A new approach to concussion therapy

Published: Sep. 15, 2017 at 9:38 PM CDT
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In the past when someone would experience a concussion, doctors would normally recommend rest. But now, especially for adults, they say if symptoms haven't gone away in a few weeks, it could be time for therapy.

Tammi Daniel learned that she needed therapy after being in a car crash back in July with her husband Darrell.

Their semi trailer spun after hitting rain and landed tipped on the side of the freeway.

"Darrell kept on saying somethings wrong it hurts and I wasn't hurting at the time," said Daniel.

Darrell had fractured ribs and Tammi just thought she had a bump on her head. After a week went by and her nausea and pain hadn't gone away, she saw a doctor.

"I was so disorganized I couldn't function I couldn't think I couldn't follow through. And for me that was very very frustrating and I thought it was just being worried about Darrell I still didn't think I was hurt," said Daniel.

Madonna Therapists said this is a common symptom of severe concussions. And they are treating more people weekly to reduce it.

"Up until recently the recommendation has always been for that rest period. And if people's symptoms weren't resolving they might recommend continued rest," said Occupational Therapist Maggie Long.

But now Long said they are having people like Tammi use their brain in order to get it back to normal.

"If our brain is having a hard time processing that stimulation whether from a physical standpoint, visual standpoint, cognitive standpoint, we're going to see those symptoms increase because it just cannot process that information the way it could before so we're using our therapies to help the brain reorganize," said Long.

After using therapies like the Dynavision game and practicing reaction time, Tammi said she is ready to get back out on the road.

"They were able to explain so many of my symptoms that you know this is normal this part of the concussion. And I'm just grateful," said Daniel.

Maggie Long said they evaluate each patient before starting therapy to see what they need to work on, and what tolerance level they have.

She also said for any adult who has experienced a head trauma to always get checked out if their concussion symptoms haven't gone away.