OH NO! You bonked your head! Now you have a concussion…

Did you know that concussions in kids is one of the few injuries that typically takes LONGER to get better than in adults?

Most kids concussions get better on their own within 6 weeks, while most adult concussions get better on their own within 4 weeks. A risk factor that is often overlooked in kids’ concussions for long term recovery is mental health.


That being said, even if most get better on their own, it’s always valuable to have a trained medical professional such as your doctor assess you following a concussion. Additionally, working with allied healthcare team members (Physiotherapy, Kinesiology, Massage Therapy) can sometimes help speed up the process, and help prevent persistent long-term concussion symptoms.


A paper in the British Journal of Sports Medicine found that concussed individuals with symptoms longer than 2 weeks who received individually tailored multimodal interventions (neck, vestibular, oculomotor) have a reduction in their symptoms and are 3 times more likely to have returned to sport by 8 weeks (Reid et al 2021).


In my previous blogs I’ve written on how to identify (and hopefully help prevent) concussions (https://kamloopsphysiotherapy.ca/2023/09/30/concussions/), and how exercise can be beneficial for concussion recovery https://kamloopsphysiotherapy.ca/2022/07/22/exercise-for-concussions/


So, now that you know that, and you come into the clinic, what do we even do? Where do we start?


A comprehensive concussion assessment will generally involve testing the eyes, balance organs, and the neck. From there we decide what will be the most valuable issues to work on. Treatment can even just be as simple as education regarding pacing yourself for work or school, what to expect, and anticipated healing timelines. As concussion rehab progresses, we can get you on a treadmill to test your brain’s response to heart rate increases, put some blackout goggles on you to assess eye movements, or play with laser pointers for neck control and stability.


This type of treatment is beneficial at any stage of concussion, even if you’ve been struggling for a few years with symptoms and haven’t tried any of this, it’s always worthwhile to see where your deficits lie.


As things progress and symptoms and individual issues are more complex, I also like to expand the healthcare team. Working with occupational therapy, vision therapy, counseling, and massage therapy in addition to your doctor can make up a well rounded concussion management rehab team.

Tim Schmidt works at our Valleyview clinic and has training in Vestibular Rehabilitation and concussion management. To book an appointment with Tim, or one of our other experienced therapists, call the clinic at (250) 314-0788, or book online.