve your dizziness, so you may need to substitute with using more vision or surface cueing. A perfect example is walking on an icy sidewalk. You have to increase your surface cues and feel more through the ground to navigate the unstable surface.
Multimodal Baseline Testing
Multimodal baseline testing is a series of physical and cognitive tests that provides a pre-injury overview of healthy brain function. These tests can offer healthcare practitioners with an objective benchmark on which to compare should a patient sustain a concussion.
As concussion symptoms often disappear days to weeks before the brain has recovered, having valuable baseline information may help practitioners to make safer return to play decisions.
Book your baseline test at our FYZICAL clinic HERE!
Concussion Tracker Smartphone Application
Patients can view baseline test results, find recognized CCMI clinics such as FYZICAL Natick, learn recovery tips and receive prescribed rehab exercises through the free Concussion Tracker App. Coaches, trainers and teachers can administer an assessment of a suspected concussion, report the injury into our clinic, and track patient recovery. The app supports safe return to learn, work and play by allowing for seamless communication between sports teams, schools, parents and healthcare practitioners.
Download the Concussion Tracker App HERE!
Complete Concussion Management Network
The CCMI network of recognized clinics provide standardized, evidence-based concussion care to those impacted by, or at risk for concussion. All recognized clinics and practitioners are connected through a secure Electronic Medical Record (EMR) system, allowing access to patient medical files. Through this integrative technology, patients can be confident that they will receive consistent, quality care at FYZICAL Natick.
Symptoms of a concussion can be quite varied, depending on the nature of your injury, as well as your age and gender. Some problems for which people seek physical therapy for concussions include:
> Weight loss or weight gain
> Ongoing headaches
> Loss of balance and frequent falls
> Dizziness and lowered blood pressure
> Muscle weakness and spasms
> Decreased sex drive
> Sudden loss of menstruation
Concussion Quick Facts
> Helmets and mouth guards do not protect or reduce the risk of concussion
> 90% of concussions do not result in loss of consciousness
> MRI and other diagnostic scans show structural damage in the brain, and do not identify energy deficits caused by concussion
> Symptoms of concussion typically go away in 7 – 10 days; however, the actual recovery of the brain can take much longer