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Winter Injuries: LSTC Treats Concussions and Cervical Pain

Neck pain

By: Tricia Walker, ATC

While winter in Virginia can mean snow, sun, ice and rain all in the same week, between slick road conditions and heavy traffic, winter injuries like concussions and cervical pain can be more frequent. Many people suffer from chronic neck pain, tightness and headaches. However, few seek the attention they need to address the root of the problem and instead mask the pain with Advil and Tylenol. Cervical pain can start for a number of reasons like poor posture, stress, falls and even car crashes. Winter weather can bring about all these factors but Loudoun Sports Therapy Center can help!

The clinicians at LSTC are experts in evaluating the cervical spine. Our physical therapists will perform private evaluations focused specifically on cervical alignment, posture, movement, strength and overall function.  They will design an individualized plan of care to help you increase your cervical mobility, improve posture and regain muscle strength.

Concussions: What are they?

Concussion Management Program

A concussion is a traumatic brain injury that alters the way the brain functions. Concussions are caused by a direct or indirect force to the skull or the brain. More simply put, a concussion is when a part of the brain is bruised as a result of the brain hitting the interior surface of the skull. When a concussion occurs, some normal brain functions like concentration, memory, balance, and coordination are temporarily altered. Depending on how severe the concussion is it can take days, even months for these functions to work normally again.

How can I get a concussion if my head did not hit anything?

Many people automatically think football tackles, heading a soccer ball or some other sports scenario when they hear the word ‘concussion.’  In fact, just last month I worked with a soccer player who came to us after suffering a concussion. In his case, he and another player collided during a game and he caught an elbow to the head. I worked with him for several weeks to improve his cognitive skills, his balance and coordination and now, he is back to playing safely and symptom-free. But not all concussions are caused by a direct impact.

Concussion Management Program

Tricia Walker, ATC working with a concussion patient

Hopefully, you’ve never been in a car crash before but if you picture when that car gets struck, the people inside experience a major jarring to their bodies.  Their necks, spines, and heads feel the impact of that crash without being directly hit. Their heads jerk forward and bounce back very quickly and cause whiplash leaving your neck and back very sore. One fact you might not know though is that while the body is jarring forward and backwards, so is the brain.

Concussion Management Program

What to expect with a possible concussion:

A concussion does not necessarily mean you lose consciousness.

Common signs and symptoms include:

  • Headaches
  • Fatigue or low energy
  • Dizziness
  • Confusion
  • Poor balance
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Memory loss
  • Blurred vision
  • Sensitivity to light or noise
  • Irrational behavior and difficulty reading

Loudoun Sports Therapy Center has developed a state of the art Concussion Management Program to help  ensure patients are able to safely return to their normal activities following a concussion. The program includes five components that are based on important guidelines from current state policies. These include education for the patients, their families, athletes and team personnel as well as a plan of care specific to that patient’s needs and consistent with return-to-activity protocols.

Don’t let the winter weather get you down! If you are suffering from cervical pain or think you might have suffered a concussion, call Loudoun Sports Therapy Center TODAY at 703-450-4300 to schedule an appointment with one of our certified therapy staff so you can get back to PAIN-FREE LIVING!