The Concussion Rehab Clinic at Advanced Neuro Rehab
We have been working very hard behind the scenes to ensure our staff remain at the forefront of concussion management. Our extensive experience in the rehabilitation of people with traumatic brain injury and vestibular disorders gives us essential clinical knowledge in this field, and we have been closely following the progress made in concussion diagnosis and management in sport also.
In 2017 when teaching in Johannesburg, Nicole (Our Senior Lead Physiotherapist) & I met with Professor Jon Patricios (founder & Director of Sports Concussion South Africa) and Megyn Robertson, (Physiotherapist running the concussion clinics). This helped us gain some insight into how concussion rehabilitation was evolving, particularly in the world of rugby union. It has been interesting to follow the evidence around diagnosis and management during this time and follow the development and subsequent implementation of the concussion guidelines. Many ANR staff have undertaken professional development training from some of the leading research experts in concussion management including Professor Barry Willer, Associate Professor Kathryn Schneider and in 2019 we invited Dr Julia Treleaven to come down from University of Queensland to train our staff further in the management of whiplash, neck pain and headache as part of a comprehensive concussion rehabilitation program.
Over the past 3 years, ANR has committed an enormous amount of time and resources into continuing to train all our neurological physiotherapy staff in a clear concussion assessment protocol, to ensure our use of gold standard, evidence-based practice. As new research becomes available, we are ready to review and evaluate its use in our service.
Our Clinical Lead Physiotherapist, Liz Jemson-Ledger has been instrumental in supporting our concussion rehab service both through internal professional development and ongoing research. We have also made some important relationships to support elite sporting organisations including the South Australian Cricket Association, and our 2 AFL clubs Port Adelaide and Adelaide Football Club. This is exciting as we further implement best practice in the context of specific sports, but we also understand the important role these big organisations like the AFL have in education and supporting the community via their own guidelines. That is why we also engage in educational talks to local sporting clubs and schools to provide some clear guidance & information. Return to work, schoolwork and sport requires a consistent and supportive team of individuals that include parents, teachers, coaches, trainers, nurses, and GPs.
Future innovation in concussion management is moving at a rapid pace. We aim to stay at the forefront of clinical practice, and we will continue to evaluate and review the use of new technology that has the potential to enhance our practice and improve outcomes for people who have suffered a concussion. In 2021 and 2022 we are evaluating the role of Neuroflex, BioEye and MOVE-IT devices. These are all unique devices that may enhance ways we assess and treat concussion the future. We have been fortunate to meet and collaborate with these companies and assist them with important research.
The role of Neurological Physiotherapy in concussion is quite extensive and includes vestibular, ocular, cervical (Neck), balance/coordination, autonomic function, exertional exercises and headache assessment/management. In addition, we screen for other important issues that need to be managed effectively including sleep, visual dysfunction, cognitive function, migraine, anxiety and depression. Over many years we have built important relationships with some of the very best health professionals in South Australia, who also share our interested in concussion. These include Neuropsychologists, Psychologists, Physicians, Orthoptists, Neuro Ophthalmologists, Neurologists, and exercise physiologists. This growing network gives us confidence in providing a more complete support structure for our patients.
In 2022 we have just launched Advanced Neuro Education, an educational site for online courses, events and sharing of interesting clinical information. We have been involved in professional development since 2005, and this new site allows us to expand the scope to increase the supportive and educational needs of health professionals. We are looking forward to running the ‘Concussion – a compressive guide to management’ online education course soon and will also support this with education events and webinars. We will continue to provide face to face education and advice to specific groups and organisations.
Concussion and traumatic brain injury is serious business. As you can see, Advanced Neuro Rehab is committed to providing the best care and rehabilitation to our patients, while engaging in research and education through this time of rapid and exciting change.
If you require any further information about our concussion rehab service, education or research please contact either
Liz Jemson-Ledger, Clinical Lead Physiotherapist, ANR [email protected],au
Associate Professor James McLoughlin, Director, ANR [email protected]