Rehabilitation and Treatment
Overview - Treatment
There are five main treatments clinicians consider when dealing with post-concussion syndrome.
It is always best to have treatment overseen and prescribed by a professional, so we urge you to consult a doctor as soon as possible if you belive you may have a concussion, or post-concussion syndrome.
Below is a summary of each treatment option. We recommend that you read our page on PCS first, to better understand why doctors support the following treatment methods.
Exercise - Buffalo Programme
In the last years, doctors have developed the Buffalo Concusion Treadmill test which allows for safe and controlled aerobic activity in the early stages of sustaining a concussion. Not only does it decrease the chance of a patient developing post-concussion syndrome, but it benefits and increases rate of recovery. The studies suggest that exercise regulates ANS dysfunction - a possible cause of PCS. Read more about the benefits of exercise therapy here.
Vestibular and visual therapy
After a concussion, your vestibular system may be disrupted, affecting your reflexes. Symptoms arising from vestibular dysfunction may include: balance problems, vision defects, headaches and dizziness. A doctor will normally assess your vestibular function to determine how the brain interprets body and head movement. Following on from this, they can prescribe exercises to be performed at home routinely. The brain needs thousands of religions to make changes, therefore the more frequently the exercises are performed (within reason), the better.
Neck and spinal cord therapy
If a doctor has identified any neck or spinal injuries following a concussion, it is imperative this is treated immediately as this could be contributing to existing symptoms. Treatment will often involve physiotherapy.
There is some recent evidence to suggest a ketogenic diet may reduce PCS symptoms. It’s important to note that this evidence cannot be used to draw strong conclusions as of yet, but some clinicians are very supportive of this treatment method. To learn more, read our blog posts titled "Can a Ketogenic diet improve concussion recovery?" and "Supplements for Post Concussion Syndrome".
Many concussions are accompanied by PTSD from your injury. PCS can also have a negative effect on your mental health. Depression and anxiety are common in PCS patients, and this can exacerbate pre-existing PCS symptoms. Therapy is recommended for patients struggling with PTSD and other issues. Exercise (controlled) can also aid in improving a patient’s mental health. We encourage you to connect with other concussion patients through our online forum.