Concussion Info & Exercises

Concussion Information

Listed below are informative blog posts with practical discussions of common sport-related concussion symptoms and concerns with helpful treatment recommendations.
Please click on each bullet point to access the particular article

What is a Concussion?

Concussions do not necessarily require being hit in the head or getting knocked out. The full definition of a concussion is any fall, blow, or trauma that causes physical, emotional, or mental changes with or without loss of consciousness.

Common Visual Problems After Concussion

With formal names like Convergence Insufficiency and Saccadic Dysfunction you might indeed think that this stuff is far too technical to grasp,  but in reality, these issues strike at the very heart of some basic life functions.

How Many Concussions Are Too Many?

Experts Debate: How Many Concussion are Too Many for an Athlete?

How to Guide Reading, Schoolwork, TV, Friends, SmartPhone and even Video Games after Concussion

In the midst of the usual complexities of recovering from a sports-related concussion, I have found that one simple mantra of “re-start activity in 15-20 minutes blocks” can be an anxiety reducing guideline.

Tips on Dealing with Post-Concussion Headaches

Given that headaches are the most common symptom after concussion and often the last to fully resolve,  I spend a good amount of time with my patients discussing headache triggers, anticipated healing course, and how to reduce headache intensity and duration

Concussion Home Exercises

The following exercises are to only be started under the expressed guidance of a trained concussion specialist after an appropriate evaluation with discussion of an overall post-concussion treatment plan. 

VISUAL EXERCISES

PENCIL PUSH-UPS FOR CONVERGENCE INSUFFICIENCY

  • Hold a pencil, with the tip facing up, at arm’s length in front of your face
  • Focus your eyes on the tip of the pencil.
  • Bring the pencil toward your nose slowly. Continue to focus on the pencil tip.
  • Note when instead of seeing one pencil, you see two pencils. Hold the pencil still and focus on it for 10 seconds.
  • Move the pencil slowly back to its original position.
  • Repeat the process for 1 minute.
  • Take a 1-minute break to rest your eyes.
  • Resume the pencil push-ups. Do three sets total of the pencil push-ups. Each set should consist of moving and focusing on the pencil for 1 minute and resting your eyes for 1 minute.
  • Repeat the three sets of pencil push-ups three times a day

 

SACCADES EXERCISES (HORIZONTAL)

Place 2 “Post It” Notes on wall at eye level, about 12 inches apart. Stand about 3 feet from the wall

OR

Stretch out your arms in front of you and hold up index fingers at eye level about 12 inches apart
Keep head still during all exercises, move only the eyes.
Start exercise by quickly  looking at the target to your right.
Then quickly move your gaze from the right to the left target, then back from left to right target.
Repeat the back and forth eye motions for one minute
Repeat the one minute exercises three times a day

 

SACCADES EXERCISES (VERTICAL)

Place 2 “Post It” Notes on wall  about 12 inches apart. Line one  on top, about 6 inches above eye level, and the bottom one about 6 inches below eye level. Stand about 3 feet from the wall.

OR

Stretch out your arms in front of you and line up index fingers about 12 inches apart, with one  finger about 6 inches above eye level and the other about 6 inches below eye level.
Keep head still during all exercises, move only the eyes.
Start exercise by quickly looking at the upper target with just your eyes.
Then quickly move your gaze from the upper to the lower target, then back from lower to upper target.
Repeat the upper and down eye motions for one minute
Repeat the one minute exercises three times a day

 

VESTIBULAR OCULAR REFLEX EXERCISES

Place 1 “Post It” Note on the wall at eye level and stand about 3 feet from the wall

OR

Stretch out your right arm and hold up index finger at eye level and right in front of your nose
Start exercise by holding target steady and turning head from right to left while keeping eye gaze on the target.
Repeat the back and forth motion for one minute. Then rest for one minute.
Next, keep target steady but move head up and down while keeping eye gaze on the target
Repeat the up and down motion for one minute.
Repeat both the side-to-side and up-down exercises three times a day

VESTIBULAR/BALANCE EXERCISES

ONE LEG BALANCE

Stand on one foot while brushing teeth, brushing hair, or even texting
Hold one-foot standing position for 30 seconds
Repeat on other foot
Can do 3 repetitions per day

 

TANDEM GAIT

Heel to Toe Walking with eyes open forward 5-10 steps, then backward 5-10 steps
Can repeat 3 times
If tolerated OK, then forward and backward Heel to Toe Walking with eyes closed
Can repeat 3 times

 

INDIVIDUAL BALL EXERCISES

Throwing a small ball from hand to hand (above eye level) first seated, then standing, then turning around
Can do for one minute

Throwing a ball from hand to hand under knee, first seated, then standing, then turning around
Can do for one minute

 

ADVANCED BALL EXERCISES

Walk circle around another person who will throw you a ball, and you will catch and return
Can do for one minute, rest one minute, with up to three repetitions
Light basketball shooting and rebounding (no impact or collision with others),dribbling OK if noise does not bother
Light table tennis

WE’RE IN THIS TOGETHER.

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