Concussions: What should I do if my child hits their head playing sports?

Brad Gilden, PT, DPT, CSCS, CFMT

Has your child recently had a head collision while playing sports? Have they been complaining about increased headaches, nausea, fatigue or difficulties concentrating in school? It is possible that they are experiencing symptoms of a concussion. If your child exhibits any of these symptoms following a blow to the head, and they are lasting for more than a few days following the injury, the first course of action is to get them to a physician that can accurately diagnose whether they’ve had a concussion.

A neurologist is a specific doctor that has experience dealing with injuries to the head and nervous system. They will determine if your child has suffered a concussion and if so, how long they need to remain out of sports participation. Multiple concussions over a short period of time has been shown to have harmful affects to the brain and nervous system.

My child has had a concussion and is complaining about continued symptoms. Can a physical therapist help?

Often times following an injury to the head, there can be resulting symptoms that include; headaches, balance problems, systemic weakness, difficulty concentrating, anxiety and lack of endurance. Not only are these symptoms disruptive to everyday life and ability to perform in school, they also put your child at an increased risk for injury when they return to sport. These symptoms can be the result of increased nerve tension from the head injury. A Functional Manual Therapist has the knowledge and tools to diagnose and treat the cause of these symptoms. Working closely with your child’s physician, we help to restore normal balance to the nervous system through functional manual therapy techniques and neuromuscular re-education. When appropriate, we incorporate sports specific exercises to ensure your child is ready to return to the field safely.

Should you have any questions or concerns regarding a possible concussion your child may be suffering from, even if the injury occurred months ago, but they continue to have symptoms, please call to see if a Certified Functional Manual Therapist is right for your child.

Brad Gilden, PT, DPT, CSCS, CFMThas been practicing orthopedic & sports physical therapy since graduating from New York Medical College in 2000. He has worked in a variety of settings treating patients with various neurological, orthopedic and sports injuries. In 2004, he completed a clinical doctorate in upper quarter & hand therapy from Drexel University. He joined Elite Health Services as a managing partner and rehabilitation coordinator in 2005.
Elite Health Services, located in Old Greenwich, (and now Westport!) CT is a world-class provider of certified functional manual physical therapy, personal fitness, golf & triathlon performance training, massage therapy and wellness related services. Our team of highly skilled and dedicated professionals take a no-excuses approach to providing exceptional care and delivering exceptional results. To learn more visit www.EliteHealthServices.

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