What is a concussion?
It is a mild traumatic brain injury, from a sudden acceleration or deceleration of the head. Two examples are a blow to the head during a sporting event or motor vehicle accident. Individuals may have a temporary loss of consciousness, with temporary memory loss, but loss of consciousness is not required for diagnosis of concussion. Symptoms and signs may include some of the following: headaches, dizziness, nausea/vomiting, loss of concentration, delayed response to questions, loss of balance and difficulty with vision. These symptoms can make it difficult to read, focus in school, drive, use the computer at work and exercise.
What can physical therapy do for me if I have a concussion?
At the first visit, a comprehensive evaluation with a physical therapist will take place to get a baseline of your symptoms, balance, eye movements, gait (walking) and focus. You may be advised to limit sports, TV, computer use/texting at first in order to avoid aggravating your symptoms. We will work with your physician to determine appropriate treatment, which may start with aerobic conditioning exercises. These include bike, treadmill and elliptical exercise, monitoring your heart rate and symptoms closely. In addition, we work on static and dynamic balance, concentration, neck mobility, and gaze during physical therapy sessions. The goal with therapy is to reduce symptoms and improve function, to return to your normal activities as soon as possible.
Jennifer Carapetyan, PT, DPT
Jen graduated with her Doctorate in Physical Therapy from Temple University in 2008. She has worked in the outpatient setting for over 5 years in both Delaware and New Jersey. Jen has achieved a Graston Technique certification and has taken extensive coursework in the McKenzie method. Her passion for the field has enabled her to balance high volume of patients with individualized exercise programs. In addition to the variety of diagnoses treated including post-concussion, pre- and post- op, workers' compensation, and wound care; she plans on taking coursework in vestibular rehab in the future. Jen loves to spend her free time with husband Tim and children, Aaron and Ava.