Comprehensive Care for Concussions is Now Available

Clinical Expertise

Oct 11, 2017

Lexi Riley-DiPaolo was 11-years-old when she suffered her first concussion playing football. She had symptoms for six months and spent a lot of time in a dark room trying to recover. Later that year, she suffered another concussion during a triathlon. Lexi was then diagnosed with post-concussion syndrome and her symptoms were monitored but not treated. Her headaches and dizziness subsided, so she resumed athletic activities.

During a swim meet a few years later, Lexi was accidentally kicked in the forehead during warm-ups. This concussion sent her to Mayo Clinic. At the time, there wasn’t a comprehensive concussion clinic in Jacksonville to meet all of Lexi’s needs. After enduring awful and debilitating headaches for six months, her family decided to take her to a sports medicine concussion program in Pennsylvania.

“As a parent, it’s a very lonely, isolating situation that doesn’t resolve quickly,” said Lexi’s mom Sara.

When Lexi and her family returned to Jacksonville, she started physical therapy with Nata Salvatori PT, DPT, OCS, SCS, FAAOMPT at Brooks Rehabilitation. Nata worked with Lexi for several months to help her return to sports. It was Lexi’s complicated case that inspired Nata to create a comprehensive concussion program here in Jacksonville.

“After extensive research on the components of a comprehensive concussion program, I realized Brooks already had most of the pieces in place. I pursued additional training in concussion management and began putting a formal process in place with other members of our team,” said Nata.

The Brooks Concussion Program provides a multidisciplinary approach for improving patient outcomes and is unique to Northeast Florida. Nata’s specialty includes individualized care and creating a patient-centered methodology.

Multidisciplinary team services include physician evaluations, neuropsychological consultations and testing, equipment adaptation for daily living activities including work and school activities, as well as treatment for common post-concussion symptoms such as dizziness and headaches. The professional team includes a PM&R physician, adult and pediatric neuropsychologists, physical therapists, occupational therapists, speech-language pathologists, athletic trainers, optometrists, and a school re-entry team.

In Lexi’s case, Nata and Sara worked with the school system to make adjustments for Lexi. She was not sleeping well, had issues with certain lighting situations and needed extra time on exams to process information.

“Being able to walk into one place and have all our needs covered is life-altering. It takes a lot to really understand what is going on with a concussion,” said Sara.

The Brooks Concussion Program team actively serves the community by collaborating with primary care physicians, pediatricians, sports medicine doctors, schools coaches, athletic trainers, and parents.

If you think you or someone you love is suffering from the effects of a concussion, contact us at 904-419-6191.

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