Concussion is a common injury but is often difficult to diagnose and treat as there may be no visible signs of a brain injury. Symptoms can be immediate or take days or weeks to appear. Sometimes the injury itself makes it hard for people to recognize or to admit they are suffering effects. They may look fine even though they’re acting or feeling differently.
A concussion can happen on the sports field, in a car accident, while climbing a ladder, or even falling out of bed—anywhere.
Lancaster General Health offers comprehensive concussion treatment to help patients recover from concussion injuries and return to their normal activities.
Evaluation and Treatment
Lancaster General Health offers comprehensive concussion assessment and recovery services through our Concussion Recovery Program and our Neuropsychology practice at the Neuroscience Institute. Our Sports Medicine practice also provides concussion assessment and treatment with a focus on youth and competitive athletes. Patients seeing a sports medicine provider may be referred to our Neuropsychology practice based on their particular concussion condition.
Lancaster General Health offers two components of ImPACT (Immediate Post-Concussion Assessment and Cognitive Testing): baseline testing and post-injury testing.
As a screening test before a concussion, ImPACT establishes a baseline of normal cognitive brain performance. Following an injury, the tool helps determine if a concussion patient can successfully return to activity. For youth athletes especially, we recommend the baseline ImPACT screening test as the first step in protecting the brain. A baseline screening before any injury occurs helps provide a valuable point of comparison should an athlete sustain a sports concussion.
ImPACT testing is available at both LG Health Physicians Sports Medicine and LG Health Physicians Neuropsychology.
We use scientifically validated testing tools to assess symptoms, memory, processing speed, reaction time, and other factors in order to create a strategy that supports the best chances for a full recovery. Neurological testing is the gold standard for determining readiness to resume daily activities following a concussion, and reduce the risk of long-term symptoms or permanent damage.
The neuropsychologist’s expertise is in how behavior and skills are related to brain function. Neuropsychologists have two main roles when it comes to concussions: to determine why symptoms aren’t going away and to educate patients on common concussion symptoms, management and treatment strategies, and normal recovery patterns. The neuropsychologist may conduct an evaluation to assess brain function and ongoing cognitive and behavioral impairment. In more serious cases, the neuropsychologist may suggest a rehabilitation program such as physical, occupational, and speech and language therapies. In rare cases, neuro ophthalmology and behavioral optometry can be useful in recovering from neurological visual difficulties.
We may recommend physical therapy to treat related problems such as head and neck pain. Our physical therapists can help design a graduated exercise program with the goal of returning to your prior level of activity without negative consequences, and help address balance and vestibular (dizziness) problems.
Occupational therapy can help with visual problems like difficulty reading and performing computer work, as well as help you manage your daily routine—planning, organizing, managing time, and paying attention to detail. Therapists also use other neuro/behavioral interventions to help manage stress levels.
Speech and Language Therapy
Speech and language therapy can help with communication, memory and cognitive function difficulty.