Concussion is defined as a mild traumatic brain injury caused when forces are transmitted to the head, usually by a head knock. The result is the brain hitting the inside of the skull. No structural issues can be identified on scanning the brain, therefore the condition is classified as functional, meaning a loss of normal function of the brain rather than structural (a lesion in the brain tissue itself). For more information about concussion see our concussion blog on our website.
Symptoms of concussion include, but are not limited to loss of consciousness, amnesia, headaches, nausea, neurological deficit, dizziness, fatigue, light and noise sensitivity. Balance issues include unsteadiness walking and stumbling. Behavioural symptoms may include Irritability, lability, getting upset/emotional. Cognitive symptoms may include reduced focus, lack of concentration, confusion, poor reaction time. Often sleep is also disturbed.
Physiotherapy can help in a variety of ways, from acute immediate advice and management, rehabilitation of the body's vision and balance systems, all the way through to end stage rehabilitation and creating a graded return to sport program with the patient. For more specific information on physiotherapy management following concussion see our concussion blog.