Many people assume neurologists and sports medicine doctors are the go-to experts for concussion care, but you shouldn't discount the role of rehabilitation care performed in a physical therapy office. Physical therapists play an invaluable role when it comes to helping patients recover from concussions. They can help you regain cognitive and physical abilities following a concussion, in addition to offering specialized rehabilitation care services such as balance training and vestibular therapy.

Physical therapy treatment for concussions typically begins with a comprehensive evaluation to determine the injured area, any difficulties that may be causing symptoms, and goals for recovery. From there, the physical therapist will design a treatment program tailored to each patient's needs. The goal of rehabilitation care is generally to reduce pain, restore full range of motion, and address any motor control or coordination deficits that may be present. With that in mind, here are five post-concussion symptoms a physical therapist can help treat.

1) Dizziness

Dizziness that occurs after a concussion often stems from the neck or ears, but the brain may also be the culprit. Either way, physical therapy treatment can help reduce spinning, swaying, or rocking sensations. Your physical therapist may use exercises to strengthen the core and neck muscles, improve balance, or retrain the vestibular system.

2) Balance deficiency

Balance issues can be one of the most debilitating post-concussion symptoms and can even make some patients afraid to drive or walk. Your physical therapist can help you recover your balance by using special equipment, such as a balance board or foam pad, and performing targeted exercises that will strengthen your core muscles. Vestibular training performed in a rehabilitation care setting can also help restore your balance.

3) Headaches

When you injure your brain, there's a good chance that your neck also experienced trauma. If your physical therapist suspects that this is the case, they may be able to help you reduce post-concussion headaches with targeted exercises that strengthen the neck muscles. Your physical therapist may also recommend specific ergonomic modifications and postural correction techniques to help manage any lingering headaches.

4) Fatigue and Sleep Disturbances

Concussions can cause physical fatigue, mental sluggishness, or difficulty sleeping. To help you overcome fatigue, your physical therapist may prescribe specific exercises to improve strength and endurance. They may also use massage or other hands-on techniques as part of their rehabilitation care services plan.

5) Nausea

Nausea can occur due to vestibular deficits or visual tracking problems after a concussion. Your physical therapist can help by teaching you exercises that improve coordination as well as addressing any postural imbalances that could be contributing to your symptoms. They may also utilize rehabilitation care services such as vestibular therapy and targeted eye exercises to help reduce nausea.

Physical therapy treatment can be a game changer when it comes to concussion recovery. Talk to a rehabilitation care services provider today to learn more about post-concussion recovery.