Many people who sustain a concussion have a relatively quick recovery. However, some people develop post-concussion syndrome, resulting in unusually long-lasting symptoms. Post-concussion syndrome requires special attention and treatment so that people can regain functioning and have the best possible outcomes.

The Hartman Center offers comprehensive concussion treatment that can help you recover after a concussion or other brain injury. Contact our specialists now to learn about our programs or schedule an intake assessment.

What is a Concussion?

A concussion–sometimes called a mild traumatic brain injury–is a type of head injury that can temporarily change the way your brain works. People may experience a concussion if they receive a jolt or blow to the head or body that causes the head to move inside the head. This can occur while playing sports, during a car accident, while being struck with an object, after a fall, and in many other situations.

People who sustain a concussion may experience a range of symptoms, including:

  • Loss of consciousness
  • Headaches
  • Memory loss
  • Difficulty with thinking and concentration
  • Nausea
  • Blurred vision
  • Dizziness
  • Sleep problems
  • Mood changes
  • Poor balance

In most cases, medical professionals will recommend that a person follow a strict concussion protocol that includes minimal activity and stimulation for a few days, followed by a gradual return to normal activities. Symptoms typically resolve within two to six weeks of when the concussion occurred.

What is Post-Concussion Syndrome?

Post-concussion syndrome (PCS) occurs when someone experiences symptoms of a concussion for months or up to a year after the event that caused it. People with post-concussion syndrome may experience physical and psychological symptoms ranging in severity.

The symptoms of post-concussion syndrome are the same as those of a concussion, but they last for much longer. Physical concussion symptoms include:

  • Headaches
  • Fatigue
  • Nausea
  • Poor coordination
  • Trouble sleeping or too much sleep

Sensory symptoms of a concussion include:

  • Light sensitivity
  • Photopsia–” seeing stars”
  • Double vision
  • Dizziness
  • Sensitivity to sound
  • Trouble seeing at night
  • Vertigo
  • Difficulty reading or tracking objects
  • Trouble seeing things up close

Mental symptoms of concussion include:

  • Memory loss
  • Difficulty with concentration
  • Mental fog
  • Sluggish, slow thinking

Behavioral symptoms of a concussion include:

  • Unusual sadness or depression
  • Irritability
  • Anxiety
  • Agitation
  • Mood swings
  • Restlessness
  • Thoughts of self-harm or suicide

In some cases, the symptoms people with post-concussion syndrome experience are very subtle. People with a concussion must pay attention to how their body and mind function and note any changes. Post-concussion syndrome can respond well to treatment, but you have to recognize this condition and seek help as quickly as possible to have the best outcomes.

What Causes Post-Concussion Syndrome?

Medical experts aren’t sure why some people develop post-concussion syndrome, and some do not. There are some risk factors believed to increase the likelihood someone will develop PCS after a concussion. These risk factors include:

  • A history of concussions or head injuries
  • A concussion with complications, such as bleeding inside the brain or skull, a midline shift of the brain, or a skull fracture
  • Other brain-related conditions, such as learning difficulties or attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)
  • A history of behavioral conditions such as anxiety, depression, and bipolar disorder
  • Severe concussion symptoms

Because there is no known determination of who will develop post-concussion syndrome and who will not, it’s critical to monitor anyone with a concussion for PCS symptoms.

What are the Potential Complications of Post-Concussion Syndrome?

Some people who develop post-concussion syndrome will experience disruptive symptoms for months or years–and some will be permanent. Possible complications of post-concussion syndrome include:

  • Difficulty or inability to work
  • Problems with thinking and focus
  • Pain medication overuse that may lead to addiction
  • Long-term sleep disruptions
  • Inability to participate in daily chores, responsibilities, and activities, including bathing, getting dressed, preparing meals, and more
  • Behavioral changes, including anxiety, depression, and aggressive behaviors
  • Memory loss
  • Executive dysfunction

Concussion treatment can help people regain functioning and learn to manage challenging or uncomfortable symptoms. It’s crucial to find help and participate in concussion treatment as quickly as possible after recognizing the symptoms of PCS so that the treatment can be the most effective.

How is Post-Concussion Syndrome Diagnosed?

There is no diagnostic test to confirm that someone has sustained a concussion. However, a doctor or healthcare provider can assess a person’s symptoms and diagnose the concussion in this manner.

Medical specialists use specific tools to assess someone for a concussion, including:

  • A physical examination
  • A neurological assessment
  • A history of the event that caused a head injury and the symptoms you’ve experienced since then
  • A computed tomography (CT) scan
  • X-rays
  • Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)

If concussion symptoms last for longer than expected, a doctor may request one or more follow-up visits to track symptoms and re-assess the treatment plan.

What Happens During Post-Concussion Syndrome Treatment?

You don’t have to live with the symptoms of post-concussion syndrome. Receiving concussion treatment from The Hartman Center can help reduce the severity of your symptoms, help you regain functioning, and feel more emotionally and physically comfortable.

Post-concussion syndrome treatment includes therapies and treatments that can help people with concussions restore their brain function. Each person undergoes a thorough evaluation that will shape their course of treatment.

Treatment plans include:

  • Diagnostic testing
  • Functional medicine
  • Chiropractic care
  • Active release techniques
  • Rehabilitation and physiotherapy
  • Cognitive remediation therapy
  • Sport-specific training
  • Photobiomodulation (PBM)
  • Blood flow restriction (BFR) therapy
  • Shock Wave therapy
  • NormaTec recovery

These innovative therapies can help your mind and body heal after sustaining a concussion. People who participate in concussion treatment can experience significant reductions in their post-concussion syndrome symptoms.

You do not have to accept lingering symptoms of post-concussion syndrome. Take the first step toward a healthier, more fulfilling future by seeking holistic, effective concussion treatment now.

Find Concussion Treatment in Oradell

If you or someone you love sustains a head injury and require concussion treatment Oradell, reach out to the team at The Hartman Center to learn about our effective post-concussion syndrome programs.