The experts at the UPMC Sports Medicine Concussion Program believe the best way to manage and rehabilitate a concussion is through an individualized treatment plan based on the patient’s specific needs and goals for recovery.
Because we know there are six different types of concussions, accounting for more than 20 symptoms, our experts use a multidisciplinary team approach to help the brain recover from injury and allow the patient to return to their sport, classroom, or other activities.
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The Multidisciplinary Team Approach to Manage and Rehabilitate Concussions
If our experts were a basketball team, then the neuropsychologists would be the point guards. The neuropsychologists lead the clinical evaluation by identifying symptoms and pre-existing conditions that could impact recovery, and helping to develop a treatment plan utilizing the expertise of the other team members.
Vestibular Physical Therapy
A branch of neurological physical therapy, vestibular physical therapy will address symptoms of dizziness and difficulty focusing and maintain balance.
Exertional Physical Therapy
Our physical therapists will use aerobic activities and strengthening exercises to rehabilitate your vestibular system. They will also perform tests near the end of recovery to ensure that your symptoms do not appear when you return to your sport or other activities.
Primary Care Sports Medicine & Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation
These physicians will help manage conditions that require medical intervention — such as sleep, headache, or anxiety — to optimize performance and help to reduce the risk of re-injury.
Brain injuries like concussion can sometimes cause an interruption between the brain and eyes, which results in vision problems. These experts use specialized computer and optical devices to improve visual performance.
Your rehabilitation program may include working with an orthopaedic or neurosurgeon to treat an additional injury or certain symptoms, including headaches and neck pain.
In addition to being able to rule out any bleeding in the brain, these team members can sometimes provide insight as to why symptoms may be worsening.
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About Sports Medicine
Sports and physical activity bring with them a potential for injury. If you are looking to prevent, treat, or rehabilitate a sports injury – or improve athletic performance – UPMC Sports Medicine and the UPMC Sports Medicine Concussion Program can help. We serve athletes and active people of all ages and experience levels. Our experts partner with the Pittsburgh Steelers, Pittsburgh Penguins, Pitt Panthers, and about 100 other high school, college, and regional teams and events throughout Pennsylvania – working daily to build better athletes.