Amity Physical Therapy Launches Comprehensive Concussion Program at All Offices
Most major impact sports are becoming more keenly aware of the importance or preventing excessive head injury and the potential long-term effects of concussion. Although the emphasis is stressed with protocols at the elite college and professional levels, there seems to be a large gap in the younger athletes in town sports, junior and high schools. This is particularly common with coordination between the various medical personnel needed and the varied symptoms concussions can cause.
Concussion therapy can consist of several areas of concern. In the realm of physical therapy, it can be broken down into 4 major categories: Neck/Cervical spine, vestibular (inner ear sensory system that creates the sense of balance and spatial orientation for the purpose of coordinating movement), visual system and physical exertional stress testing.
In addition to the physical exam and screening for these areas, the adjunct use of ImPact computerized testing will help assess cognitive things like memory recall, reaction time, and coordinated eye movement. It’s an FDA approved effective tool for comparing a person’s neurocognitive state before a concussion occurs.
The actual coordination of services can be challenging at best. The majority of clinicians can ascertain that a patient has suffered a concussion, but not all are trained to treat it. Referring to specialists can often lead to excessive wait time and long periods of gapped time before patient receives effective treatment. Also, sometimes multiple systems can be involved, which would benefit from concomitant treatment at one site versus having to see multiple providers fragmentally. Finally, not every clinician utilizes the ImPact testing and interpretation piece – which can add a layer of assessment to adjunct what physical exams cannot do entirely.
Our program is designed to take on these challenges. First, every patient treated for concussion will be assigned a concussion clinician coordinator, which will assist in the logistics of obtaining the needed treatment services, as well as act as a liaison to ensure timely follow-ups with patients physicians – this will greatly reduce unnecessary lead times.
We also offer baseline and post injury ImPact testing on site. Your concussion coordinator will also be responsible to help assist pre and post testing interpretation with our medical director and/or the patients’ individual physician (if that doctor is ImPact certified).
All five of our locations have therapists that are ImPact certified and can offer effective diagnosis and treatment encompassing cervical, vestibular and visual systems. After evaluation, we will determine the extent and formulate the individual treatment regime.
As for the final piece, through our robust fitness centers, we will also perform quantitative physical exertion testing with sports related activities. This is an important piece that measures your vitals through exertional testing, particularly important for athletes looking to return to play safely and timely.
Dow – “I am proud of our ability to offer such a comprehensive program and scale it throughout New Haven County. Our size and resources really help cover several towns and can reproduce throughout.
I really feel it helps solve some of the problems with athletes getting effective and immediate care. It will help kids get back to their sports quicker and safely. More importantly, it will also hold kids back from going back too early and risking greater injury and long-term problems. Finally, this program helps coordinate communications with patients, their parents, coaches and the clinicians in order to facilitate safe, effective, and timely results. Frankly, it is a win for all.”
Michael Dow MSPT, and CEO/Clinical Director of Amity Physical Therapy, founded the practice 18 years ago, and now has five offices in Woodbridge, Hamden, Branford, Milford and Wallingford. He received his degree from Sacred Heart University and is recognized by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services for his work with the national Multiple Sclerosis Society. He works with patients of all ages, pediatrics to geriatrics, as well as local high school and college athletes. Michael can be reached at 203-389-4593 or visit amitypt.com.