Sports are a great activity for children and teens. Whether it is on the ﬁeld, the court, the track, even the backyard, they get to play. With sports, youngsters and teens are physically active, learn about teamwork, develop self-esteem and camaraderie, and are kept busy. The downside is the possibility of injury. And sometimes that injury is more than just a scrape or a scruff, or even a broken bone. Some-times, it is a concussion.
A concussion is a type of traumatic brain injury caused by a blow to the head or body, a fall, or another injury that jars or shakes the brain inside the skull. Although there may be cuts or bruises on the head or face, there may be no other visible signs of a brain injury.
One need not pass out or lose consciousness to have a concussion. Some people will have obvious symptoms of a concussion, such as passing out or forgetting what happened right before the injury. But other people won’t. With rest, most people are able to fully recover from a concussion. Some people recover within a few hours. Other people take a few weeks to recover. For still others, recovery can take months and months.
Danit Macklin, owner and director of the Teaneck – based Balance and Concussion Therapy Center, uses “evidence-based current research” to help facilitate the road to recovery for people, including youngsters, who have suffered from a concussion, she said.
Her private physical therapy practice treats vestibular and post concussion patients of any age—pediatric up to geriatric patients. She also offers concussion management services, individually as well as to schools, clubs and organizations.
Ms. Macklin has a doctorate degree in physical therapy and advanced certification in vestibular and concussion testing and treatment. She has been affiliated with Hackensack University Medical Center for more than 10 years in the pediatric physical therapy department where she provides inpatient care in the neonatal and pediatric Intensive care units as well as outpatient services.
She decided to launch her practice to ll the need caused by the absence of other post-concussion treatment centers that offer care to patients with prolonged symptoms and diagnoses of post concussion syndrome.
The conventional wisdom in concussion treatment has been to rest and wait. But, said Ms. Macklin, “People are unaware of the things that can be done to recover from a concussion.” According to Ms. Macklin, it is important to know that after a concussion the brain is more sensitive to damage. So while recovering, it is critical to avoid activities that might injure you again.
In addition to the testing and therapies she offers, Ms. Macklin educates patients and their families about the signs, symptoms, and the overall picture of what a concussion is and the multiple areas potentially affected. Schools, teams, clubs and other groups are given information about prevention and what to do when an injury is suspected or occurs.
Likewise, patients are given information about managing symptoms using scheduling and energy conservation techniques. Realistic goals and expectations regarding timelines and recovery trajectories after injury are reviewed with patients and families. She works with patient’s doctors and their schools and sports teams to support appropriate accommodations for the safest and quickest return to full participation.