Have you ever wondered why concussion symptoms can linger for months, sometimes years? From hitting your head off your kitchen cupboard to a serious motor vehicle accident, the answer is far from simple. In this post, we dive deep into what to expect during an appointment with Dr. Parks following a suspected concussion and why it is so important to seek treatment.
Selecting the Right Health Professional for Concussion Management
When seeking treatment following a suspected concussion, it is important that you find a knowledgeable professional with extensive training and experience in the field. Look no further than Dr. Andrew Parks at Miller Health. Once you’ve booked your appointment, you’ll come to Miller Health for an initial assessment. Wondering what an assessment might entail? Keep reading.
The Initial Assessment: A Two-Part Process
First, a full health interview is conducted to give you time to provide details of your symptoms, describe the mechanism of injury, describe any potential medication use and provide information about previous physical or mental health conditions you may have including previous concussions, as these all may influence your management.
Second, Dr. Parks will complete a full neurological and physical evaluation including an assessment of your gait and balance systems, reflexes, sensory and motor pathways, visual, vestibular and oculomotor systems, cardiovascular and autonomic systems, and the musculoskeletal system. Most importantly, Dr. Parks will assess to see how all these systems communicate with one another and how they may be influencing how you feel and your recovery status.
Mutual Discussion: Understanding Your Findings and Rehabilitation Plan
The next aspect of your initial visit is the report of findings. This is a mutual discussion about the findings of your evaluation, what they mean and how they relate to what you’re experiencing and feeling. Education surrounding the physiology of the brain and brain injuries, recommendations for first steps in recovery and your proposed rehab and treatment plan will also be provided. Informed consent for further care will also be discussed.
Lastly, you will be provided with educational hand-outs and FAQs for you to take home. This can be helpful for loved ones who did not attend the appointment, or for you to re-visit if you happen to have further questions after the consultation is complete.
Continued Care: Follow-Up Appointments and Progress Tracking
After your initial consultation, it is highly likely that Dr. Parks will recommend further follow-up appointments for treatment and re-evaluation to track your progress.
Your First Follow-Up: Beginning the Management Program
Your first follow-up visit will be the beginning of your management program. At every visit, Dr. Parks will perform a short re-evaluation to compare findings from the previous day, as concussions and concussion symptoms can vary widely from day to day. This may also include further evaluation of the aerobic and autonomic systems on a treadmill and with a heart rate monitor if this is indicated for you.
Rehabilitation and Customized Exercises
During the appointment, you can expect the rehabilitation aspect of your care to be implemented. This can include manual therapy of the musculoskeletal system, visual-motor exercises, balance exercises, coordinative movement, or aerobic exercise. The purpose of these exercises is to target the specific areas of your brain that may be affected by the concussion. These exercises are customized to your needs, as no two injuries are the same.
Consistent Homework and the Path to Recovery
Lastly, you can expect a closing discussion about your homework that is to be performed between visits. This is a crucial component of your concussion management as the brain responds to short bursts of activity consistently over time. The frequency, intensity and dosage of the exercise must be specific to your tolerance and your needs, and it is likely that this will change from visit to visit. Unfortunately, performing the rehab exercises only while at the clinic is not sufficient for the brain to adapt and rehabilitate, so patient compliance and commitment is essential to recovery.
Concussions are not just a bump on the head and can create ongoing disruptions in your day-to-day life if not properly treated. Your brain deserves the best, so if you’re looking for a thorough and comprehensive approach to your Concussion Management in Orillia, book an appointment with Dr. Parks today.