Concussion: A Complex and Treatable Condition

February 22, 2022 | Lifestyle, Sports, Wellness

There has been a substantial increase in awareness of concussions and their effects over the past five to ten years. The definition of a concussion, according to the Consensus Statement on Concussion in Sport, is “a complex pathophysiological process affecting the brain, induced by biomechanical forces”. Over time we continue to develop a better understanding of the challenges and complexity often associated with sustaining and recovering from a concussion.  

Misconceptions of Concussions

There are a number of misconceptions regarding concussions. 

Some common ones include:

  • A direct hit to the head and loss of consciousness is required to have a concussion
  • You must rest in a dark room until all symptoms subside
  • All concussion symptoms will always just go away with time

In reality, the truth is that rapid head movements, such as whiplash, can cause a concussion and concussions often don’t result in a loss of consciousness. Short-term rest periods of 48-72 hours may be helpful for recovery but prolonged rest periods may delay progress. However, when symptoms don’t resolve on their own it may contribute to post-concussion syndrome. 

Getting Help

While most mild concussions will fully resolve within one to three weeks, concussions can also result in lasting symptoms and challenges. Anyone who has suffered a concussion should be evaluated by a physician and those with residual symptoms can also benefit from consulting other healthcare professionals such as a chiropractor or physiotherapist. Persistent effects of concussions can affect activities of daily living, however many of these lingering issues can be treated by specially trained chiropractors, physiotherapists, and/or massage therapists. 

The road to recovery for concussions begins with a comprehensive assessment, which leads to a detailed treatment plan. A patient-centred approach to achieving patient-specific goals is key. Rehabilitation will often include a combination of manual therapy (typically for the neck), vestibular and balance therapy, exercise therapy, and ongoing education regarding symptom management. Treatment can help facilitate a successful return to activities such as sports, school, and work. 

If you’re currently experiencing pain or other symptoms with a concussion or post-concussion, consulting with a concussion-trained health professional could be the best step towards returning to and enjoying the activities that you value most. CURAVITA Health Group currently offers concussion assessment and treatment at our Glebe and Byward clinics. If you have any questions or wish to learn more please contact us.