Expert concussion therapy with peace-of-mind

Concussions can occur when the head strikes an object, the head is stuck by an object, or from an acceleration/deceleration such as a car accident. These injuries cause quick shifting of delicate brain tissue within the skull. It is important to note, you do not have to experience loss of consciousness for a serious head injury or concussion to occur. If you suspect you have had a concussion, ESP’s expert concussion team can help get you back to your prime and back to your life.

According to current concussion therapy research, nerve signals in the brain can be disrupted for up to 30 days after a single concussion. If additional concussions occur, there will be an increase in recovery time and symptoms can worsen. Often times, brain imaging does not show significant changes in the brain, but an individual may still have significant symptoms. Symptoms lasting 4 weeks after head trauma are classified as Post Concussion Syndrome. Two days of cognitive rest is recommended according to recent studies. When you consult our concussion therapy team, we will create a completely customized treatment plan that thoroughly assesses your current state, maps out your recovery goals, and kick-starts a route to get you there.

Life-changing therapy that challenges expectations

A year ago I suffered a mild traumatic brain injury (TBI) in a bike crash. Although my symptoms were never severe, there was little to no improvement for months. Among other symptoms, I couldn’t work, had trouble driving, or even being in the car. I couldn’t grocery shop, read, and avoided social situations. I also had significant balance deficits. I first scheduled an appointment with Mary Finck for treatment of an ongoing hamstring issue. Running was about the only thing I was able to do, and I needed help to keep that up for my sanity. I showed up to that first appointment, and because of my TBI symptoms, I couldn’t even fill out the check-in paperwork.

Mary patiently went through everything with me and told me she could help with my hamstring, but more importantly, she could help me recover from the brain injury. And she has done both.

Over the last several months, Mary has challenged me with therapy, and she has encouraged me to keep pushing myself. Every week I see small improvements. She has been much more than a therapist. She has seen me cry, she has made me laugh, and she has given me hope that things will continue to get better. I can’t recommend her enough. Thank you Mary!

Kristin

VESTIBULAR THERAPY

Vestibular (inner ear) or visual dysfunction occurs in 90% of individuals with head trauma. Dr. Finck, DPT possess years of experience working with individuals with various brain diagnoses. Vestibular therapy is a special form of concussion therapy that helps alleviate dizziness, gaze instability, blurry vision, balance dysfunction, or difficulty with tracking due to vestibular dysfunction.

The brain learns to compensate and use other sensory systems to substitute for deficits, but this can impair the overall recovery process. 

Based on prominent studies and developments in the world of concussion therapy, it has been shown that healing occurs as the brain gets better at what it is asked to do. Each individual with a head injury or concussion is different, thus, it takes special assessment and patient-oriented approach to effectively make a difference.

These concussion therapy strategies can include habituation & adaptation exercises, gaze stabilization, balance training, and integrating functional vestibular issues.

In the video below Dr. Mary Finck, DPT reviews 4 vision exercises. These exercises are performed sitting, then standing. They are eventually combined with balance training and walking. Our vestibular experts are able to guide patients suffering from poor balance, unsteadiness, dizziness and vertigo towards recovery.

Cognitive therapy

Cognitive dysfunction occurs when there is neurochemical change or damage to the axons in the brain. Axons carry messages within the brain and if they become damaged the brain struggles to communicate. This type of damage can occur even if a person did not hit their head or lose consciousness. Cognitive therapy is a specialized therapy that helps improve a person’s cognitive or thinking abilities. These abilities include:

 
  • memory
  • attention
  • problem solving
  • information processing speed
  • time awareness
  • sequencing
  • comprehension while reading
  • mental flexibility
  • organizational skills
  • abstract thinking
  • frustration tolerance
  • control of emotions

The difficulties each person experiences are unique to them. Camma Love works with individuals to identify and learn what methods will be most helpful to them and their lifestyles. Cognitive therapy includes an evaluation with standardized evaluation tools. These tools allow Camma to identify the areas of cognitive strengths and weaknesses. She then uses the patient’s strengths to design a treatment plan. This treatment plan uses strategies allowing the patient to practice correct functioning to improve their cognitive weaknesses. Camma applies the methods to different thinking processes and the brain improves task performance. Rehearsing the correct functions and methods re-develops and enhances neural pathways, and improves cognitive function.

Who needs cognitive therapy?

There are many indications for patients who need cognitive therapy. These include processing issues, forgetfulness, perceptual troubles, executive function problems, emotional swings, and/or concentration issues.

Forgetfulness

Forgetting important things or things that you do not usually have trouble remembering can indicate the need for cognitive therapy. Struggling to consistently remember appointments, people’s names, and/or paying bills is not normal brain decline.

 

Executive Function Difficulties

Executive function is the ability to learn, work, and manage daily life. Those struggling with planning and organizing have executive function difficulties. Being able to initiate and/or complete tasks is also a sign of executive function decline.

 

Concentration Problems

Those suffering from head injuries and in need of cognitive therapy often have problems concentrating. They can no longer follow conversations as well or follow instructions. They also lose track of time and have difficulties reading and/or understanding what they have heard or read.

Processing Issues

Processing issues can occur in busy areas, such as grocery stores or large group settings. The brain is unable to process too many things at once and gets overloaded or ‘foggy’. This can then cause feelings of anxiety and one can become overwhelmed. Issues with processing may also present as trouble completing motor tasks, thinking quickly, thinking fatigue, and struggles with problem solving.

 

Perceptual Trouble

Perception is the ability to become aware of your surroundings through your senses. Difficulties with perception can be not noticing objects (usually on one side), troubles with directions, and/or difficulties judging distance

 

Emotional Swings

Having normal mood swings when things are not going your way is normal. However, if you constantly feel moody, irritable, or frustrated it could be a sign of something more.

Balance Exercises

Ongoing Concussion Symptoms