Concussion treatment used to be non-existent in Central Virginia. Emergency room doctors were unlikely to diagnose and treat most concussion symptoms if you were in a car wreck or fall and suffered a concussion. Even now, many people go to the emergency room and leave with undiagnosed concussion symptoms. As long as you are oriented to time, place, and person, most ER doctors would discharge you without any treatment or follow-up.
Up until a few years ago, Lynchburg and surrounding counties did not have access to any concussion treatment. A concussion is a traumatic brain injury. No one provided vestibular therapy, cognitive therapy, or any kind of concussion treatment for this injury.
Fortunately, that has changed.
Concussion symptoms are more apparent
Many concussion symptoms become more apparent the more you attempt to live your normal life. Every concussion is different just like every person is different. Most of the time, concussion symptoms will resolve without significant repercussions. However, 1 out of every 5 concussions results in post-concussive syndrome. Post-concussion syndrome is when your concussion symptoms last for longer than a few weeks/months. These concussion symptoms could include:
- loss of consciousness,
- appearing dazed or stunned
- answering questions slowly
- moving clumsily,
- forgetting events prior to the injury,
- forgetting events after the injury,
- memory loss,
- confused about an assignment,
- speech impairment,
- word finding difficulties,
- problems with concentration,
- sensitivity to light/noise,
- change in sleep pattern,
- double or fuzzy vision,
- feeling “foggy”
You don’t have to experience all of these symptoms, but if you experience any of them, then you should consider going to see a doctor. If you think you have suffered a concussion, you need to make an appointment with a concussion specialist immediately. Just going to your primary care provider is not going to be sufficient here. The family doctors in town may not know all of the treatment options available to you.
Concussion treatment is now available
Now, there are a few doctors in the area who are treating concussions and taking them very seriously. For example, OrthoVirginia does imPACT testing (Immediate Post-Concussion Assessment and Cognitive Testing) to determine the extent of any cognitive impairments caused by a concussion. The physical therapy department at OrthoVirginia provides vestibular therapy and cognitive therapy to help retrain your brain to work the way it was designed to work. The doctors make most concussion treatment decisions after your imPACT testing is completed. The extent of your impairment will likely determine the type of concussion treatment that your doctor recommends.
Rehab Associates of Central Virginia also does vestibular therapy, cognitive therapy, and other forms of concussion treatment.
You must follow your concussion treatment recommendations
Your doctor will recommend treatment and rehabilitation once you are tested and diagnosed with a concussion. Follow these recommendations. Unless you get that treatment and do what your doctor says, you will never get better. If you never get better, then you are the only one who will suffer. We have had many clients come to us describing concussion symptoms and our first recommendation is to go see a concussion specialist. There are now several in the area who are perfectly capable of providing these treatments. But the most important thing to understand is that treatment is usually effective. So many of my clients have received treatment on time that has completely resolved their symptoms.
The greater Lynchburg area of Central Virginia is still limited in the different types of concussion treatment available. Thus, you may still need to seek treatment in Charlottesville, Roanoke, or Richmond depending on what type of treatment you need. We are still lacking a neuropsychiatrist, we only have one neuropsychologist, and one imPACT testing center. sometimes, if the injury is severe enough, there are occasions where you will necessarily travel to obtain the necessary treatment.
If your concussion was caused by the negligence of another, look for a lawyer who understands how concussions are caused and treated. Give us a call or send us a message and we’d be happy to talk to you about your case.