Abstract

Background/Purpose: The purpose of this in-depth literature analysis is to see if in patients with post-concussion symptoms, vestibular rehabilitation therapy (VRT) can improve balance and dizziness. A concussion is also known as a mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI) and will be used interchangeably.

Case Description: This analysis is centered around a young, athletic male whom reported to an outpatient orthopedic clinic with persistent balance problems and dizziness following a head trauma during a football game with friends.

Outcomes: Though there is little high-level evidence, current studies show that VRT can improve patient outcomes in regards to balance issues and dizziness. There is no set recommendation for either the evaluation or the treatment of a mTBI.

Discussion: While VRT needs to be tailored for each individual, the lack of recommendations makes it difficult to do a thorough evaluation of an individual with a mTBI. Most therapists do not have vestibular specializations and/or in-depth training on concussion evaluation and treatment. Without anything set in place, inexperienced therapists may miss an impairment of the patient that could lead to prolongation of symptoms, or miss a pertinent referral to another provider.

Document Type

Capstone

Degree Name

Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT)

First Advisor

MaryBeth Barkocy

Keywords

Vestibular, balance, dizziness, concussion, rehabilitation, physical therapy

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