Concussion is a Mild Traumatic Brain Injury.

Concussions – Written by Kimberley Pilbrow (BHSc Physiotherapy)

With the start of another Winter Sports season now upon us, now is a good time for athletes, parents, coaches, officials & supporters to increase their knowledge about concussion.

Concussion is a Mild Traumatic Brain Injury which occurs when someone receives impact to the head or body causing a force to be transmitted to the brain, ie ‘shaking’ inside the skull. In a concussion injury there is no change to the macro-structure of the brain. Ie there is no permanent damage to the brain. However, there are changes at a micro level, meaning it may take some time to re-access the areas of the brain that were affected.

Historically people believed that to sustain a concussion you must be “knocked out” (loss of consciousness), this is not true- 90% of concussion occur without any loss of consciousness AND Loss of consciousness does not relate to their long-term outcomes. Ie someone who is knocked out may return safely to sport in 3-4 weeks, where as someone who is not may take 3months to recover- there is no relationship between “severity” of concussion and length of recovery.

As Concussion is a brain Injury- there is a wide range of symptoms such as:

Visible Signs:
-loss of consciousness
-slow to get up
-unsteady on feet/poor balance
-poor coordination or inappropriate playing behaviour (eg. standing out of position)
-clutching or grabbing at head
-dazed or confused
-vomiting (>once is of greater concern-take to Emergency Department)
-irritability/changes in emotions

Symptoms:
-dizziness
-headache
-nausea
-drowsiness
-“don’t feel right”
-blurred vision
-difficulty concentrating/remembering

If you (or your child) have an incident like this and have one or more of the following symptoms you should:
1) Be removed from sport immediately
2) Monitored by an adult
3) Seek Medical Attention from your GP or Concussion Trained Physiotherapist (Click here for our team)

A full list of symptoms can be found HERE– the Concussion Recognition Tool is a great resource for parents & coaches

Assessment and Treatment of Concussion:
A concussion must be diagnosed by a health professional. Examination from your Physiotherapist will include a group of tests as required including; SCAT5 or SCAT5 Child Assessment (Symptoms, Neurocognitive processing, Balance), Assessment of neck pain and movements, Neurological Exam, and Eye & Head Movements.
Treatment of each concussion is individual- REST IS NOT BEST!!
Your Physiotherapist will work with you on starting appropriate activities EARLY to aide a gradual return to daily activities (highly supported by research), followed by return to work/school and then return to sport. Your treatment plan may include; education about pacing activities, treatment of the neck joints and muscles, relearning eye tracking movements and gradual exercise progressing back to full function including work and sport specific tasks.

Key Points:
-90% of concussions occur without being knocked out
-If you suspect a concussion, remove the athlete from play IMMEDIATELY
-Seek Medical Assessment from someone trained in Concussion
-Rehabilitation is INDIVIDUALISED
-REST IS NOT BEST!
If you have had a concussion, Bureta Physiotherapy will work with you, your family and your doctor to take you through the required steps for full return to function-including sport, school or work.
Early Diagnosis is important for monitoring symptoms and guiding appropriate rehabilitation, contact us TODAY to book an appointment or discuss if our acute concussion service is right for you.

 

 

Abnormalities found on scans in asymptomatic people.

There have been many studies that have explored the abnormalities within our bodies through using different imaging techniques. The key take home message that research has brought to us is we are not all perfect, even if we are walking around pain free performing all our daily activities without issues.
However when injury does occur we may get x-rays, an ultrasound or refer you to a specialist who can get an MRI which can come back with findings such as a disc bulge. As demonstrated in the infographic above, it shows us that at least 37-96% of individuals can have this problem in their lower back, and up to 87% in their neck.
It is also reported that for men aged between 40 and 70 years old, up to 96% of individuals have shoulder abnormalities . Although these individuals can carry out their daily routine symptom free.
There are many findings on imaging from head to toe that are part of the normal ageing process and yet do not affect any part of our social or work life or our physical activity. What we don’t know is that we may have already been living with them for many years in our lives. This goes to show that even if we have an ‘abnormality’ within our body on imaging, it doesn’t necessarily mean that we are ‘injured’ or that our injuries are as bad as they present.

Image: Leedarrenh

Core Strength and Back Pain

What is Core Stability?

This is a term which describes the firmness and stability of your trunk muscles. These are the muscles which wrap around your trunk like a cylinder or brace. They lie between your ribs and your hip bones just like the corsets worn in Victorian times.

The core or trunk muscles are the foundations of the body. The back, arms and the legs work much better if the trunk muscles are stable. When the trunk muscles are working together they support your body when walking, bending, lifting and even sitting upright and give you more energy.

Once working correctly they will also help protect the back from injury.

Why is Core Stability useful in the treatment of back pain?

Pain has been shown to turn muscles off. Pain encourages sufferers to adopt pain relieving positions but ultimately they add to the problem. This leads to recurrent low back pain. Improving core stability will help stop this pain or reduce it a lot and encourage better posture which will prevent further pain. Improving posture may reduce pain immediately. Improving core stability will reduce pain over time.

How can we help you?

We need to teach your muscles how to work again. This training is done one on one with your physiotherapist. Once the muscles are working correctly we can then give you a programme of exercises to improve your strength even further. These need to be monitored and are progressed as the muscles slowly strengthen and work together correctly. We also offer pilates classes and strength classes which incorporate core strength. Call us now to book into our classes. New times and more classes coming 2015…………. New schedule up on website in Jan

5 gardening tips to prevent injury

Summer is here, the garden is going crazy, and it’s time to get out there and sort it out. Carrying compost or watering cans or pushing heavy barrows around the garden can increase your risk of injury, particularly for older people.

Our physiotherapists can advise you how to avoid these injuries whilst gardening.

We often treat patients with wrist, shoulder and back pain attributed to carrying heavy items and lifting awkward loads. To avoid this, we recommend that you warm up before and after gardening by stretching. We can recommend the type of stretches that would be most appropriate.

For our older patients who are at greater injury risk, we recommend gardening earlier in the day when the weather is cool and bright. This will minimise the risk of evening falls caused by reduced vision.

To help we have some handy tips for you to use when gardening. For more comprehensive information on avoiding injury whilst gardening or undertaking other household activities see one of our physiotherapists.

Tip 1 Bend your knees

When lifting items, remember to bend your knees, not your back. Never twist your body when your back is bent. When lifting, keep your feet apart and one slightly in front of the other. If you are unsure, we can demonstrate these techniques for you.

Tip 2 Don’t overfill

Never overfill your bucket, barrow or watering can. Only carry as much weight as you know you can lift comfortably. If you are unsure, we can help suggest an appropriate weight for you.

Tip 3 Equalise your loads

Distribute the load equally on each side of the body by using two lighter containers rather than one heavy one.

Tip 4 Closeness is the key

Always carry buckets, containers or loads as close to your body as possible. Holding any weight away from your body increases the stress on your upper body and back.

Tip 5 Use your surroundings

Place a watering can on a stool or chair when filling it, so you don’t have to lift it up as far when it’s filled. Place garden pots and containers on a bench to avoid bending to plant them out or work on them.