There is an inherent risk of injury associated with participation in contact sports, such as football, rugby, boxing, mixed martial arts, karate, hockey, lacrosse, and soccer. You can also sustain a concussion from a car accident or a fall.
A concussion is a form of brain injury that temporarily disrupts how your brain works. It is sustained by a hit, bump or blow to the head or elsewhere on the body. It can also occur from forceful neck motion (whiplash).
This impact causes the brain to rapidly move back and forth inside your skull. Resulting damage to the brain can disrupt the flow of energy to your brain cells. It is this depletion of available energy that causes fatigue and other hallmark signs of concussion.
• Fatigue and weakness
• Difficulty speaking or reading
• Loss of athletic performance
While these symptoms are common when dealing with a concussion, they should be addressed by a qualified practitioner. If this sounds like you, click here to get help now.
An accumulation of physical and physiological stresses as well as direct blows to the head and/or body can set the athlete up for injury. Concussions, in particular, have become a major concern. Most people think that a concussion occurs when the brain comes in contact with the skull, but this simply is not the case.
Our brains are floating in cerebrospinal fluid (CSF). This fluid keeps the brain in constant motion during all of the activities throughout our lives. When we are impacted on the field, the brain tissue is sheared in multiple directions. When the neurons within the brain are sheared, they become more permeable for fluid and nutrients to flow within the cells. They are then taking in more energy than is available in the surrounding fluid, leaving little energy remaining for future use.
Because of this, a concussion is an issue of energy use and availability, rather than just an issue due to direct impact. This depletion of available energy is what causes both the fatigue and the inability to tolerate basic activities (e.g., reading, television, academics) for extended periods of time. Until the neurons are healed, you might continue to have the hallmark signs and symptoms of concussion.
Proper training habits along with the ability of the athlete to perform the desired movements (from head to toe) in a strong, efficient, and safe manner are essential for optimal health and pain-free performance.
Returning to school, work or sports after sustaining a concussion can be physically and mentally demanding and frustrating. If balance is not returned to the brain cells following injury, your ability to read and analyze objects moving in space may be distorted. This is why returning to sports and daily life can be so difficult for so many.
Typically people are instructed to rest or stay inside a dark room after a concussion. Research shows this can actually create negative consequences. Depriving your senses for long periods of time increases the likelihood of having prolonged post-concussive symptoms. Gradual exposure to activities can help speed up your recovery.
When it comes to concussions, how can we most effectively heal the neurons and stabilize the energy flow within the cerebrospinal fluid? When a concussion does occur, the approach to healing should be multifaceted. A treatment plan that incorporates a diet high in the proper nutrients, graded exposure to aerobic conditioning, and neural exercises that don’t exacerbate any symptoms has been proven to be most effective. The exercises should include an integration of multiple senses like visual, vestibular and cerebellar.
A qualified PT can assess your unique symptom profile and tailor a program for you. They can apply a multi-sensory approach that advances the healing process and optimizes how your brain and muscles communicate, for a safe return to sports and a peak level of performance.
Treating athletes who participate in contact sports is typically not a big part of a physical therapist’s education. It is a specialty area requiring much further study, training, and practice following graduation.
At Activcore, you will be matched with a physical therapist who is trained in concussions. You will feel the Activcore difference from your first visit. This is a highly personalized experience delivered by a passionate movement expert fully dedicated to getting you back to the sport or training activity that you love. Once your symptoms have been addressed, you will have the opportunity to continue honing your movement through ongoing performance training at Activcore.
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"Activcore helped me to solve a problem caused by a concussion when I felt there was no hope in sight. She restored my balance, helped me regain strength, and instilled confidence in my ability to recover. Each time I meet with her, she recalls the details of our last visit, listens to my concerns with sincere interest, and encourages me to text her after our sessions. My physical therapist's sense of humor is infectious and is as much a part of the healing process as the actual therapy. I highly recommend Activcore. They have been a game-changer on my road to recovery."
- Activcore client