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Post Concussion Syndrome and BPPV

Post Concussion Syndrome

At Blue Hills Sports & Spine's Braintree and Weymouth locations, we have a number of Physical Therapists and Physical Therapist Assitants trained to treat patients with Post Concussion Syndrome. While no two concussions are the same, treatment may include:

Rest and recovery. Your physical therapist will help you and your family understand why you should limit any specific kind of activity after a concussion, until it is safe to return to these activities. A period of rest helps the brain heal however, getting moving again soon can also be helpful. Your physical therapist will help guide you on what and when to start to return to normal activities.

Restoring strength and endurance. The physical and mental rest required after a concussion can result in muscle weakness, and a decrease in physical endurance. We will help you regain your strength and endurance , without making your concussion symptoms worse. We will build a custom program based on your symptoms to help you get back to your prior level while closely monitoring your symptoms.

Stopping dizziness and improving balance. If you have dizziness or difficulty with your balance following a concussion, you may need some vestibular physical therapy as well. The vestibular system helps you keep your balance and prevent dizziness. Our trained physical therapy team can help reduce or stop your dizziness or balance problems after a concussion through specific treatments exercises, some of which you may be able to do at home.

Reducing headaches. We will assess the possible causes of your headaches, and use specific treatments and exercises to reduce and eliminate them. Treatment may include stretches, strength and motion exercises, eye exercises and some hands-on techniques as well.

Vestibular Disorders and Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo (BPPV)

Benign paroxysmal positional vertigo is a common inner-ear problem affecting the vestibular system, a system used to maintain balance. BPPV will cause short periods of dizziness when your head is moved in certain positions, relative to gravity. Benign means that this disorder is not life threatening, and generally, the disorder is not progressive. Paroxysmal means that the vertigo (spinning sensation) occurs suddenly. Positional means that the vertigo is triggered by changes in head position, most commonly when lying down, turning over in bed, or looking up. This dizzy or spinning sensation is called vertigo.

Fortunately, most people recover from BPPV with a simple but very specific head and neck maneuver performed by a physical therapist. Your physical therapist will guide you through a series of 2-4 position changes. These repositioning treatments are designed to move crystals from the semicircular canal back into the appropriate area in the inner ear (the utricle) which is the cause of the issue. A repositioning treatment called the Epley maneuver is used for the resolution of posterior canal BPPV, the most commonly involved canal. Once the crystals are back where they belong, there will also be instruction of some things you can do at home should the symptoms return.

Evidence has shown that vestibular rehabilitation can be effective in improving symptoms related to many vestibular (inner ear/balance) disorders.  In addition to the manual maeuvers, our physical therapists are also trained in an exercise-based program primarily designed to reduce vertigo and dizziness, gaze instability, and/or imbalance and falls. The same type of program that our post consussion patients undergo.

If you want to talk to one of our specialists about whether or not we can help you with your Post Concussion, Vestibular and BPPV symptoms, contact us at either our Braintree or Weymouth locations.

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