Sports Concussion Rehabilitation Center

Concussions are a Mild Traumatic Brain Injury (mTBI) that need to be taken seriously. As our overall understanding of concussions and recovery from these brain injuries improves, physical therapy has emerged as an important resource for all individuals who sustain a concussive injury. With the creation of the Sports Concussion Rehabilitation Center and the addition of a dedicated Sports Concussion Physical Therapist, University Orthopedics hopes to make this treatment more accessible to athletes who have been newly diagnosed with a concussion or those struggling with lingering effects.

What is a Concussion?

A concussion is a Mild Traumatic Brain Injury (mTBI).

  • Concussions are NOT a structural issue, they will not show up on a CT scan or MRI.
  • Concussions are NO LONGER graded as mild, moderate, or severe. A person either sustained a concussion or did not.
  • Concussion occurs with a blow to the head or a blow to the body that results in the brain moving around within the skull. This causes an interruption of the brain’s normal function.
  • It is an energy crisis in the brain. After a concussion, the brain needs more energy to heal itself. However, the injury causes a restriction in blood flow to the brain. As a result, the brain does not get the energy it needs and will not be functioning as efficiently.

How Can Physical Therapy Help?

By improving neurological function, physical therapy not only results in better and faster recovery for patients, but it can also decrease the risk of future concussion or other subsequent injuries that can occur as a result of persistent underlying deficits.

Physical therapy for concussion ideally begins within the first 24 to 48 hours in order to help patients manage symptoms and help improve recovery time. However, athletes who are slow to recover and experience lingering effects can also benefit.



Areas in which physical therapy can aid in concussion recovery

Headaches/Post-Traumatic Migraines

Determine the likely cause of the persisting headaches and address the root cause as appropriate.


Neck pain is common after a concussion as many concussion injuries result in a whiplash mechanism. We can treat any joint or muscle-related problems relating to the patient’s neck pain.


We can assess and address any related positional vertigo (BPPV). We can also address any reduced vestibular function which results in poor balance, coordination, and difficulty with navigation through their daily environment following a concussion. This can show up as balance problems, dizziness, or an increase in car sickness/motion sickness.


We can assess accommodative deficits and convergence insufficiencies and help to treat them as appropriate. We can also facilitate contact with a specialist if necessary.

Autonomic and Cardiovascular

We can detect and address autonomic dysfunction that may result following a concussion. We can facilitate a gradual return to appropriate physical activities to help with appropriate cardiovascular function.


Athletes don’t like to be put on the sidelines. Active participation in something that is helping them get better can help reduce anxiety and depression surrounding their injury.


We can help with dual-task training. We can facilitate a gradual return to typical everyday tasks by connecting cognitive work with general movement and physical tasks as appropriate. We can also specialize these tasks to the person’s specific sport or typical activities.

*A written referral from a physician is required before treatment can begin. Appointments are scheduled by phone or in person. We will inform you of insurance coverage for therapy to the best of our knowledge; however you may want to contact your insurance company for specifics.

Concussion Experts