Concussion Assessment & Physiotherapy

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Our PRO Concussion service includes baseline testing, acute post-injury assessment with a focus on managing safe returning to school/work, as well as management of Persistent Concussion Symptoms (PCS). Recovery and return to activity and sport is guided by comprehensive, evidence-based outcome measures that cover all aspects of concussion rehabilitation.

 

Concussion is defined as a “traumatic brain injury induced by mechanical forces, which may be caused by either a direct blow to the head, or elsewhere on the body with an impulsive force transmitted to the head” (1). Concussion can occur during sports, motor vehicle accidents, workplace accidents and school injuries.

Loss of consciousness occurs in less than 10% of concussions, and clinical signs and symptoms may evolve minutes or hours after the injury has occurred, making recognition of a concussion difficult.

Females are at a greater risk of sustaining a concussion, greater symptom severity and experiencing a longer recovery than their male counterparts. This profound is largely due to sex differences, including physical, physiological, hormonal, and behavioural factors (2).

What are the signs and symptoms of a concussion?
  • Headache

  • Dizziness

  • Nausea or vomiting

  • Balance impairment (unsteady gait)

  • Behavioural changes (more irritable or confused)

  • Cognitive impairment (slow reaction times or difficulty concentrating or remembering)

  • Sleep disturbances (fatigue, difficulty falling asleep)

  • Emotional sensitivity (nervous, sad)

  • Sensory disturbances (blurred vision, sensitive to noise or light)

What is a baseline test and how does it help?

A baseline is a group of tests that are completed in clinic, which can be used for comparison post-injury to assist in the return to school/work and return to sport decision making process.

Baseline testing also provides a valuable opportunity for the healthcare provider to educate athletes and their parents on how to recognise and respond to a concussion injury.

At PROmotion, concussion baseline testing includes:

  • Symptom number and severity

  • Balance testing

  • Vestibular oculomotor screen (VOMS)

  • Reaction time tasks

  • Memory and concentration tasks

  • Neurocognitive computer test

Can I attend for an acute concussion assessment without a baseline test?

While beneficial, baseline tests are not mandatory, and your concussion management may still be effectively seen through.

On initial assessment, all suspected concussion patients will have a full medical history taken, and complete a symptom check, neurological exam, gait assessment, balance assessment and if appropriate, a VOMS.

A graduated plan for your return to school and work will be provided at the first visit based on these test results, with subsequent assessment of exercise capacity and a plan for return to sport provided in subsequent consultations.

 

What is PCS and how is it managed?

Without intervention, approximately 30% of all concussions can have symptoms that persist beyond expected time frames (3, 4). Persistent Concussion Symptom (PCS) is defined as >10–14 days in adults and >4 weeks in children (1).

At PROmotion we carry out current, evidence-based objective testing to assess and manage the physiologic, vestibular-ocular and cervicogenic domains of PCS, while providing athlete and caregiver education and support.

With a close network of Sports Physicians and Psychologists in our referral base, co-management and referral is readily available if required.

 

To book your concussion baseline test or post-injury assessment and management appointment with our concussion PROs Amanda or Kelsey, call 08 9284 4405 or use our easy online booking system. Both Amanda and Kelsey are qualified Physiotherapists with post-graduate qualifications in Sports Physio, and extensive experience working in cricket, Australian Rules football, rugby, netball, hockey and basketball. Their concussion expertise has evolved via additional training, including the Complete Concussion Management course, as well as mentoring from leading medical staff in the field.