“The syndrome consists of musculoskeletal pain, headaches, sensitivity to sound and light, sleep disturbance, changes in memory and balance, anxiety and depression. The emotional impact of this leaves patients feeling alone and frustrated” Sefton, 2016
The likelihood of getting a concussion while playing sports is between 10-30 percent of high school and college athletes. As many as 29 percent of these injured players may go on to experience post-concussion syndrome. It is important for team physicians, trainers, and primary care doctors to understand and treat people with lingering symptoms of concussion.
In a blog post published in September it is noted that concussion is an invisible injury and recovery takes time – generally 2-3 weeks. The consequence to individual athletes or others recovering from car crash, falls, and any brain trauma can be debilitating and effect a few bodily systems. The emotional stress of lingering symptoms should not be underestimated. Whether it is a professional, elite student athlete or a salesman injured in a car crash there is an experience of stigma associated with the invisible injury of concussion. The emotional impact of this marginalizes patients often leaving them feeling alone and frustrated.
A multidisciplinary approach is best that allows for restoration of physical activity and acknowledgement of both physical and emotional symptoms. Pain management is a useful intervention including aquatics. My approach to treatment includes biofeedback, education and psychotherapy. This helps reduce the autonomic effects of acute stress and the inflammatory impact on the fight/flight response – including blood pressure, sleep, and rate of breathing.
Sefton, M. What is PCS: and why do I care? Blog post: https://concussionassessment.wordpress.com/2016/09/30/what-is-pcs-and-why-do-i-care/. Taken October 1, 2016.