Concussion Management

Sports-Related Concussion Management

What is a sports-related concussion?

A sports-related concussion, formerly a mild traumatic brain injury, is a brain traumatic brain injury induced by biomechanical forces. Common causes include a direct blow to the head, face, neck or elsewhere on the body that causes a violent shaking of the head. Concussions are common when playing a contact sport, such as football. 

What are symptoms?

Sometimes people have a concussion and do not realize it, because they have no symptoms. When there are symptoms, they may start minutes or hours after trauma is experienced. The effects are generally temporary, but can include headaches, difficulty concentrating, loss of memory, and difficulty with balance and coordination. Some concussions cause loss of consciousness. Concussion symptoms resolve spontaneously.

How is it treated?

Most people usually recover fully after a concussion. Those who have persistent symptoms may need further evaluation and treatment from a sports medicine provider. At the Ryan Center, treatment options include:

  • Physical Therapy
  • Referral to a vestibular rehabilitation specialist. Available at the Ryan Center, a physical therapist who specializes in vestibular rehabilitation creates an individualized exercise program to help someone who’s experiencing symptoms from a concussion to improve balance and reduce dizziness-related problems.
  • Manual PT 
  • Speech language pathologist. Speech therapists are experts in treating patients who are having difficulty with memory, concentration, listening, and other cognitive functions. They play an important role in helping many concussion patients improve their focus, memory, and mental quickness. Speech therapists who specialize in cognitive rehabilitation can work with patients to effectively identify areas of cognitive difficulty and put in place an individualized treatment plan.
  • Neuropsychiatric testing

Exercise Prescriptions

Exercise prescription is important for patients who are starting to exercise and want a plan to perform it safely and effectively. 

Osteopathic manipulation

What is osteopathic manipulation?

Osteopathic manipulative is hands-on care, commonly used to treat muscle pain. It involves using the hands to diagnose, treat, and prevent illness or injury. Providers move muscles and joints using techniques including stretching, gentle pressure, and resistance. 

How does it help injury or pain?

Osteopathic manipulation can help reduce the need for pain medication or surgery or work with these treatment methods to ease symptoms. 

Platelet-Rich Plasma Injections

What are platelet-rich plasma (PRP) injections?

PRP injections are made from a person’s own blood. Platelets clot, which promotes healing in wounds and soft tissue where it may have been failing otherwise. 

Which conditions can be cared for with PRP?

  • injured tendons, ligaments, muscles, and joints

How does it work?

A blood sample is taken from the patient and then platelet rich plasma is collected from that sample and treated. Then, using an ultrasound to precisely guide the injection, the PRP is delivered to the injured tendon or ligament. These ultrasound injections are precise. Unlike the usual approach, where a doctor uses their hands and medical knowledge to guide the injection, ultrasound technology shows onscreen exactly where the medication should be given. 

Patients can begin physical therapy shortly afterwards and can remove the need for invasive surgeries that increase recovery times.

Muskuloskeletal Ultrasound

Musculoskeletal Ultrasound

Athletes and non-athletes experience common pain conditions such as arthritis and tendinitis. Ultrasound guided injections help treat these and other issues in many parts of the body. Injections to help with injury include corticosteroid, prolotherapy, and platelet-rich-plasma. 
Ultrasound injections are precise. It uses onscreen technology so a provider is able to see exactly where the medication should be given. Prior to this technology, providers used their hands and medical knowledge to guide the injection. 

With ultrasound, the patient is diagnosed and treated in the same office visit. At the Ryan Center providers perform these procedures four days per week to provide the best possible medical evaluation of an injury immediately.