FYZICAL Therapy & Balance Centers New Orleans 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
Vestibular Rehabilitation Includes 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, but over time you learn and adapt with practicing. Another similar feeling would be 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.
Physical Therapy and Exercise for Post-Concussion
Physical Therapy can also help your dizziness with aerobic conditioning and exercise for your post-concussion symptoms. After a concussion, a strange phenomenon can happen. The special part of your nervous system, called the autonomic system, is responsible for many simple things we do – breathing, digesting food, temperature regulation, and most importantly our blood pressure and blood flow.
Normally, the autonomic nervous system (ANS) regulates blood pressure to the brain perfectly, allowing the brain to receive nourishment and push out the waste. When you develop a concussion, a phenomenon called dysautonomia occurs, which causes the blood flow to become dysfunctional. Some studies say a 50% reduction occurs, which can lead to many symptoms associated with concussion including fogginess, cognitive challenges, and dizziness symptoms.
Treatment of this starts with a special test called the Buffalo Concussion Treadmill Test (BCTT). This test will help the Physical Therapist understand when you start to feel these symptoms and put together a plan of care to safely return you to feeling normal again.
Manual Therapy for Post-Concussion
Manual Therapy to the cervical region is another form of Physical Therapy for Post-Concussion Symptoms. Dizziness symptoms and headaches, along with pain and stiffness can also be derived from your neck. This is called cervicogenic pain, dizziness and headaches, which is extremely common after a concussion.
Why or How?
The term is called G-forces, which is a measurement of acceleration and is common within pilots when flying but, can also be measured in with concussions. The average G-forces that cause concussions is around 70 to 120 G’s. To injure your neck, you only need 4.5 G’s. Your neck will endure some form of injury because of a concussion and this can result from playing sports, strenuous activities at work, a motor vehicle accident, or simply hitting your head after a fall.
Physical Therapists are experts at assessing your range of motion, strength, and coordination of your neck, which lead to the source of your pain, stiffness, dizziness, and headaches. Once identified, a Physical Therapist can use advanced treatments and manual therapy to improve and resolve these symptoms.
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 New Orleans, 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 New Orleans.
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
At FYZICAL New Orleans, we are always accepting new patients and typically schedule within the same week. If you would like to refer one or more of your patients to us for baseline testing or post concussion, please call us at 504-861-4693 or fax a completed FYZICAL Concussion Management Referral to us at 504-865-8379.
For more information, call our clinic or visit www.completeconcussions.com