A physiatrist is a physician with extensive training in physical medicine and rehabilitation which includes in-depth knowledge of brain injuries of all severities. A physiatrist will determine the cause of lingering symptoms and evaluate the need for medications and other interventions to mitigate the effects of the injury. The physiatrist will lead the clinical team in determining a treatment plan.
Our physical therapists, many of whom are certified brain injury specialists, evaluate balance and stability after the injury, as well as any lingering headaches and/or neck pain. Physical therapists can provide pain management techniques and help determine whether it is appropriate for the patient to return to physical activity.
Occupational therapists will determine any effects the injury may have on everyday tasks, such as cooking, grooming and driving. Occupational therapy will also work with neuroptometrists to help assess and treat vision problems resulting from the concussion.
A neuroptometrist specializes in vision problems resulting from injury to the brain, including MTBIs. These highly specialized vision experts can help determine the cause of symptoms such as light sensitivity, double vision, poor eye tracking, problems with depth perception, eye strain or loss of vision. They work with specially trained occupational therapists to determine vision therapy needs.
Speech Language Pathologists (SLPs) evaluate patients for cognitive-communication issues. This may mean difficulty recalling a familiar word, trouble processing verbal or written instructions, struggles with problem solving or a variety of other communication struggles. SLPs will help evaluate and determine a treatment plan for improving all aspects of communication after a concussion.
Neuropsychologists are experts in mental processes that may have been impaired by a concussion. They can assess deficits in attention, memory, and reasoning as well as other cognitive skills. They can also assess any mood or personality changes resulting from an MTBI and determine if therapy or medication might be useful in the short or long term.
When a child or college student experiences a concussion, our therapeutic education coordinators work closely to evaluate whether accommodations are needed for reintegration to the school environment. They work directly with the school districts to craft a plan for academic success and provide suggestions for adaptations that may help during the recovery process.