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Concussion & Physiotherapy

Updated: Aug 15, 2023

Concussion is a traumatic brain injury induced by mechanical forces, which may be caused by a direct blow to the head, or elsewhere on the body whereby the force is transmitted to the head. Concussions may be sustained in contact sports, motor vehicle accidents, workplace accidents or school injuries. Females and children have a greater risk of sustaining a concussion, as well as taking longer to recover than their adult, male counterparts.

Signs and Symptoms
  • Headache

  • Dizziness

  • Nausea or vomiting

  • Balance impairment

  • Irritability

  • Difficulty concentrating or remembering

  • Sleep disturbances

  • Emotional sensitivity

  • Blurred vision,

  • Sensitivity to noise or light

Differential Diagnosis
  • BPPV

  • Cervical spine injury

  • Vestibular injury

  • Headache syndromes

PROmotion Assessment and Outcome Measures

  • Pre-injury baseline testing is available and recommended if you have a history of suspected concussions or play in a high-risk sport. Baseline testing can aid in the post-injury return to sport process.

  • Post-injury acute assessment is recommended within the first 48 hours following the injury, in order to obtain an immediate return to school/work plan, with subsequent appointments mapping out a plan to return to sport.

  • Post-injury persistent concussion symptom (PCS) assessment at 7-10 days post injury if symptoms are persisting.

How to Manage a suspected concussion
  • Recognise and remove from the sport if a concussion is suspected

  • Evaluation by a qualified health professional – Sports Physician or Concussion trained Physiotherapist.

  • Referral to a specialist may be warranted if neurological signs and symptoms are present.

  • Initial rest from school, work and sport with an individualised and graduated return based on objective testing

  • Ongoing management if symptoms persist >7-10 days (PCS) via a multidisciplinary team with specific rehabilitation exercises based on symptoms.

To book your concussion baseline test or post-injury assessment and management appointment with our concussion PROs Kelsey Holman or Amanda Simmonds, call 08 9284 4405 or click here. 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.


McCrory, P., Meeuwisse, W., Dvořák, J., Aubry, M., Bailes, J., Broglio, S., . . . Vos, P. E. (2017). Consensus statement on concussion in sport—the 5th international conference on concussion in sport held in Berlin, October 2016. British journal of sports medicine, 51(11), 838-847. doi:10.1136/bjsports-2017-097699

McGroarty, N. K., Brown, S. M., & Mulcahey, M. K. (2020). Sport-Related Concussion in Female Athletes: A Systematic Review. Orthopaedic Journal of Sports Medicine, 8(7), 232596712093230-2325967120932306. doi:10.1177/2325967120932306

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