Vertigo is a common symptom after a mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI). Most patients describe it as feeling like either the room is spinning or they are. Almost half of those who sustain a concussion report vertigo in the first few days after their injury. For most patients, this feeling dissipates within a few days or weeks at most, but for some, post-concussion vertigo persists for years after the trauma.
The Cognitive FX Blog
Your source for everything you need to know about traumatic brain injury and concussions.
Andy Clower, ATC
Andy is a Certified Athletic Trainer (ATC) and Z-Health Performance Master Trainer. He began his career in Orthopedics, then worked as Head Athletic Trainer and Director of Human Performance at a specialty physical therapy clinic. Here, his passion for innovative human body approaches ignited. In 2010, he founded Fitness Evolved in Berkeley, CA, focusing on a neurologically informed health and exercise paradigm. Andy mastered the Z-Health Performance Solutions system, creating brain-centric training and rehab at Fitness Evolved, serving diverse clients, including pro athletes and brain injury survivors. He's an accomplished Z-Health instructor, having trained professionals worldwide. Andy is thrilled to join Cognitive FX, contributing to our revolutionary concussion and TBI recovery techniques.
If left untreated, whiplash can cause long-term symptoms that are unlikely to go away on their own. Studies show that some patients recover within the first three months after their neck injury, but if they’re still experiencing symptoms past this period, improvement is unlikely without appropriate treatment. For example, hockey player Sidney Crosby suffered for months until doctors recognized untreated whiplash. Once he received appropriate treatment, he was able to continue with his career.
Whiplash can cause physical and neurological damage that results in long-term symptoms. In addition, the same event that caused whiplash could also have caused a concussion. (The sudden motion can cause the brain to collide with the skull even if there is no external impact on the head.) Concussions can develop into post-concussion syndrome (PCS), with symptoms persisting for months or even years.
As you read this text, your brain is processing the incoming visual information and sending directions to your eyes so they maintain focus on what you want to read. But if you have post-traumatic vision syndrome (PTVS) and your eyes do not work together efficiently, you may have a hard time keeping track of what you’re reading and develop a headache from your efforts. You may have also noticed that everyday activities that should be automatic — like reaching for an object, driving, or going shopping — require more effort.
After headaches, dizziness is the second most common symptom patients experience after a concussion. Although this symptom often resolves by itself, it becomes persistent and debilitating for some patients. If patients experience dizziness or other concussion symptoms for more than three months, they may have post-concussion syndrome (PCS).
If you have post-concussion syndrome (PCS), then you likely know how difficult it is to get an accurate diagnosis and comprehensive treatment. Many medical doctors don’t have the resources to treat PCS effectively, or they rely exclusively on pharmaceuticals that help some symptoms while making others worse. So when you find a healthcare provider who (a) actually knows what post-concussion syndrome is, and (b) claims to treat it, then it’s worth following up.
Following concussions and traumatic brain injuries (TBIs), impaired vision and vision-related symptoms are common. Signs and common symptoms include blurred vision, light sensitivity, light-related headaches, eye movement issues, and more.
Dizziness. Nausea. Balance problems. Car-sickness. These are a few of the unpleasant symptoms of vestibular dysfunction after a head injury. Fortunately, they don’t have to be permanent; most patients make rapid improvement with a good therapist.