Understanding post-concussion syndrome

Wednesday, Feb. 7, 2018
athlete lying on the grass after concussion

How can an athlete get back in the game after a concussion when symptoms continue beyond the usual recovery period? Post-concussion syndrome is a term used when concussion symptoms persist beyond the usual 7 to 10 days, within which time most people recover from them.  It may include symptoms such as headaches, concentration and memory problems, dizziness and disturbed sleep.

If you are suffering from post-concussion syndrome, rest is not enough to ensure a full and proper recovery. Recent studies have shown that we need to become more active in addressing these ongoing symptoms. Physiotherapy to address issues of the cervical spine and inner ear for example, were four times more likely to get an athlete back to their sport within eight weeks. 

girl playing hockey

Post-concussion syndrome can also include cognitive and behavioural problems that do not go away with rest and time. These problems can be difficult for an individual to acknowledge or accept. But be reassured that this is not uncommon with post-concussion syndrome. The complex nature of concussions often requires a multi-disciplinary treatment approach, consisting of:

  • A primary care physician
  • Physiotherapist
  • Occupational therapist
  • Psychologist/neuropsychologist
  • Neurologist
  • Other specialists as required

http://cattonline.com emphasizes the importance of having an individualized plan tailored by a medical professional to guide you through the steps for a return to normal activities after a concussion. Gradually increasing academic and sport-specific activity under the guidance of a concussion management professional is part of the road to recovery.

Many Lifemark clinics offer concussion care as a service. To find a location near you, please visit www.lifemark.ca/clinics 

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