Physical Therapists Role in Concussion Care

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that as many as 3.8 million sports- and recreation-related concussions occur each year. However, people who have physically demanding jobs or who engage in organized activity are at risk for concussion as well. Concussion is a brain injury that occurs when the brain is shaken inside the skull, causing changes in the brain’s chemistry and energy supply. Concussions happen as a result of a direct blow to the head or an indirect force, such as whiplash.

Signs and Symptoms

There are many symptoms related to concussion that can affect your physical, emotional, and mental well-being.

  • Headache
  • Dizziness
  • Difficulty with balance
  • Nausea/vomiting
  • Fatigue
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Double or blurred vision
  • Sensitivity to light and sound
  • Difficulty with short-term or long-term memory
  • Confusion
  • Slowed “processing” (for instance, a decreased ability to think through problems)
  • “Fogginess”
  • Difficulty with concentration

How Can a Physical Therapist Help?

Physical therapists can evaluate and treat many problems related to concussion. After a concussion, it is important to limit any kind of exertion. The brain won’t have time to heal if you increase physical exertion too soon. Because every concussion presents differently, the physical therapist’s examination is essential to assess your individual symptoms and functional limitations. The physical therapist then designs a treatment program.

If you have dizziness or difficulty with balance following a concussion, vestibular physical therapy may help. A qualified vestibular physical therapist can provide specific exercises and training to reduce or stop dizziness and improve balance and stability.

Your physical therapist will also examine your for neck for symptoms or problems that may occur following a concussion. Neck injuries can cause headaches and contribute to some forms of dizziness.

As the post-concussion symptoms continue to improve, your physical therapist will help you to resume physical activity. Returning to your previous activity level must be gradual to avoid overloading the brain and nervous system that have been compromised by the concussion.

We can help!

If pain is limiting you from doing the activities you enjoy, give Mishock Physical Therapy a call for a Free Phone Consultation at (610)327-2600 or email your questions to Also, visit our website to learn more about our treatment philosophy, our physical therapy staff, and our six convenient locations in Gilbertsville, Skippack, Phoenixville, Barto, and Limerick, and Stowe at (Dr. Mishock is one of only a few clinicians with doctorate level degrees in both physical therapy and chiropractic in the state of Pennsylvania.)

* Phone Consultations are not applicable to patients in federal or state funded programs, such as Medicare and Medicaid.
* Screenings are consultations and do not involve a physical therapy evaluation or treatment.

New patient scheduling: 610-327-2600