What is Post-Concussion Syndrome?

Concussions can result from a blow or trauma to the neck, face, head or body. It is a complex pathophysiological process that affects the brain and is considered to be a mild brain injury.

Head trauma can be caused by things such as motor vehicle accidents, sports injuries or even a simple slip and fall.

In the majority of cases the signs and symptoms of concussion are short lived.; 80-90% will resolve on their own within a 7-10 day period.

When symptoms persist beyond this expected recovery period, the person is considered to be suffering from Post-Concussion Syndrome (PCS).

What are the Symptoms of PCS?

The signs and symptoms of PCS can vary between individuals but generally include some of the following:

  • headache
  • dizziness
  • difficulty concentrating
  • neck pain and stiffness
  • irritability/mood swings
  • tinnitus (ringing in the ears)
  • balance problems
  • nausea
  • slowed reaction times
  • sleep disturbances
  • visual changes (blurriness/double vision)
  • fatigue
  • light sensitivity
  • memory defecits

How can Physiotherapy help?

  • People who suffer from PCS can have dysfunction of their cervical joints and muscles (your neck), vestibular system (inner ear) and activity tolerance (symptoms increase with exertion causing trouble returning to work/sport or normal daily activities).
  • Physiotherapists who have advanced knowledge in Manual therapy (accredited through the Orthopaedic division of the Canadian Physiotherapy Association), Vestibular Rehabilitation and Post-Concussion Syndrome rehabilitation protocols can offer valuable treatment and guidance for people with PCS.
  • All treatment protocols should be done in conjunction with the treatment plan of the attending family physician, physiatrist, neurologist or sports medicine specialist.

What Can I Expect at my first appointment?

  • At your first appointment you will be assessed by a physiotherapist who has advanced manual therapy training through the orthopaedic division of the Canadian physiotherapy association as well as advanced knowledge of vestibular rehabilitation and training in the most current post-concussion rehabilitation protocols.
  • Your appointment will take 1-2 hours and will be done in a private, one on one setting.
  • Your treatment plan will be tailored to meet your specific symptoms and goals
  • treatment will consist of manual therapy (hands on) techniques to restore range of motion and reduce pain as well as neurocognitive and balance retraining. The most up to date research and clinical guidelines will be used through the course of your treatment plan for a gradual and safe increase in activity levels and return to function/sport.

How can I book an appointment?

  • most private health care plans have coverage for Physiotherapy. At Veitch Physiotherapy and Massage we direct bill a number of providers, our reception staff can assist you with this.
  • Appointments can be booked by telephone or email.
  • Many health care plans do not require physicians referral for reimbursement of physiotherapy services.
  • Please contact us for further information.
  • We look forward to helping you return to full function!