Comeback Athlete: Concussion Recovery

Female suffering from concussion

When you mention concussion or brain injury, many people automatically think of football and contact sports. Indeed, they’d be right to think that contact sports present a high risk of brain injury; after all, the NFL controversy has brought the issue into the spotlight in the past few years. Furthermore, the NFL has been at the helm of improvements and advancements in the world of concussion recovery.

However, despite the prevalence of concussion-related problems within football and other contact sports, contact sports are not the number one risk factor when it comes to brain injury. Recently, the CDC found that only 40% of concussions were due to contact sports, while 60% were due to non-contact sports, recreational activities, and other circumstances.

Chloe Cleppe, a concussion recovery patient with OSR Physical Therapy, knows firsthand that sports are not the only risk factor when it comes to brain injury. Being a horseback rider, many would assume that her concussion – along with her previous two concussions – was due to falling off of her horse. However, they were caused by mere accidents in her daily life, which can happen anywhere at any time as she’s experienced firsthand.

Physical Therapy Is The Best Concussion Recovery

After an accident, it’s important to get a diagnosis right away. If you suspect a concussion, doctors recommend stopping sports play immediately until you get evaluated. However, sitting out the game doesn’t mean resting entirely. New research shows that concussion recovery is quicker and more full if you are active in the right physical programs that help with rehabilitation. This is why physical therapy is one of the best options when it comes to recovering from a brain injury.

Cleppe was one such person who experienced the ineffectiveness of complete rest versus physical therapy.

“My last concussion lasted three months because I wasn’t doing anything about it and no one worked with me on recovery,” recalls Cleppe. “With the last two concussions, I never went to physical therapy, only a regular doctor.”

During Cleppe’s therapy, she was given not only eye and vision exercises to refocus and strengthen but also back exercises.

“My therapists had me do back exercises to help strengthen my back and improve my posture so I didn’t slouch, which I found out could contribute to my headaches from the concussions,” she said. “I had no idea that a weak back could make my headaches worse.”

With back strengthening exercises, Cleppe’s therapists – who are physical therapists specializing in concussions – also had her do endurance exercises to test when she would get a headache.

All the exercises were working.

“This was the first time where I felt like I fully recovered from my concussions. This time around I had something to work on and I feel like I could help myself,” she said.

Key To Success: Don’t Wait

One thing that Cleppe did that sped her recovery from her concussion was not waiting to get it treated. Immediately after her car accident, which caused this previous concussion, she knew she had a concussion. She sought out OSR Physical Therapy who diagnosed her and started therapy immediately.

Many times, concussions can go unnoticed, which can lead to more serious problems. Furthermore, the longer you wait to get diagnosed and start rehabilitation, the longer it takes to recover. This is why it’s so important that if you suspect a concussion seek a diagnosis immediately.

“After this last time, I had a pretty good idea that I had a concussion, so I sought out OSR after a recommendation,” Cleppe commented. “They diagnosed me and we started therapy right away. Within six weeks I was fully recovered so that I could go back to horseback riding.”

OSR Concussion Testing

OSR Physical Therapy has physical therapists who specialize in brain injury rehabilitation. We not only specialize in recovery, but we also offer Base Line Testing that can help determine when an athlete has sustained a concussion. This helps in not only preventing concussions but also quickly diagnosing. A quicker diagnosis means therapy can start right away, which helps shorten the recovery phase. Our treatment programs for post-concussion patients can help eliminate long-term and serious effects.

Contact us today and talk to one of our certified physical therapists or athletic trainers.