According to the latest stats, between 1.7 and 3 million concussions occur each year. Roughly 300,000 of those are related to football injuries, and about 50% of concussions go undetected/untreated.
The reason these concussions go undetected is largely because people don’t understand the signs and symptoms to look for, and they may not understand the potential risk of leaving a concussion untreated. For adults, a normal recovery time for a concussion is 10 to 14 days. But for a child, a standard concussion can take up to four weeks for a full recovery. If left untreated or undiagnosed, children have the risk of continuing on in the same sports program and sustaining another injury to the head before they have time to heal from the first concussion.
Fortunately, physical therapy for concussion treatment offers a thorough solution to help student-athletes heal and reduce the risk of future injuries.
Diagnosing a concussion
Concussions are caused by sudden injury and/or trauma to the head. Symptoms generally include headache, nausea, dizziness, blurred vision and a ringing in the ears. For some severe instances, symptoms may also include confusion, amnesia and “seeing stars.”
If you suspect that your child has sustained a concussion from football, it’s best to see a doctor as soon as possible. A walk-in clinic will be able to diagnose the situation to determine if a concussion has occurred and the extent of the injury.
There are several ways to diagnose a concussion, some of which include:
- A neurological exam — A doctor will check your child’s vision, hearing, strength, balance, coordination and reflexes to determine the severity of the concussion.
- A cognitive test — During this test, the doctor may ask your child questions to determine any memory loss or difficulty concentrating.
- CT scan or MRI — An imaging scan will help your doctor determine if there is any damage to the skull itself, as well as the extent of bruising on the brain.
Physical therapy treatment for a concussion
If your child’s doctor determines that there has been a concussion, you should schedule an appointment with a local physical therapist to make sure your child recovers safely. Physical therapy offers a number of different treatment approaches specific to concussion rehabilitation for student-athletes, including:
- Manual therapy to relieve tension and soreness in the neck and shoulder muscles.
- Balance and dizziness rehabilitation.
- Gaze stabilization therapy.
- Treadmill and aerobic testing to ensure that your child is ready to return to the field safely.
If you suspect that your child has suffered a concussion, it’s important to see a doctor right away. As next steps, our team at Armor Physical Therapy can create a personalized treatment plan to help your child get back to the field faster and safer. Contact us today for a free consultation to see if physical therapy for concussion rehabilitation is right for your child.