Concussion

Medical Reviewers: Sarah M. Lahey, PhD, ABPP-CN; Nata Salvatori PT, DPT, OCS, SCS, FAAOMPT;
Last Updated: October 20, 2020
Brooks is offering in-person and telehealth visits with all of our outpatient clinics as well as with our physician medical group. For outpatient, please call our Central Intake Unit at (904) 345-7277. For Brooks Medical Group, please call (904) 345-7373.

What is concussion?

A concussion is a type of traumatic brain injury — or TBI — caused by a bump, blow, or jolt to the head or by a hit to the body that causes the head and brain to move rapidly back and forth. This sudden movement can cause the brain to bounce around or twist in the skull, creating chemical changes in the brain and sometimes stretching and damaging brain cells.

How is it diagnosed?

There is no single test to diagnose a concussion. Diagnosis is made by reviewing the event leading to the injury, discussing symptoms, and completing a medical examination. Most concussions do not result in a loss of consciousness, and most people with a concussion recover within a few days to several weeks.

Signs of concussion include:

  • Answers questions slowly
  • Appears dazed or stunned
  • Can’t recall events prior to or after a hit or fall
  • Loses consciousness (even briefly)

Concussion symptoms include:

  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Balance problems or dizziness, or double or blurry vision
  • Confusion or concentration or memory problems
  • Just not “feeling right” or feeling foggy

What types of therapies are used in concussion treatment?

Neuropsychology

Completion of initial interview and assessment of current symptoms to provide education, identify risk factors for prolonged recovery, and ensure individual receives all appropriate treatments. Comprehensive Neuropsychological testing when indicated.

Physiatrist

Consult with our PM&R Physician is available if there is no physician involved in the patient care or the referring physician wishes that our program physician take over the management of the case.

School Re-entry Coordination

Works as a liaison between the patient, families, school, and Brooks Rehabilitation to ensure appropriate school services and accommodations are received and implemented.

Physical Therapy

Evaluation and Treatment of headaches, neck pain, dizziness, and balance issues.

Optometry / Vision Therapy

Evaluation and Treatment of visual complaints including but not limited to light sensitivity, headaches, blurred vision, and difficulty reading.

Occupational Therapy

Assessment of issues related to activities of daily living and issuing of adaptive equipment if needed.

Speech Language Pathology

Evaluation and Treatment of reading, comprehension, writing, and language deficits.

Return to Play

Assist with completion of state required protocol and paperwork (AT 18 Form) to ensure athletes are safe and ready to return to their specific sports.

Driving Evaluation

Evaluates the driving safety of established and first time drivers who may have developmental, cognitive and disabling injuries while equipment, training lessons and independent driving recommendations are made.

Psychology

Evaluation and treatment of coping and emotional difficulties, pain, and sleep problems that sometimes occur after injury.

Check out our Concussion Program Services Infographic here.

Why Choose Brooks?

Integrated, Multidisciplinary Approach

Unique to Northeast Florida, our program provides an integrated, multidisciplinary approach to evaluate and treat both children and adults with concussion. We specialize in individualizing care and creating a patient-centered treatment plan. We actively serve the community by collaborating with primary care physicians, pediatricians, sports medicine doctors, schools, coaches, athletic trainers and parents.

Our professional team includes:

  • Neuropsychologists
  • Physicians
  • Physical therapists
  • Occupational therapists
  • Speech-language pathologists
  • Athletic trainers
  • Optometrists
  • School liaisons
  • Certified driving rehabilitation specialist
  • Psychologists

Our program has more than 70 clinicians specifically trained in post-concussion rehabilitation across several of our locations. Our team works together to address the whole patient and help you reach your goals including returning to sports, school and work using three evidenced-based protocols.

Returning to sports, school and work

Return to Sport

Florida requires specific documentation to be signed by a physician prior to returning to sports after a concussion. Once symptoms have resolved, individuals needing to safely return to their sport will be taken through a Return to Sport protocol. This aspect of the program begins with an evaluation from a trained physical therapist, who will take you through a five-step protocol with drills specific to your sport.

This allows for assessment of the effects of exertion after a concussion, all while monitoring your heart rate, blood pressure and symptom provocation. You will be carefully progressed through the stages of the Concussion in Sport Group (CISG) Protocol in collaboration with your physical therapist and certified athletic trainer.

Return to School

Following neuropsychological consultation, school recommendations may be made to support a gradual and safe return to learning in the classroom setting. The school liaison may also assist with the implementation of accommodations and support, as needed.

Return to Work

This protocol supports participation in modified work activities to avoid making post-concussion symptoms worse. Collaboration with you, your physician and your employer is encouraged in order to create an effective plan for workplace success.

Preparing for your appointment

Please make sure you arrive early so you can complete the necessary intake paperwork. Also write down any signs & symptoms you’re experiencing, make a list of all medications, write down any questions you have. You will normally see our Neuropsychologist first and then be referred to any other professional on our team that you may need to see.

Connect with us

Our goal is to help you return to your previous level of function after a concussion.

If you think you or your loved one has a concussion, please schedule an appointment with our team by calling (904) 345-7210 or email BrooksConcussion@brooksrehab.org.

See our Concussion program discussed on BUZZ TV!  Click here

Medical Reviewers

Sarah M. Lahey, PhD, ABPP-CN

Manager of Psychological Services at Brooks Rehabilitation Hospital
Sarah M. Lahey, PhD, ABPP-CN is a Board Certified Clinical Neuropsychologist and a Licensed Psychologist. Additionally, Dr. Lahey is the Manager of Psychological Services at Brooks Rehabilitation Hospital.

Nata Salvatori PT, DPT, OCS, SCS, FAAOMPT

Sports Residency Coordinator, Outpatient Orthopedic Program Coordinator
Nata Salvatori PT, DPT, OCS, SCS, FAAOMPT works as the Sports Residency Coordinator, Outpatient Orthopedic Program Coordinator, Physician Liaison and Qualtrics Program Manager at Brooks Rehabilitation. She also works with Brooks Institute of Higher Learning as the Continuing Education Sales and Marketing Coordinator. In addition, she is a Board Certified Orthopedic and Sports Clinical Specialist as well as a Fellow of the American Academy of Orthopedic Manual Physical Therapy.