Headaches are the most common problem after a concussion. There are a variety of types of headaches that can occur after a concussion. Largely, they are similar to the types of headaches that occur in the non-concussed population. However, those who have sustained concussions sometimes have other concussion-related problems that make treating the headaches more challenging – e.g. binocular vision disorders, visuo-vestibular mismatch, autonomic dysfunction, etc. – and that necessitate and multidisciplinary approach like that offered at our York Region medical clinic and York Region Physiotherapy sites.
2. Neck Pain
Whiplash is a neck injury that commonly occurs in conjunction with a concussion. There is no hard-and-fast rule on the force required to cause a concussion but many biomechanical studies seem to feel that a concussion occurs with forces about the head of above 80 – 95g. Similarly, in the classic “rear-end” motor vehicle accident, it has been shown that only a 12g force (corresponding to an impact speed of 32 km/h) is required to cause whiplash.
The specific reason for a particular case of dizziness/poor balance after a concussion can vary. In general, however, it is due to some change in the way the vestibule functions, the way signals are transmitted from the vestibule to the brain, the way the brain processes those signals and/or the way the brain utilizes this information to regulate your automatic reflexes – reflexes that most of us take for granted as we are generally not consciously aware of them. Vestibular in an integrative fashion therapy like that offered at our Aurora physiotherapy & rehabilitation centre is called for.
4. Sensitivity to Light
This is a common complaint after a concussion and often gets better with the right therapy. Immediately helpful measures include avoiding offensive lighting and using sunglasses to cope when the lighting is beyond your control. Management of your energy, sleep, autonomic nervous system training and treating any vestibular and binocular vision abnormalities will also improve this symptom. Our Thornhill location, more centrally located for those seeking sports physiotherapy in Vaughan or physiotherapy in Markham, offers vision therapy for those seeking a post-concussion syndrome specialist in Toronto and its surrounding area with expertise in binocular vision disorders.
It is thought that brain synaptic activity returns to a low baseline rate during sleep as compared to when one is awake, when it consumes 80% of the brain’s energy. Sleep quantity, quality and timing are all important variables that require attention and they are commonly manipulated by athletes to train for success.
Lack of effective sleep can also cause other problems – e.g., cognitive issues, headaches, etc. – in and of itself, further confounding the post-concussion clinical assessment. It is useful to regulate sleep and make it as effective as possible. The most effective way to do this is Cognitive Behavioural Therapy for Insomnia, offered at the York Region Concussion Clinic.
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