About Concussion Management Treatment
Immediately following a concussion injury, the next 72 hours are crucial and all symptoms must be closely monitored for any changes. It is most important for the individual to seek professional treatment within this time period, if possible, to determine the best course of action based on the individual and the severity of the concussion. Also during this time period, the individual should significantly reduce their exposure to physical or cognitive exertion, such as work or sports and screen time. This is because the brain is currently suffering from an energy deficit and blood flow abnormalities. Rest is important to allow energy and blood flow to return to the brain and help recover the deficits and imbalanced brain cells. Medications should also be avoided during this time, unless completely necessary and advised or prescribed by a physician.
However, after a certain period of time, rest is no longer best and it is key to gradually return the individual first to cognitive stimulation and activity and then eventually to physical activity. This is when a concussion trained clinician becomes crucial in the recovery process to monitor the individual for numerous signs/symptoms which could delay recovery if not addressed properly. We here at Russolo Therapy Centre are fully trained to take individuals through a multi-stage assessment and treatment process to safely reintroduce cognitive stimulation and eventually physical activity in a safe environment for the individual to ensure proper concussion management and return to activity. This assessment involves a medical and concussion history, a thorough symptom evaluation, an orientation assessment, immediate and delayed memory testing, concentration testing (both auditory and visual), and a balance assessment. This methodology allows us to evaluate a wide range of possible deficits that can be caused by a concussion, rather than solely relying on the individual’s perceived symptoms. From there, we can decide how to best proceed, whether it be a neurological exam to assess areas such as visual tracking processes and postural sways, a treadmill exertion test to evaluate physical readiness, or if the individual still needs complete rest before reintroducing cognitive and physical stimulations.
Risk of Re-injury
The level of impact to the brain or body generally determines the amount of energy lost by the brain. Depending on the amount of energy lost, there is a certain amount of recovery time the brain requires to heal before it can risk taking a second impact. If a second impact occurs before the brain has had the proper treatment to heal, the brain is at risk of severe or even permanent damage. The amount of energy lost from two consecutive brain traumas can pose a serious threat to the body if not treated accordingly.