New Concussion Program Offers Comprehensive Approach to Treatment and Recovery

02/28/2017

Concussion is a growing problem in the United States, especially in adolescents. Now those who are suffering from the effects of a concussion have a local, comprehensive evaluation and treatment option to help them get back to work, school, or play.
 
“We believe that in many cases, the treatment of concussion should be multidisciplinary,” says Duska Thurston, MD, the medical director of EMMC’s new Concussion Management Program. “Patients who come to our clinic will be able to see a concussion-trained physician, physical therapist, and psychologist at the same appointment. Patients will also have access to a physician trained in osteopathic manipulation, a hands-on approach that may alleviate symptoms.”
 
The clinic treats anyone who has concussion symptoms, including athletes who experience head impact during play as well as children or adults who have symptoms caused by a trauma or fall. The program facilitates 504 plans that ensure students who suffer a concussion receive the proper accommodations in the classroom.
 
Concussion symptoms include headache, particularly if it persists or gets worse; nausea and vomiting; slurred speech; and numbness, weakness, or decreased coordination. Some people may not experience any symptoms at first. A myth about concussion is that it is o.k. to “wait it out” and see if symptoms improve, but the safest bet is to see a healthcare professional as soon as possible, or for severe symptoms, to go to the emergency room. The healthcare provider will refer patients who could benefit from a comprehensive approach to EMMC’s Concussion Management Program.
 
“Once we receive a referral, we will set up an appointment with a provider who is trained in impact testing, and then the patient will be seen by several other healthcare providers,” adds Dr. Thurston. “Most patients can expect to be at the clinic for between one and three hours.”
 
If appointments with other specialist are needed, the Concussion Management Program staff will make the referrals and coordinate the patient’s care.
 
“Our goal is to provide a more comprehensive program that can offer more in-depth care than can be provided in other settings,” adds Dr. Thurston. “We work closely with EMMC Sports Health, primary care providers, and others to ensure patients receive the care they need to recover as quickly and completely as possible.”
 
The Concussion Management Program is located at EMMC Family Medicine and Residency, EMMC Healthcare Mall, 895 Union Street in Bangor. More information is available by calling (207)973-7979 or visiting concussion.emmc.org.