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Neurological Rehabilitation After a Concussion

Therapists with specialized training in neurological issues can evaluate and treat problems related to concussion. Because no two concussions are the same, the therapist’s examination is essential to assess your individual symptoms and limitations. The therapist then designs a treatment program.

You are being referred to a specialist in neurological therapy because you are still experiencing concussion symptoms, which are outside the normal window of spontaneous recovery from a concussion and these therapies can help improve your symptoms.

Visual rehabilitation

Visual rehabilitation is performed by an occupational therapist on patients who have persistent visual
complaints, such as light sensitivity, blurry vision, eye strain/headaches, double vision or difficulty with reading or school work.

Vision rehabilitation treatment may include:

  • education on methods to reduce discomfort
  • exercises to improve reading skills by improving accuracy and efficiency of eye movements
  • scanning exercises to improve peripheral awareness
  • eye muscle exercises to improve range of motion and treatments to improve processing and reaction speed to improve safety with mobility and driving skills

Vestibular rehabilitation

Vestibular rehabilitation is performed by a physical therapist for patients with persistent vertigo, dizziness or unsteadiness. Vestibular rehabilitation treatment may include:

  • specialized therapy to treat momentary dizziness caused by moving the head exercises to increase visual focus and balance
  • gait training to improve stability and safety in a variety of situations
  • neck posture exercises to improve posture and control neck pain
  • advanced balance training

Speech and language therapy

The Speech and Language Pathologists can help treat patients who have the following after a concussion:

  • difficulty thinking clearly
  • difficulty remembering new information
  • difficulty with attention and concentration
  • difficulty with expressive and/or receptive language skills

Some of these symptoms may be noticed right away, while others may not be noticed for days or months after the injury, or until the person starts resuming everyday activities and more demands are placed upon them.

Neuropsychological therapy

Neuropsychological therapy focuses on brain functioning and helps concussed patients and their health care providers understand how different areas and systems of the brain are working. Brain function is evaluated by a neuropsychologist by objectively testing memory and thinking skills with tests similar to the computerized ImPACT baseline screening and post-concussion tests.

Neuropsychological testing can identify post-concussion weaknesses in specific areas, can help guide treatment plans using strengths to compensate for weaknesses and help health care provider and educators plan for assistance and further treatment.

Please note: Patients recovering from any type of brain illness or injury are commonly referred for neuropsychological testing to assess how the brain is functioning, not to determine mental illness.