Acute Concussion Management Burnaby

Expert Physio Acute Concussion Management

One of the many potentially serious injuries we treat here at Expert Physio is concussions, or traumatic brain injury (TBI). There are two phases to TBI: the acute phase and the post-concussion phase. It is critically important that once you have been diagnosed with this condition, you participate in acute concussion management immediately. Our experienced Complete Concussion Management Institute PTs (CCMI certified) can guide you in optimal recovery.

Why Is Expert Physio the Right Choice for Your Acute Concussion Recovery?

We have partnered up with Complete Concussion Management Inc. (CCMI), which is a worldwide organization focusing on evidence-based concussion care. We take an integrated approach and will work directly with your health care provider to assist them in providing you with the best recovery. Current research tells us that your recovery is not something that should be put on hold. Rehabilitation in the acute phase addresses your cognitive (brain) functions and healing, so it is vitally important.

How Is a Concussion Diagnosed?

A concussion is a functional brain injury caused by a blow or sudden acceleration and deceleration to the head, neck, or body, with forces transmitted to the brain. While the structure of the brain doesn’t change, how it functions does.

Concussion signs and symptoms can be a bit confusing, and each person may experience these differently. Some show up immediately after injury while others present hours or even days later. Some signs and symptoms are quite benign and common, while others are considered red flags and can be an indication that something more serious is going on.

When suspecting a concussion, one or more of the 22 main symptoms may be present, although some symptoms are a little more general than others. For instance, many different conditions may cause a headache or dizziness. Due to this, the diagnosis of a concussion also factors in the mechanism of injury. Was the person hit in some way? Did they undergo acceleration or deceleration of the head, neck, or body? How soon after the injury did the symptoms begin? In this way, we look for any of the 22 symptoms of a concussion that closely follow a significant mechanism of injury.

As you can see, diagnosing a concussion can be tricky, which is why we always advise working with health professionals trained in concussion management.

Our Priorities Here at Expert Physio:


To reduce or eliminate your pain and discomfort.


To speed up the healing process and ensure proper healing.


To educate you as to how you can be proactive in your recovery.


To restore your quality of life to the fullest potential.

Benefits of Concussion Treatment

A concussion recovery plan can help with a wide variety of conditions including:

Acute and chronic sport-related injuries or any other playground injuries

Orthopaedic injuries

Chronic pain

Mental health issues

Motor vehicle accidents

Acute care

Spinal cord injury

Myofascial pain

Neurological pain

Musculoskeletal conditions

Muscular injuries

Acute injuries

Pain and joint-related problems

Mild traumatic brain injury

The Treatment Process

The first stage of recovery from your concussion will most likely be prescribed by your physician; which will be relative rest. Here at Expert Physio, we receive many referrals from over three hundred physicians throughout the lower mainland and from CCMI for the management and treatment of concussions. Our multidisciplinary team has the education and extensive experience to guide you appropriately; even in the acute phase of care to get you back to optimal health.

The acute phase lasts up to 48 hours after the injury has been received. After this, you may still be experiencing some of the post-concussion symptoms such as:

  • Nausea
  • Headaches
  • Dizziness
  • Vision problems
  • Concentration issues
  • Mood swings
  • Sleep pattern interruption
  • Sensitivity to light and sound
  • Lack of attention to usual activities
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Neurological impairment
  • Impaired body awareness

These post-concussive symptoms can occur immediately or may not show until several days or weeks following the injury. These are the symptoms that our professionals will help you deal with, and recover from, in our acute concussion rehabilitation.

Our first step in helping you with your recovery will be to intake your past health history, and your present health history, followed by a comprehensive initial assessment. These findings will help us create an effective treatment plan that is going to deal with your signs and symptoms to ensure the healing process is progressing properly.

The treatment for this acute stage includes constant monitoring as you gradually increase your cognitive activities. This is done in stages, and your symptoms are carefully watched during each phase of your treatment.

f you are newly diagnosed with a concussion or are frustrated with the effects that your concussion is having on your life, call us today at 604-265-5968 to get started on appropriate recovery!

What Is a Concussion?


A concussion is a traumatic brain injury, otherwise known as a TBI, affecting how your brain functions. There are three categories of TBI: Mild, moderate, and severe. It was previously thought that Concussion was a separate category that sat prior to the mild TBI category. However, Brain Injury is viewed as a continuum of injury, with the term ‘Concussion’ being synonymous with the term ‘Mild Traumatic Brain Injury’ (mTBI). Although a concussion is termed a ‘mild’ traumatic brain injury, it is important to recognize that the effects of a concussion can be serious!

What Causes a Concussion?


A concussion is a functional brain injury caused by a blow or sudden acceleration and deceleration to the head, neck, or body, with forces transmitted to the brain. While the structure of the brain doesn’t change, how it functions does.

What Happens to the Brain During a Concussion?


Stretching of your brain nerve cells (the electrical circuitry or communication system of the brain), causes a chemical change to occur. Put simply, some of the molecules outside swap over with some of the molecules inside the cell due to the opening of tiny channels in the cell membrane or its exterior surface. This exchange results in your brain cells becoming “excited”, which is how the cells in a normal state communicate and pass messages along. For example, for your arm to move, many cells need to pass a message along from the brain to the arm, connecting with the correct muscles and resulting in the arm lifting in the direction intended.

Is a Concussion Serious?


A single concussion won’t cause permanent damage to your brain. However, structural changes in your brain may be caused by multiple concussions over a lifetime. Fortunately, concussion is usually not life-threatening. But, the effects of a concussion can be serious and last for weeks or even months.

What Are the Symptoms of Concussion?


Concussions happen all around us every day. It’s estimated that 1 out of 3 Canadians has experienced one or more concussive events over the course of his/her lifetime. While most people bounce back quickly after experiencing a concussion, others suffer from some obvious symptoms such as headaches, dizziness, memory loss, fatigue, irritability, difficulty concentrating, poor sleep quality, mood swings, anxiety, depression, emotional lability, impaired balance, coordination, speech problems, vision changes, nausea, vomiting, sensitivity to light and sound, and other issues.

In fact, according to recent statistics, about 10% of those who sustain a head injury go on to develop Post Traumatic Stress Disorder within three months of being injured.

How Long Can a Concussion Last?


Concussion injuries have two distinct phases.

The initial ‘excitation’ phase uses a lot of energy in the brain, meaning that in the following hours to days, there is a reduction in brain energy levels commonly termed the ‘spreading depression’ phase.

This secondary phase is often accompanied by further symptoms such as drowsiness and extreme fatigue. After reaching a peak low in brain energy stores at approximately 5 days post-injury, energy levels are gradually restored to normal.

Studies have shown this energy recovery can take anywhere between 22 to 45 days post-injury. The biggest risk is that most people will generally feel better between 7 to 10 days and the brain remains highly vulnerable until energy levels have been fully restored. As such it is important to ensure full recovery from a concussion has been achieved prior to being cleared to return to sport.

In summary, a concussion is a temporary injury occurring due to an acceleration/deceleration force to the head, neck, or body, resulting in a transient change in brain FUNCTION. As a functional injury, concussions do NOT damage the structure of the brain, and as such will not be evident on structural brain scans or imaging.

Early intervention of treatment and rehabilitation can help you get back to doing the things you love. Always ensure to follow the guidance of your healthcare provider.

How Much Does It Cost?


A different number of treatments and different types of treatments are required by every person when it comes to recovering from a concussion. The costs will be different, but you should find them affordable. These sessions may be partially or completely funded if you have extended medical benefits that cover it.

Kind Words From Our Clients

Expert Physio has been a haven of treatment and care for me over the last 2+ years. I’ve been working with one of the owners Darin, who specializes in vestibular physio, recovery rehab as well as IMS. He has educated me on the concussion recovery curve as well as how to maximize my daily activities. Darin’s schedule is very full, but he always finds time for his patients, and I would recommend him to anyone needing education and recovery from an accident.

Sam C.