A concussion is a functional injury to the brain. It
occurs when a traumatic force occurs to the head and within the skull. It does
not require a direct blow to the head and can even be from a quick acceleration
and deceleration. This damage also affects nerve cells within the brain. There
are issues after concussion including abnormal metabolism and lower levels of
energy. This issue frequently causes issues symptoms such as fatigue,
dizziness, visual problems, and/or sensitivity to light and sound.
is a Physical Therapist and the Clinical Director of our Princeton location. We
sat down with him and asked some questions about concussion therapy and what to
expect at your first appointment.
“I am a
vestibular and concussion certified therapist. I started my career working with
trauma, brain injury, and stroke and transitioned to outpatient Physical
Therapy. I enjoy treating both orthopedic conditions and using my
specialization to help those with dizziness and post concussive symptoms. These
conditions can be very debilitating, and I feel grateful to have the ability to
help this special group return to full function and everyday living again
Jared wants to remind you, do not be alarmed
at your symptoms, no matter how long. You are not alone! The most frequent
symptoms after concussion include headaches, fatigue, feeling slowed down,
drowsiness, difficulty concentrating, feeling mentally foggy, and dizziness
(Lovell, 2010). Oftentimes problems with vision persist following a concussion
as well. Physical Therapy can be used to work on these issues through
cardiovascular conditioning, eye exercises, and/or brain exercises.
should I expect at my first appointment?
licensed Physical Therapist such as myself, will take your information, discuss
your symptoms, and perform physical and/or cognitive testing. There are many
types of tests to identify how your eyes move (oculomotor testing), how you
respond to slow/quick head movements, and symptoms with changes in body
position. You may also be required to do balance testing and aerobic tests to
increase your heart rate and assess your time to onset of symptoms.
should I bring to my first appointment and how should I dress?
Please dress comfortably. If you are coming
directly from work try to bring sneakers in case balance or aerobic testing is
I have to fill out paperwork?
Yes! In order to come to an accurate Physical
Therapy diagnosis, it is important to have a thorough understanding of your
medical history. You also must sign papers related to privacy laws and
insurance benefits (if you are using insurance). These papers are for your
benefit and understanding.
long will the appointment last?
Initial evaluations for post concussive
symptoms typically last 45 minutes
PT exercises hurt?
your appointment to treat concussion related issues, you should expect to have
a slight increase in your symptoms. It is important to try to specify the exact
problem in order to have a thorough and effective treatment program. Think of
it like doing bicep curls to get big and strong arm muscles. Initially, your
arms will be sore and eventually you will get stronger and have reduced
I need to schedule follow up appointments?
Post concussive symptoms vary in severity and time. Typically I will recommend
up to 3 visits per week to start a plan of care and taper down in frequency as
symptoms are reduced and you are able to self-manage at home.
I be given exercises to do at home?
all patients will go home with a program of some kind to start with. This may
include eye exercises, activities to increase your heart rate through movement,
and/or balance exercises.
More questions about PT and what to expect? Email Jared directly at mailto:[email protected]
Jared Burch, PT, DPT, AIB-VAM… Read Jared’s bio here.