Written by Andy Zapata, (BSOT)
Head injuries are scary things…it’s entirely possible to have sustained a concussion and not even know it. Did you know concussions don’t require a blow to the head? All it takes is a jolt to the body that forces your head to move so that the brain bumps the inside of the skull. Concussions can result from a fall, a bump to the head, a car accident, or a violent jolt to the body. So, how do you know you have a concussion?
Symptoms of a Concussion
According to the American Association of Neurological Surgeons (AANS), concussions can present various symptoms, and they may vary from person to person and case to case. The important thing to remember is, there is no such thing as a mild or minor concussion – even though a medical professional might use those terms. Every concussion should be considered a serious injury that can have lasting effects on memory, reflexes, judgment, balance, speech, and coordination. Some symptoms of a concussion include:
- Dizziness or imbalance
- Double or blurry vision
- Memory loss
- Nausea or vomiting
- Ringing ears
- Trouble falling asleep
- Difficulty concentrating
- Sensitivity to light
- Loss of smell or taste
If you’re experiencing any of these symptoms, it’s essential to get evaluated for a concussion because many problems can begin to surface when multiple concussions have been sustained. While anyone who has experienced just one concussion can certainly show any of the symptoms we mentioned, those who have suffered multiple concussions are more likely to be hindered by those symptoms in more serious ways.
That’s why it’s so important to be evaluated for concussions, so you’re aware of your history and the risks associated with your injuries.
How Concussions Are Detected
If you see a doctor, he or she will most likely put you through a neurological evaluation to determine the severity of your symptoms. Your doctor may also recommend an MRI or CT scan. But, along with a doctor’s expertise and scans, there’s also a great device that can detect a concussion through videonystamography/ This process tests central motor functions and the inner ear through infrared technology to help accurately diagnose dizziness, motion sickness, and other central motor and inner ear functionality problems through eye movements.
This device is sometimes referred to as a VNG machine, and it is used by many physicians to diagnose concussions, vertigo, sensory disorders, and other neurological conditions reliably and accurately. The great news is, Physical Therapy Now has a VNG machine that can easily be transported from location to location–this means that we can evaluate you for a concussion right in our facility, without you having to make an extra doctor’s appointment or go to another location.
Treating a Concussion
The most common treatment for concussions is rest. Avoiding strenuous activity and allowing your brain time to rest and heal are generally the most recommended courses of action. Physical Therapy Now does, however, offer treatment for symptoms of concussions, including hydrotherapy, acupuncture, and therapeutic massage. These therapies won’t “fix” the concussion, but they can help alleviate some of the issues you might be experiencing.
How to Know If You Have a Concussion
If you feel you have sustained a concussion, it’s important to get evaluated promptly, whether it’s by your doctor or right here at Physical Therapy Now. With our VNG machine, we’ll be able to determine whether you have a concussion accurately and then take the appropriate next steps in consultation with your physician.
Come see us at any of our many convenient locations in the Miami area, or give us a call at 800-481-4582 to set up an initial consultation.