PM&R Physicians: The Quarterbacks of Concussion Management

concussion managementSuccessful teams have one thing in common—a leader who guides all members toward a shared goal.  A good example is a quarterback who leads his team to victory.

At Good Shepherd Rehabilitation’s Concussion Management Program, physical medicine and rehabilitation (PM&R) physicians guide a team of rehabilitation specialists in evaluating and treating patients. Our shared goal is to relieve our patients’ post-concussion pain and restore their physical and cognitive function.

Rehabilitation physicians are medical doctors who have completed training in the medical specialty of physical medicine and rehabilitation (PM&R). In addition to diagnosing and treating pain, rehabilitation physicians:

  • Restore maximum function lost through injury, illness or disabling conditions
  • Treat the whole person, not just the problem area
  • Lead a team of medical professionals
  • Provide non-surgical treatments
  • Explain your medical problems and treatment/prevention plan

PM&R physicians at Good Shepherd coordinate the activities of a team of experts that includes: 

  • Clinical neuropsychologists
  • Licensed psychologists
  • Physical therapists
  • Occupational therapists
  • Speech therapists

Assessment
Typically, patients are first diagnosed in the emergency room or a physician’s office following a blow to the head, fall or motor vehicle accident. Injuries like whiplash that jostle the brain within the skull also cause concussions.

At the Concussion Management Program, our initial assessment begins with a comprehensive history and physical examination. This includes the patient’s detailed description of symptoms that might consist of any, or a combination, of the following:

  • Headache
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Dizziness
  • Mental fogginess
  • Lack of concentration
  • Irritability

We use a computerized testing instrument called ImPACT to establish cognitive baselines, evaluate post-concussive symptoms and measure progress throughout treatment. Based on findings from the initial assessment, we direct patients to receive additional evaluation or treatment as needed.

Services we might prescribe include:

As a team leader, I continuously adjust the plan of treatment based on information from the patient, therapists and other physician specialists. Nothing makes me and my team members happier than to see a patient who came to us with significant problems leave our program free of any symptoms.

For more information on Good Shepherd's programs and services, call 1-888-44-REHAB (73422) or contact us.

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