How does physical therapy help a concussion?

How does physical therapy help a concussion?
How does physical therapy help a concussion?

Physical therapy can play a crucial role in the rehabilitation of individuals who have sustained a concussion.

Concussion is a mild traumatic brain injury that can result in various physical, cognitive, and emotional symptoms.

Physical therapists are valuable members of the healthcare team who can help manage and alleviate some of these symptoms, ultimately aiding in the recovery process.

Here’s how physical therapy can help someone with a concussion:

  1. Symptom management:
    • Headache and neck pain: Physical therapists can assess and treat musculoskeletal issues that may contribute to headaches and neck pain. They may use techniques like manual therapy, exercise, and modalities such as heat or ice to reduce discomfort.
    • Dizziness and balance problems: Vestibular rehabilitation, a specialized form of physical therapy, can address problems with balance and dizziness that often accompany concussions. Therapists use exercises and maneuvers to retrain the vestibular system.
    • Vision problems: Some concussions can cause visual disturbances. Physical therapists can work with individuals to address issues such as eye tracking problems, double vision, and sensitivity to light.
  2. Gradual return to physical activity:
    • Physical therapists can guide individuals through a gradual and safe return to physical activity, taking into account the individual’s unique symptoms and recovery timeline. They provide exercise programs that help rebuild strength, endurance, and coordination without exacerbating symptoms.
  3. Neck and cervical spine assessment:
    • Neck injuries are common in concussions, and physical therapists can assess and treat any cervical spine issues. This is important because neck problems can contribute to headaches and other symptoms.
  4. Education and guidance:
    • Physical therapists educate individuals about their condition, symptoms, and strategies for symptom management. They may provide guidance on lifestyle modifications, including sleep, nutrition, and stress management, to support recovery.
  5. Cognitive rehabilitation:
    • Some physical therapists also offer cognitive rehabilitation exercises to help individuals improve their cognitive function and manage issues like memory problems and difficulty concentrating.
  6. Monitoring progress:
    • Physical therapists track an individual’s progress throughout the rehabilitation process and adjust their treatment plan accordingly. This ensures that rehabilitation is tailored to the individual’s changing needs.


It’s essential to note that the specific treatment approach will vary based on the individual’s symptoms, the severity of the concussion, and their unique needs.

Physical therapy for concussion should always be conducted by a qualified healthcare professional with experience in concussion management and rehabilitation.

Additionally, individuals with concussions should follow their healthcare provider’s guidance and recommendations for a safe and effective recovery.

Treatment options for Concussion

Specialized physical therapy treatment can assist in improving symptoms associated with headaches following a concussion. A systematic approach of orthopedic, vestibular rehabilitation, sensorimotor re-training and progressive aerobic exercise is usually necessary to alleviate symptoms.

At PhysioFit of NC, we have the expert team to help you to the fullest.

We provide a comprehensive treatment approach through our Concussion Recovery Program.   The primary goal of treatment is to address the underlying issues causing post-concussive syndrome.

Don’t hesitate to contact us today so we can help you!