CONCUSSION MANAGEMENT

We assess and treat patients experiencing various concussion symptoms including: headache, nausea, dizziness, memory problems, and more.
Concussion Management with Client

What is Concussion Management?

The concussion management service provides evaluation and treatment for concussion and post concussion syndrome. Our highly experienced and qualified therapists successfully assess and treat patients experiencing various concussion symptoms including: headache, nausea, dizziness, memory problems. Our scientifically-validated concussion approach safely and effectively reduces symptoms and returns patients to their usual activities (school, work, sport) with a comprehensive and individually tailored active based program.

What does a session look like?

Your first appointment will begin with a complete evidence-based concussion assessment to assess your cervical spine (neck), vestibular system (think dizziness and balance) and your cardiovascular exercise tolerance. You will then discuss your goals with your clinician. Your clinician will then create a customized exercise program with you in each session to improve your range of motion, strength and control, motion tolerance and exercise capabilities. Your clinician will guide you towards settling your symptoms down so you feel better, more functional and able to engage in a recovery program. They will then safely progress you to returning to school, work, sport and prevent future injury.  

If necessary our team of therapists will communicate with your lawyers and ICBC to provide progress reports, and treatment extension requests to ensure that you receive the support you need to return to daily activity and sport pain free.

Physiotherapists Specializing in Concussion Management

Patrick O'Flaherty Team Photo

Patrick O’Flaherty

Carly Nicholson Team Photo

Carly Nicholson

Jack Liney Team Photo

Jack Liney

Jayde Woo Team Photo

Jayde Woo

Frequently Asked Concussion Management Questions

How do I know if I have a concussion?

According to the SCAT 5 (Sport Concussion Assessment Tool) there are 22 symptoms of concussion. 

Symptoms can be categorized into 1 of 4 zones: 

Physical: 

  • Headache 
  • Pressure in the head 
  • Neck pain 
  • Nausea or vomiting 
  • Dizziness 
  • Blurred vision 
  • Balance problems 
  • Sensitivity to lights
  • Sensitivity to noise 
  • Slurred speech 

Cognitive: 

  • Feeling slowed down 
  • Feeling like “in a fog” 
  • Don’t feel right 
  • Difficulty concentrating 
  • Difficulty remembering  

Emotional: 

  • Feeling more emotional 
  • Irritability  
  • Sadness 
  • Nervous or anxious 

Sleep: 

  • Trouble falling asleep  
  • Fatigued or low energy
  • Drowsiness 

Recognition and identification of these signs and symptoms is the first step in answering this question. 

If you’ve received a direct blow to the head or to other parts of the body and you’re experiencing any of the symptoms or displaying any of the signs you need to be further assessed by a health professional. 

@Concussion in Sport Group 2017

What should you do after a concussion?

What should you do after a concussion? If a careful medical examination has been carried out and no sign of any serious complications has been found, you will need to be monitored for a further period by a responsible adult for a prescribed timeframe.

If you notice any changes in behaviour, vomiting, worsening headache, double vision or excessive drowsiness, please telephone your doctor or the nearest hospital emergency department immediately. 

 Other important points:

Initial rest: Limit physical activity to routine daily activities (avoid exercise, training, sports) and limit activities such as school, work, and screen time to a level that does not worsen symptoms. 

  • Avoid alcohol
  • Avoid prescription or non-prescription drugs without medical supervision.

Specifically:

  • Avoid sleeping tablets 
  • Do not use aspirin, anti-inflammatory medication or stronger pain medication such as narcotics
  • Do not drive until cleared by a healthcare professional
  • Return to play/sport requires clearance by a healthcare professional
When can I return to sport, return to play or return to work?

Head injuries are very complex. Many factors need to be considered before considering returning to normal activity. The symptoms of concussion can vary so greatly from individual to individual and severity of concussion depends on many factors. Physical and cognitive symptoms of concussion can last days or weeks or even months or years. Worsening physical symptoms can occur, especially if an individual does not seek help from a healthcare professional such as a physical therapist. The best thing to do is seek medical professionals who can provide thorough concussion evaluation and management.

Do I need to have loss of consciousness or have a blow to the head to have a concussion?

No, not everyone who suffers a concussion will lose consciousness or hit their head. A good example of this is when someone is in a motor vehicle accident. Whiplash can cause a concussion for some individuals.

What is concussion baseline testing?

A concussion baseline test is conducting a concussion assessment and several baseline tests prior to actually having a concussion in order to obtain and collect objective measurements of the individuals brain function, physical and mental abilities and neurological function. This is extremely useful for those who play contact sports or perform regular activities where there is a risk of concussion.

Can a physiotherapist diagnose a concussion?

Absolutely (with specialized concussion assessment training of course). Physical therapists with proper concussion diagnosis training will be registered on the Canadian Physiotherapy Association website.

Can a concussion get worse or what happens if a concussion goes untreated?

This really depends on the severity of the suspected concussion and how many body systems the injury involves. Some people may find that for a short period of time, they can “get by” without seeking help from a medical professional. However, because the symptoms of concussions can vary so much from person to person, long-term consequences can be substantial, especially if the person receives repeated concussions over their lifetime.

How do you treat persistent concussion symptoms?

Because of the variation of concussion care that we can provide, your customized concussion diagnosis and treatment plan will vary as much as individuals vary in complexity. Some examples of the techniques that your registered physiotherapist may include (but are not limited to) are: 

  • Vestibular rehabilitation
  • Mental rest
  • Virtual care
  • Physical rest
  • Activity avoidance
  • Brain function exercises
  • Neurological functioning exercises
  • Exercises to improve reaction times
  • Dry needling
  • Planning and outlining a gradual return to activity
  • Increasing cognitive activity
How do you know when a concussion is healed?

After being assessed by your registered physiotherapist with a specialty in management of concussion, a detailed treatment plan will be outlined and explained. As always, time is needed to provide enough patient education from your healthcare professional so you will know what to expect and an estimated timeline. The process of healing can take days or weeks or even months to years. Once you are cleared by your team of medical professionals and feel ready to return to activity, you’ll know that you’re well on your way back to the things you love.