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Concussion Terms

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Concussion Terms
scope of practice
The services a regulated health care practitioner is permitted to perform in keeping with the terms of their professional license and college regulations.
interdisciplinary care
Health care/services provided by a grouping of different types of practitioners, often multiple disciplines. Interdisciplinary care requires collaboration and communication around the needs of the patient, respecting practice scopes and the qualifications brought by the different providers. It may also be known as inter-professional practice.
prolonged symptoms
A variety of physical, cognitive, emotional and behavioral symptoms that may endure for weeks or months following a concussion.
Information and treatments that are supported by rigorously executed scientific research.
post-concussion care
Health care or services provided over time to individuals who have sustained a concussion, beginning with assessment and diagnosis from a specifically qualified professional.
PCP (primary care provider)
A physician or nurse practitioner who sees people who have common medical problems and can provide comprehensive management of a health issue. This person provides continuing care to patients and coordinates referrals to other health care practitioners.
A standard test by which things are measured or compared.
a term used to describe cognitive functions closely linked to the function of particular areas, neural pathways, or cortical networks in the brain.
A specialty of psychology concerned with the study of the relationships between the brain and behavior, including the use of psychological tests and assessment techniques to diagnose specific cognitive and behavioral deficits.
norms or normative
A statistical description of the test performance of a well-defined group that serves as a reference by which to gauge the performance of the other individuals who take the test
Also referred to as a clinical pathway, a trajectory helps us understand what system or systems in the brain have been affected due to concussion. We have identified six unique clinical trajectories that may be present, both in isolation and overlapping with other trajectories. Every trajectory requires specific treatment, which is reflected in the patient’s individual treatment plan.
vestibular system
The sensory system that is responsible for balance and spatial orientation. It includes parts of your brain and inner ear, and provides information regarding head movements and positions to maintain visual and balance control. Common symptoms associated with a vestibular concussion include dizziness, fogginess, and nausea. Patients presenting with vestibular involvement will be referred for a more thorough evaluation and possibly vestibular therapy.
visual motion sensitivity
The ability to focus on a moving target while moving (e.g., watching cars go by while you are driving). is common in individuals with vestibular problems following a concussion. Through vestibular therapy, we are able to help the brain reintegrate space and motion.
Related to eyes and vision. It is not just how well we see, but also the patterns of our eye movements. If our eyes are not moving properly, it is common to develop symptoms (e.g., headache, fatigue) that make tasks associated with work and school (reading, computer use) uncomfortable.
physical exertion
This is another term for exercise.
cognitive exertion
This is another term for putting forth mental energy for cognitive tasks such as attention and memory.
exposure-recovery model
This is part of our approach to concussion rehabilitation, which entails exposing yourself to provocative situations and environments (e.g., shopping malls, restaurants) until symptoms increase to about a 3 or 4 on a scale of 1-10, then removing yourself to allow for recovery (e.g., symptoms go away). Each time you do this, recovery time should be shorter, which is a good sign of progress!
The sensation of feeling lightheaded and/or unsteady. It may feel like the room is spinning or a slow, wavy sensation (like you are on a boat).
The feeling of being detached from yourself, as if you are thinking slower than normal and one step behind mentally.
Feeling chronically tired and becoming more exhausted than normal after routine activities.
TBI (traumatic brain injury)
A TBI is caused by a bump, blow, or jolt to the head that disrupts the normal function of the brain. Not all blows or jolts to the head result in a TBI. The severity of a TBI may range from “mild” (i.e., a brief change in mental status or consciousness) to “severe” (i.e., an extended period of unconsciousness or memory loss after the injury). Most TBIs that occur each year are mild, commonly called concussions.2
A concussion is a traumatic brain injury that affects your brain function. Effects are usually temporary but can include headaches and problems with concentration, memory, balance and coordination.
cognitive rest
Cognitive rest is rest for the brain, just like physical rest is rest for the body. Resting conserves energy and allows the body and brain to use it for recovery.
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