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Concussion Treatment

One good way to conceptualize a concussion is to think of your brain like an egg. When it is resting, the yolk is in the center of the egg, undisturbed. When the egg is shaken, the yolk splatters along the inside of the egg. If the brain absorbs a severe enough impact, its activities will be similarly disturbed. Because of this disruption, the brain cannot focus on giving the rest of your body the right signals, and it displays symptoms of a concussion. Here at the Virginia Spine Institute we have a team dedicated to diagnosing and treating your concussion early.

Benefits of Concussion Treatment

  • The earlier a concussion is identified, the earlier it can be treated. Studies now show that exercise and physical therapy, when started early after a concussion, can help the symptoms improve more quickly.
  • Early physical therapy is an important part of concussion treatment. Here at the Virginia Spine Institute, we have a team of physical therapists specifically trained in treating the symptoms of a concussion.
  • A concussion can affect many parts of your body. It can cause pain in the head and neck, blurred vision, difficulty maintaining balance, difficulty concentrating and remembering, and depression and anxiety. Our providers are trained at seeing the big picture and treating any part of your body that could be affected.

Concussion Treatment FAQ

What are the most common symptoms of a concussion?

Concussion can affect many parts of our lives. They can affect many systems in our bodies, causing symptoms that include but are not limited to the following:

  1. Headache: post-traumatic migraines, post-traumatic tension headaches
  2. Cervical system: neck pain
  3. Vestibular system: difficulty maintaining balance, nausea, vomiting
  4. Vision system: light sensitivity, blurred vision, double vision
  5. Mood system: depression, anxiety, irritability, loss of sleep
  6. Cognitive system: difficulty concentrating, loss of memory

I think I have a concussion. Will I be okay?

The vast majority of people who have concussions recover completely. While it may take weeks at a time, early treatment can help get you back to normal as soon as possible.

Do you need to be hit in the head to have a concussion?

A concussion can result from a direct blow to the head. However, thinking again of the yolk inside the egg, if the brain is shaken inside the skull such as when a car suddenly comes to a stop, a concussion can occur. A concussion can also happen from a blast injury, which is often seen in patients in the military with nearby explosions.

What is the difference between concussion and traumatic brain injury?

A concussion is a form of mild traumatic brain injury. Moderate and severe traumatic brain injury, which usually results in prolonged loss of consciousness, is more serious than a concussion, which may or may not result in brief loss of consciousness.

How do we treat a concussion?

Patients experience concussions in different ways. It is important to identify which of the systems listed above are affected. Physical therapy can be helpful in treating neck pain, balance, and vision difficulties. Medications can help with headaches. Therapy and medications can both help with mood and cognition. Here at the Virginia Spine Institute, you will undergo a thorough evaluation with our neurologist to determine which of the treatment options is best for you.

When can I return to sports or normal activity after a concussion?

Your doctor will help inform you on a gradual approach to returning to your daily routine. Typically, as your symptoms improve, your doctor may encourage you to gradually return to parts of your daily routine. If no symptoms arise, your doctor may recommend introducing light, then moderate, then regular activity as long as you do not have symptoms. Every concussion is different, so the exact timeline will depend on how you respond to treatment and to physical activity.

Meet Our Neurologist

Dr. Sommer Ebdlahad

Neurologist

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Reviewed by: Dr. Sommer Ebdlahad.

Reviewed by: Dr. Sommer Ebdlahad.