These are—if you'll pardon the expression—heady times for the role of physical therapists (PTs) in care management of people with concussion. Research advances and work being done by PT clinicians across the country have firmly established PTs' place at this table.
"There's an ever-stronger evidence base to what we're doing in the treatment arena," says Anne Mucha, PT, DPT, coordinator of vestibular rehabilitation for the Sports Concussion Program and Centers for Rebab Services at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC)—a global leader in testing, treating, and researching sports-related concussions.
"Better and better data lends support to how PTs—as members of multidisciplinary, multifaceted health care teams—consider, manage, and create treatment pathways for concussion in optimal and efficacious ways," says Mucha, a board-certified clinical specialist in neurologic physical therapy. She offers as examples 2 recent findings—1 study showing the benefits of cervicovestibular rehabilitation in decreasing time to medical clearance1 and another indicating slower symptom resolution in a group of adolescents prescribed strict rest, as opposed to "usual care."2