Call To Schedule

RecoverRx Performance and Recovery Blog


By: Dr. David Bokermann, PT, DPT, C-PS
Concussions are treatable….This sentence may seem intuitive and simple but I believe it is an important message to deliver to the public. I want to provide hope and clarity to an often misunderstood and complex injury. 

As a physical therapist treating patients with concussions for over 8 years I often receive similar questions such as: I was just told to rest and wait, what can PT do for me? Or what exactly does PT do to help me recover from a concussion? Should I exercise or how do I know when I am ready to go back to what I love? I will answer all these questions for you today.
a stethoscope next to a drawing of a brain on a blackboard.

 treating concussions, the most important aspect of care is to identify the primary concussion profile of the patient. 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 with 2-3 profiles. The 6 profiles are cervical (neck), cognitive/fatigue, visual , vestibular, migraine and anxiety/mood. Without identifying the profile the treatment can not be appropriately targeted or effective. Providing balance exercises for someone dealing with a visual profile will not address the problem and will not be the solution for that patient. 

Through listening to a patient’s story, getting in depth with a patient’s past history, understanding immediate symptoms after the concussion and the current issues they are experiencing, the profile will start to be created. Apart from understanding the symptoms, a hands-on examination will need to take place. In our practice we will always assess the balance system, the coordination of the eyes and lastly perform an orthopedic examination of the cervical spine in terms of motion, pain and control. The combination of how the patient feels and what symptoms are demonstrated in the examination will create their concussion profile.

a collage of photos of a man and a woman.
a wooden table topped with scrabbled letters and a scrabbled.

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 and it violates the fundamental topic of this blog- concussions are treatable. We no longer treat concussions passively with rest, avoiding light and stimulus and waiting for the brain to heal. Now we treat concussions actively.

Active rehabilitation for concussion management has 3 parts.

  • 1. Identify the profile with objective deficits
  • 2. treat the deficits with targeted exercises.
  • 3. Step wise progression back to exercise based on symptoms.

To answer the above question regarding return to previous activities, we want to take the guesswork out of the decision making process.

​We will perform a buffalo concussion treadmill test to determine a patient’s ability to tolerate aerobic exercise. This test in combination with a structured return to play protocol will give us the answers to a person’s ability to perform their everyday activities without return of symptoms. 

a man and a woman running in a parking lot.

If you or someone you know is dealing with a recent concussion or one that hasn’t recovered the way they would like please don’t hesitate to reach out or call so we can identify the profile, prescribe specific exercises based upon the examination and tailor a return to play/life protocol that is based on tests and measures supported by research! 

You can reach out to us via email:
                   or reach us by phone: 331-253-2426

Three men in orange shirts standing in front of an orange wall.


Dr. Luke GreenwellDr. David Bokermann and Dr. Sarah Greenwell are Performance Based Physical Therapists with extensive backgrounds in optimizing movement, performance, & recovery.


We help Athletes and Active Adults Recover from Pain and Injury, Rebuild Functional Movement Patterns, and Redefine their Future Performance,  for a Return to the Sports and Activities they Love

Check Out Our Other Blogs