Most concussions heal on their own around 3-4 weeks. Sometimes concussions can take a lot longer to heal though. Every individual is different and their injuries have all been different. You hear on ESPN how certain athletes have concussions and then are back within a week. Then you have other instances such as Sidney Crosby, who is a National Hockey League player who was in and out for almost 2 years. After missing about 40 or so games, he was cleared to play and then after a couple games he started having symptoms again and had to sit out again.
Concussions can be a lot more involved then just headaches and sitting out of activity for a couple of days. They can come with balance difficulties, visual difficulties such as seeing things up close and tracking things in any direction, and headaches. This makes simple things such as watching television, reading, and talking face to face with someone very difficult. All of these symptoms happen due to your vestibular system being skewed or irritated. The skewed vision aspect with tracking and close up objects and the inner ear portion of the vestibular system (balance) cause the body to have to work overtime to try and keep your orientation. Everything from the neck, the eyes, and the inner ear are working so hard to try and keep you upright and keep you focusing on what you’re looking at that it causes extreme fatigue and symptoms. This is where the headaches really come in to play.
A physical therapist with a vestibular background can help with all of this. They will identify what you have difficulties with and then work up specific treatment techniques and exercises to help fix your limitations. Our physical therapists also use dry needling which can help with the headache aspect of your symptoms. This can help relax muscles around the neck that are working so hard to keep everything moving together. They will also give you balance and specific visual exercises to help acclimate your eyes and body back to normal movements.
Come in to see one of our physical therapists to help get you going.
Trevor Stewart, PT, DPT, ATC