What Is Post-Concussion Syndrome?

Jul 31, 2023
What Is Post-Concussion Syndrome?
Post-concussion syndrome prolongs brain injury symptoms and may cause them to evolve. With expert neurorehabilitative care, you can reduce the neurological symptoms following a concussion. Read on to learn more.

Every year, an estimated 3.8 million concussions impact people in the United States, many of whom are athletes who play contact sports. You can also acquire a concussion in a car accident, work accident, or by falling and hitting your head. 

Concussions require immediate treatment to avoid long-term complications and persistent symptoms, called post-concussion syndrome or persistent post-concussion symptoms (PPCS).

Our multidisciplinary team at Delaware NeuroRehab provides treatments and services to assist with post-concussion recovery in Dover and Wilmington, Delaware. 

Our Brain Injury Physician, Neuropsychologists, Occupational Therapists, Speech-Language Pathologists, and Case Manager monitor your symptoms and restore your neurological function after a concussion

What percentage of people end up developing post-concussion syndrome?

Post-concussion syndrome affects 34-35% of people who experience concussions. It involves symptoms that last longer than the typical recovery time of 3 months. For some people, these symptoms are permanent. 

An integrative neurorehabilitation program is essential for reducing the impact. Your care plan at Delaware NeuroRehab aims to reduce or resolve your PPCS. 

Post-concussion syndrome: The signs and symptoms

Many of the symptoms of post-concussion syndrome are similar to those of a concussion, but they can evolve over time. Some people experience noticeable neurological changes for more than a year. You can experience post-concussion syndrome following an impact concussion or another brain event, such as a bacterial infection, transient ischemic attack, or carbon monoxide poisoning. You don’t necessarily need to experience a loss of consciousness. 

The symptoms of post-concussion syndrome impact your brain and nerves. You might experience:

  • Blurry vision
  • Light sensitivity
  • Sound sensitivity
  • Dizziness
  • Memory problems
  • Anxiety
  • Headaches
  • Brain fog
  • Fatigue
  • Insomnia
  • Nausea
  • Speech and language challenges

With post-concussion syndrome, you might initially experience excessive fatigue, then frequent insomnia for a few weeks or months. Since your PPCS symptoms can differ from your initial concussion symptoms, it’s essential to inform our team of any new developments or changes. 

Diagnosing post-concussion syndrome

No single test is used to confirm the diagnosis of post-concussion syndrome. Delaware NeuroRehab may use multiple strategies to assess your condition, including discussing your symptoms and their duration, brain scans, blood work, vision assessment, balance assessment, cognitive assessment, mental health assessment, and a neurological exam. 

We consider your symptoms and compile your test results to determine whether they fit the criteria for post-concussion syndrome. Additional tests can rule out other conditions that cause similar symptoms.

Could you be at risk?

Some risk factors increase your likelihood of experiencing post-concussion syndrome after a brain injury. You may be at an increased risk if you:

  • Had severe or numerous initial concussion symptoms
  • Have had other concussions in the past
  • Experience chronic pain
  • Get migraine headaches
  • Have mental health conditions, such as depression or anxiety

Post-concussion syndrome is also more prevalent among women than men. 

How we manage post-concussion syndrome

Delaware NeuroRehab offers personalized and multidisciplinary neurorehabilitation services to help you recover from post-concussion syndrome and reduce your symptoms. Our interdisciplinary care team includes:

  • Medical Doctor 
  • Neuropsychologists
  • Psychologists
  • Occupational therapists
  • Physical therapists
  • Speech pathologists
  • Case manager 

Our team has a rich collective background of education and experience to accelerate your recovery and help you return to your favorite activities. Medications are needed for post-concussion syndrome, but our team might suggest aerobic exercise, cognitive therapy, vestibular therapy, and vitamins. Post-concussion syndrome recovery takes time, but you’re in excellent hands at our practice. 

Your prognosis

Post-concussion syndrome often improves with neurorehabilitation, but treatment isn’t the same for everyone. Your treatment may take longer if you have underlying conditions like chronic pain or cervical spine injuries. However, most people experience symptom improvements if they engage in post-concussion care. 

To visit Delaware NeuroRehab for custom post-concussion syndrome care, call the nearest office or book a treatment consultation online.