What is concussion management's role in recovery?
The neuropsychologists at NCMA work with a multidisciplinary informal network of providers across the state to contribute to patient recovery as appropriate. In our clinic, we use a combination of interview, screening of movement, balance, and eye movement, as well as neuropsychological tests, including ImPACT, as appropriate. We initially evaluate the patient to determine the nature of that particular patient’s concussion and personal triggers for symptoms and relatedly to advise on activity management and strategies to facilitate recovery as well as treatments (e.g., physical therapy, neurobehavioral optometry, vestibular therapy, medication, counseling, and/or exertion therapy) that may be helpful in furthering recovery. The timing of office visits is determined based on the specifics of the situation and progress. We work closely with other providers as indicated to help to manage each patient's return to usual functioning.
Careful concussion management makes it more likely that you will have a speedier, less complicated recovery and that, in the meantime, appropriate accommodations are in place to avoid negative impact on school, work, and other functioning. That said, for most people, recovery after concussion is rapid and spontaneous (i.e., without intervention).
Patients are returned to physical and cognitive activities in an individualized, graduated manner. It is very important not to return to risky activities too soon as a second concussion while still recovering from a first one can be dangerous or at least much more problematic, particularly for children. A full and speedy recovery is always our goal, but this requires different interventions, activity limitations, and amounts of time for each person.