Concussion Physical Therapy

How can physical therapy help me if I have chronic concussion symptoms?

You fell and hit your head a few months ago. Ever since then, you’ve been a bit dizzy and unstable. You’ve also been experiencing frequent headaches and feeling fatigue when you really shouldn’t feel very tired. This scenario and other similar ones are examples of what can happen when concussion symptoms become chronic. 

These scenarios are also far more common for those who have had a concussion than you might think. People who continue to have concussion symptoms after the expected recovery window of several weeks or months are said to have post-concussion syndrome (PCS). One study found that up to 50% of the concussion patients surveyed had PCS symptoms for up to three months. 

Fortunately, concussion physical therapy can help people treat the chronic concussion symptoms associated with PCS. 

What PCS symptoms would concussion physical therapy need to address?

You might be asking yourself what the symptoms of PCS are. They’re almost identical to the regular symptoms of the initial concussion. People with PCS may experience symptoms like: 

  • Dizziness. 
  • Daily headaches. 
  • Vertigo. 
  • Nausea. 
  • Fatigue.
  • Difficulty concentrating. 

Each person with PCS will have their own unique list of symptoms. Concussion physical therapy plans can be built to specifically manage and address the specific chronic symptoms you have. 

3 ways concussion physical therapy can address your chronic symptoms

There are many ways that a physical therapist can help you address chronic PCS symptoms. Some of the ways they can do so include: 

  1. Verifying that your symptoms are PCS related —There are other musculoskeletal issues that can trigger symptoms similar to those of PCS. Some of these issues include occipital neuritis, benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV) and migraines. Your physical therapist can examine you to determine if you have one of these other issues. This helps ensure that you’re being treated for the correct condition. 
  1. Addressing chronic headachesFrequent or even daily headaches are common in those with PCS. Your physical therapist can take steps to help relieve muscle tension that may be triggering your headaches. They can do so using techniques like the Graston Technique® or therapeutic stretching exercises. 
  1. Helping you fight dizziness and vertigo — The vestibular system is often affected by concussions and PCS. This system includes your inner ear and certain parts of your brain. Using vestibular rehab, your physical therapist can take steps to fight your chronic dizziness and vertigo. 

Find concussion physical therapy for your chronic symptoms at SOL PT

Struggling to address chronic concussion symptoms? You can visit one of our SOL Physical Therapy clinics for help with your chronic concussion symptoms. Our physical therapists can comprehensively examine you to determine if you have PCS. They can then set up a personalized treatment plan to help manage and reduce your chronic symptoms. 

Contact our team today for more information about how we can help treat PCS or to schedule an initial appointment with us. 

About the author

Sports + Orthopedic Leaders Physical Therapy & Performance Training serves the communities of Oakland, Alameda, Berkeley, Walnut Creek, Orinda, San Francisco and beyond. SOLPT’s award winning team of Physical Therapists, Performance Coaches and movement experts has helped thousands reach their rehabilitation and performance goals to move beyond pain. We're committed to helping anyone of any fitness level move effectively and more powerfully for a lifetime. We offer rehabilitation and performance services to all populations, with specialties in Sports Rehabilitation, Active Release Techniques, and Manual Therapy Techniques plus Personal and Small Group Training, Sport Clinics and Wellness Services.

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