Sports Concussions PART 1: The Impact of Physical Therapy
Concussions are traumatic brain injuries that may arise in any sport or leisure activity. These injuries can alter your brain's memory, function, behavior, and emotions. Sports concussions from your physical fitness activities may have severe, lifelong consequences if you don't identify and manage them correctly. Let’s review some need-to-know information for concussions in this week’s blog!
Causes Of Concussions in Sports
The primary cause of a concussion from sports is a direct hit to the head. It may include when one player collides with another, a fall, or a flying object like a football or soccer ball impacting directly in the head. A whiplash injury may also cause a concussion. It can create a sudden brain movement that harms your neural cells and causes a chemical imbalance.
Such injuries may happen in any sport. However, some sports like basketball, rugby, soccer, football, and hockey are at greater risk than others. Cycling, skiing, horseback riding, and martial arts can also expose you to sports injuries.
Common Sports Concussion Symptoms
People with sports concussions may experience different symptoms, but some of the most common symptoms include headache, blurred or doubled vision, dizziness, and disorientation. Other symptoms include:Nausea or vomiting
Confusion or disorientation
Sensitivity to noise or light
Difficulty concentrating or remembering
Sleep disturbances like problems falling or staying asleep, excessive sleepiness, or insomnia
Mood changes like anxiety, sadness, or irritability
Loss of consciousness
Worsening or severe headache
Numbness or feebleness in the legs or arms
Increased confusion or agitation
Problems recognizing people or places
It's crucial to stop playing right away and seek medical attention if you think you may have a concussion. Playing with such an injury may increase the likelihood of further complications.
Treatment of Sports Concussions
Rest is the primary treatment for sports concussions. That means avoiding mental and physical activities that may deteriorate your symptoms or slow your recovery. It may include avoiding sports and exercise, reading, writing, schoolwork, listening to music, watching TV, video games, and computers.
Follow your doctor's advice on how to get proper rest. Once you are showing improvement, your doctor may recommend that you slowly resume your everyday activities. Make sure to avoid collisions or contact sports unless your doctor approves.
Seeing a physical therapist may also help with concussions. They may apply different approaches to address any movement-associated injuries. These may include headaches, neck pain, dizziness, or balance problems. Physical therapy may also be helpful with vestibular-oculomotor dysfunctions. These are challenges with coordination and eye movements that can impact your vision and spatial awareness. Physical therapy may also incorporate techniques that improve blood flow and the brain's oxygen supply.
Physical therapy for sports injuries can be individualized to your exact needs. Your therapist at Buffalo Chiropractic and Physical Therapy will consider your injury's severity and design a personalized plan. They'll also monitor your progress and tailor your treatment accordingly. If you have experienced a sports injury, consider giving us a call or filling out one of our contact forms!