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Complete concussion Management therapy
Some of the most worrisome injuries that a person can suffer from are related to the brain. A brain injury can alter a person’s life forever. The brain is what makes us ourselves. It is the powerhouse of our emotions and our physical functions. It allows us to live our lives meaningfully, to have opinions, to create connections. Within the realm of brain injuries, there is one that is more insidious than most. A concussion is often known as ‘the invisible injury’. Without complete concussion management, it can cause long-lasting problems for a person’s life.
What is a concussion?
Any brain injury that occurs due to a physical trauma directly on the head is called a concussion. It can also occur after a blow to the neck or the face. Basically, if an injury or physical shock is large enough to jolt the brain, it results in a concussion. It does not even require a penetrating injury. Sometimes sharp movement can ‘rattle’ the brain. A concussion is caused by the brain moving very fast inside the skull. Like how it takes a while for a tuning fork to stop vibrating, the brain faces a similar reaction. This can affect the brain’s main functions, causing problems in everyday living.
A large number of concussion cases go unreported. This is because there is a lack of awareness as to what the injury entails. Concussions are termed as mild traumatic brain injuries (mTBIs). A lot of people think that a concussion involves fainting, but this is untrue. Studies show that only 10% of concussion cases involve fainting or and loss in consciousness. Proper concussion management is tricky but quite necessary for a speedy recovery.
A study was conducted by Statistics Canada on concussions and brain injuries. Around 94,000 concussion and brain injury cases are reported every year. As mentioned above, many more go unreported. The prevalence of this medical phenomenon can be seen in many sports played by the youth of the country. Children between the ages of 12-19 are seen to be particularly susceptible.
What are the symptoms and effects of a concussion?
Concussion management can prove difficult. A concussion can cause problems at various levels of everyday life. At Pillars of Wellness, we came across such a case. Allow us to share with you the case of Ella. Thirteen-year-old, Ella is captain of her softball team. Her parents, Sam and Jean, are hoping for her to continue on to a national level because of her expertise. At her young age, Ella is very nimble on her feet. She is an active girl, and she loves to talk and have fun conversations.
One evening, after her regular after-school practice, Ella came home complaining of a headache. She sat down and had supper, thinking it might just be pangs of hunger. When it did not subside through the night, Jean gave her some aspirin. Ella said that lessened some of the pain, but her head still throbbed. Despite a tiring day, she was unable to sleep restfully the entire night. The next morning, Ella was irritable at breakfast. Her parents assumed it was because she had not had proper sleep, and made her stay in.
Although they gave her medication and a good diet, Ella kept experiencing mood swings over the next day. She was generally never this moody. Furthermore, she did not seem to have any marks of injury over her body. She only complained that she had had a bad fall, but it had not hurt for more than a minute. Sam decided to consult a doctor. At the clinic, the doctor asked Ella a few questions about her fall and checked her pupils. Then he concluded that Ella had a concussion.
In concussion management, these symptoms are quite common with those who have undergone a head injury or a concussion. Some of these main signs and effects of a concussion include the following.
- Cognitive issues: These include a delay in reaction time and slowed responses. It also includes memory problems, and an inability to concentrate.
- Physical issues: These include headaches, black-outs, dizziness and nausea.
- Behavioral issues: These include sadness, hypersensitivity, anxiety, irritability, stress, and other emotional imbalances. It also causes bouts of insomnia.
After a traumatic injury, the effects might be immediate or delayed. Concussion management involves knowledge of these typical effects. However, you should understand that concussion cases vary from person to person. Usually, after proper treatment, the symptoms subside and the person gains his full mental faculties. However, in some cases, occupational therapy may be required.
Occupational therapy and concussion management
Pillars of Wellness in Burlington offers occupational therapy in various capacities. Occupational therapy can treat patients suffering from a concussion. Occupational therapy is a certified field of medicine. Experts often use it alongside physical therapy for full rehabilitation. Physical therapy aids a person in restoring movement into their limbs and joints. Occupational therapy is more targeted. It involves using the patient’s history to help them perform daily tasks. Moreover, it aids them in fulfilling daily occupational tasks.
Occupational therapy can assist in concussion management. It can also help with other problems related to brain injuries. The main tasks that occupational therapists aim to make easy include the following:
- Taking care of yourself: Being able to shower, eat and perform the daily activities of basic living without help. Learning how to pace your activities throughout the day and understanding which activities you should avoid temporarily.
- Productive tasks: Going to school or to work, and being able to adequately perform.
- Leisure activities: Playing, reading, being able to enjoy a sport.
Concussion management makes use of occupational therapy. Sometimes prolonged effects of concussion lead a person to be unable to adequately perform daily tasks. It affects their mental and physical capabilities. Occupational therapy allows you to re-work your mental system, make you more active. More information about the process can be found here.
Ella came in to see one of our occupational therapists here at Pillars of Wellness Clinic. Our experts taught her relaxation techniques and stress-release tactics. After a few sessions of occupational therapy, she was ready to return to the softball court, and enjoy the things that were important to her. Occupational therapy is a great way to reboot and energize your brain’s inner workings.