Concussion and Vestibular Rehab in Kansas City
Have your (or your athlete's) concussion symptoms lasted longer than 2 weeks? Is dizziness, nausea, blurred vision, or impaired balance making it hard to focus, read, use a phone or computer, walk, work out, perform your normal school/work activities, or participate in the game?
Through research, we have been able to identify 6 profiles for sport related concussions. All patients fall into 1 primary profile, but most of the time there is overlap between 2-3. The 6 profiles are cervical (neck), cognitive/fatigue, visual, vestibular, migraine and anxiety/mood. By identifying the proper profile, our therapists at RecoverRx Performance Physical Therapy can provide targeted and effective interventions.
The profile is developed by listening to a patient’s story, getting an in-depth history, understanding both immediate symptoms after the concussion and the current issues they are experiencing. Apart from understanding the symptoms, a hands-on examination is also needed. In our practice, we always assess the balance system, the coordination of the eyes, and perform an orthopedic examination of the cervical spine in terms of motion, pain and control.
Once the profile is identified, active rehabilitation can begin. We know through years of research that simply resting and avoiding activity does more harm than good. We no longer treat concussions passively with rest, avoiding light and stimulus and waiting for the brain to heal. Now we treat concussions actively!
Common Symptoms We Treat:
- Physical: Headache (tension, migraine, light sensitivity); Oculomotor (visual deficits); Vestibular (BPPV, dizziness); Fatigue (physical/drowsiness, cognitive); Sleep (initiation, maintenance)
- Cognitive (attention deficits/difficulty concentrating, memory deficits, executive function deficits/fogginess)
- Psychological (decreased frustration tolerance/irritability, depression, anxiety)
Concussion Rehabilitation Steps
- Identify the patient’s primary concussion profile and deficits
- Treat the deficits with targeted exercises for that profile (mobilization techniques for the neck, balance exercises, vestibulo occular retraining, aerobic exertion program). Along with education and strategies to improve sleep, stress, hydration, and nutrition.
- Step wise progression back to exercise and sport based on symptoms
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Is dizziness, nausea, blurred vision, or impaired balance making it hard to get out of bed, drive, read, stand up, walk, and perform your normal work or home duties?
Vestibular therapy is a special form of rehabilitation targeted at improving and resolving issues related to the vestibular system (our inner ear).
The vestibular system is a complex structure in charge of coordinating information received from the outside world and relaying that information to our brain. When that system is off, the way we perceive and take in the world becomes dysfunctional. The most common symptom is dizziness, or vertigo, but dysfunction can also come in the form of difficulty changing positions, blurry vision with head movement, feeling off, inability to maintain upright posture, getting pulled 1 way or the other, or inability to tolerate moving objects.
The symptoms of vestibular system dysfunction come in many different varieties but all greatly impact our ability to move about our environment. At RecoverRx Performance Physical Therapy, our therapists have special training in the management of vestibular issues. Your therapist will perform a detailed evaluation assessing the health of your vestibular system. This will create an individualized treatment plan targeted at your specific goals.
Common Conditions we Treat:
- Vestibular Neuritis
- Balance dysfunction
- Dizziness- generalized or cervicogenic dizziness
- Post concussion syndrome
- Vestibular hypofunctioning
Vestibular Specific Treatments
- Canalith repositioning (Epley Maneuver)
- Habituation exercises for motion sensitivity
- Vestibulo Occular Reflex training
- Posture and balance training
- Neck mobilization techniques
- Aerobic exercise
Get Started Today!
Learn more from Dr. David's blog on the 3-Steps to Treating Concussion
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