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How physical therapy can help treat Post-Concussion Syndrome

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Concussions are becoming increasingly common for people who play sports with physical contact. While typical recovery from a concussion can take from a few hours up to a few weeks, sometimes symptoms may last longer than normal. Post-concussion syndrome (PCS) is when typical concussion-related symptoms last for weeks, months or occasionally a year after a concussion. PCS is also possible when someone has been in a car accident or fallen and hit their head.

Symptoms of a concussion include:

  • Nausea, vomiting
  • Dizziness
  • Double vision/blurred vision
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Memory problems
  • Headaches, pressure in the head
  • Neck pain
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Sensitivity to light and/or noise
  • Feeling in a fog/not feeling “right”
  • Fatigue, low energy, depression, anxiety
  • Change in irritability, more emotional or change in personality

Females and young people are at a higher risk for PCS, as are those who have already experienced three or more concussions. Other risk factors are preexisting conditions such as migraines or learning disabilities. Continue Reading »

Pre-Concussion Testing for Kids

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Did you know that 50 percent of concussions may go unreported? Head injuries are on the rise for athletes at all levels of play. It is estimated that between 1.6 and 3.8 million concussions occur in the U.S. each year during competitive sports and recreational activities.* My fellow licensed athletic trainers (LATs) and I have become very concerned with these statistics, which is why we have partnered with ImPACT in an effort to provide state-of-the-art concussion care to athletes throughout the Fox Valley.

What is the Community Baseline Project?
It is a program that offers a Baseline ImPACT computerized test for any local athlete who does not already have access to a cognitive test through their club or school. These tests are to be done before a concussion occurs in order to establish a baseline or “normal” cognitive score.

The test costs $10 and takes about 25 minutes to complete. Several Affinity providers, including myself, who are trained in concussion management and ImPACT testing, can administer the test. These baseline tests are suggested every two years, starting at age 11 (must be 11 years old at the time of the test). Baseline reports help serve as a comparison to a repeat ImPACT test if a concussion is suspected. This helps assess the damage caused by a concussion.

The ImPACT test is a computer-based testing of neurocognitive responses (i.e. – memory, concentration, eye-hand speed, processing and reaction). All of these are improved with good rest and healthy habits. Getting rest and proper nutrition is essential to performing at each person’s optimal level. See “how to prepare” section below for details. Continue Reading »

The ultra advantage for treating muscle, tendon and joint disorders

Whether you’re a seasoned athlete or an arthritic senior citizen, the development of pain in your muscles, tendons and joints can persist over time and slow you down. The excruciating pain that can accompany these musculoskeletal disorders requires efficient and effective treatment at a specific point of inflammation and soreness.

Innovation in ultrasound imaging create new opportunities to help with care of patients who are experiencing musculoskeletal pain. We at Affinity are now using ultrasound to treat a wide range of musculoskeletal disorders, namely for ultrasound-guided injections and therapeutic purposes.

The new injection technique, which guides the medication and anesthetic, places the needle with precision so the pain can be decreased directly at the point of inflammation. When used in conjunction with physical therapy, ultrasound-guided injection can provide long-term pain relief for musculoskeletal disorders. Continue Reading »

Sports Injury Weekend Walk In Clinic: Providing Convenient Care For Inconvenient Injuries

With fall sports season near, injuries don’t always happen during the week when it’s convenient to see an Affinity Orthopaedics and Sports Medicine provider in clinic. Athletes who experience injuries during competition might need a check-up or evaluation during the morning after the big game, which often falls on a weekend.

Although there are obvious cases where emergency care is needed, there are also less serious injuries that may require medical attention shortly after the incident. Acute injuries, such as fractures, sprains and strains, are common in athletics, but may call for assessment and treatment by a medical professional over the weekend.

With this in mind, we’d like parents to know we are now offering a Saturday morning injury walk in clinic for their junior high or high school athletes who may get injured playing sports like football, soccer or volleyball.

This clinic will be held from 8:30 am until 10:00 am every Saturday from August 25 through October 13.

The Sports Injury Walk In Clinic, will be held at Affinity’s Richmond Street Urgent Care facility in Appleton. No need to schedule an appointment, simply walk in and we will take a look at your athlete. Just as is provided at weekday appointments, I have access to X-ray, splint materials, crutches, braces and other medical supplies that allow for efficient and effective treatment of a young athlete’s injury.

So even though athletic injuries during a busy fall sports schedule are inconvenient and unpredictable, I aim to provide an accessible and valuable medical option to help young athletes return to competing and playing the games they love.

Never Stop Playing

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