At Wellington Sports Med we offer an acute concussion service which is aimed at optimising the recovery of patients who have a suspected acute concussion or other head/neck related injury.
How do I access this service?
While only a medical practitioner/GP can diagnose a concussion, physiotherapists have the relevant diverse skill-set to treat and manage concussion.
Being primary health providers, physiotherapists may be the first to suspect a concussion. In this case, we are able to lodge a claim with ACC to assess and treat the musculoskeletal contributors. You will then be referred by your physiotherapist to a medical practitioner who will assess you for concussion and can add this diagnosis to your existing ACC claim.
Once your concussion has been diagnosed by a medical practitioner you can return to physiotherapy to begin to manage the concussion or concussion-like symptoms immediately. This may be through aerobic exercise prescription, cervical spine treatment, and vestibulo-ocular rehabilitation. We will then (where appropriate) work alongside your employer, school, team/club/coach, and the medical practitioner, to feedback our findings and ensure optimal rehabilitation and return to work, school, or sport.
Please note this service differs from the fully funded ACC concussion services contract. Under the concussion service contract, current research suggests that mean time from injury to initial assessment was 46.2 days and then it may take a further 2 - 4 weeks until the assessment phase is complete and rehabilitation can begin. However if you (the patient) meet certain eligibility criteria we can talk to you about the possibility of also utilising the concussion services contract, alongside our acute concussion service to ensure we optimise your recovery.
Why is it important to seek medical advice as soon as possible?
The current guidelines state that the assessment and management of concussion should start as soon as possible. This is to ensure that the right advice is given early, ie relative physical and cognitive rest for 24 - 48 hours, but then individualised gentle aerobic exercise, and neck treatment can be prescribed. By offering this acute concussion service we aim to minimise the number of patients having delayed recovery or post-concussion syndrome and therefore requiring the concussion services contract. Research supports that early access to high-quality concussion assessment and rehabilitation improves return to work, school, and sports outcomes.
For more information about this acute concussion service please email firstname.lastname@example.org
For more information about our concussion protocols, please see the document below: