Most concussions resolve in 7-10 days with rest and gradual return to activities; however, some individuals may experience protracted recovery. Active treatment strategies may be helpful. Specialized treatments at TRIA include:
Having a Clinical Sports Neuropsychologist is one of the many unique features of the TRIA Sport Concussion Program. Clinical Neuropsychologists specialize in the assessment and treatment of concussion and post-concussion syndrome, using a variety of tests to evaluate common cognitive symptoms following concussion, such as difficulties concentrating, memory concerns, and/or psychosocial factors impacting recovery. Neuropsychological assessment can help with specific school or work restrictions, social or behavioral modifications, treatment directions and return to play decisions. Not every athlete will need to see the Clinical Sports Neuropsychologist or require additional neuropsychological testing.
The healthcare providers in the TRIA Sport Concussion Program utilize for baseline and post-injury assessments, which can be used repeatedly to monitor cognitive progress. ImPACT testing time usually takes about thirty minutes with data readily available for interpretation. In some cases, this is the only neuropsychological testing that is needed.
Vestibular & Ocular Motor Therapy
Vestibular and ocular motor therapy is a branch of neurological physical therapy that addresses post-concussion symptoms such as dizziness, imbalance, visual concerns and difficulties focusing. These sensory systems allow athletes to function both on and off the field. Our physical therapy specialists have advanced training in these areas, tailoring treatments specifically to athletes and their sport specific tasks. Weekly on-site visits and prescribed individualized home exercise programs are used to progress athletes safely back to their goals. Learn more about how vestibular therapy can help you after a concussion.
Cervical Spine and Pain Management
Our physical therapy specialists have advanced training in assessment and management of neck related injuries that can occur with concussion and cause pain/discomfort, limited range of motion, headaches, and dizziness. Addressing cervical spine problems and pain management during recovery is vital.
Some athletes may benefit from medication during their recovery to address difficulties with headaches, sleep disturbance, mood concerns or cognitive difficulties. Our physicians are well versed in the appropriate use of medications, and/or supplements that may be used in the recovery from concussion.
Changes in behavior and mood (e.g., anxiety, depressed mood, irritability) can occur with concussion. These symptoms can arise from neuro-chemical changes within the brain and/or from stressful effects of being out of academic, exercise and sports routines. Brief counseling and sports psychological services are available onsite with our Clinical Sports Neuropsychologist. For those requiring additional or extended treatment, behavioral health and psychological services are readily available through Health Partners and Park Nicollet. Your health care provider will work with you to identify your specific needs and provide appropriate referral.
Integrative medicine can help athletes recovering from concussion with headaches, anxiety, sleep regulation, and stress management. It is a holistic approach to health care, focusing on the mind, body and spirit. The goal is to empower patients with the tools to tap into the body’s natural healing capabilities and lead lives based on wellness. TRIA offers acupuncture, healing touch, yoga therapy and living well visits.
Behavioral Optometry and Vision Therapy
Some athletes experience post-traumatic visual changes or a worsening of preinjury visual concerns that require further assessment and treatment with a vision specialist. Athletes with visual dysfunction often experience frontal headaches, blurred or double vision, tiredness, difficulties reading and focusing. These symptoms can affect learning, school performance, and return to sport. Without appropriate treatment, these athletes can be at heightened risk for re-injury. Services are offered by specialists we work closely with at off-site locations.
Physical Exertion Training and Return to Sport Progression
Once concussion symptoms have resolved or stabilized athletes are encouraged to begin an appropriate exercise program or return to play protocol. Exertion therapy, guided by physical therapists and athletic trainers, may be needed in some cases, and is important in protracted recoveries. Individual treatment plans and programs are designed for each athlete. Our team specializes in the design of sport specific, stepwise return-to-play protocols to ensure full recovery and safe return to sport.