Kinetics Physiotherapy & Rehabilitation Hints: Time to get serious about concussion


June is Men’s Health month so this edition of Kinetics Physiotherapy & Rehabilitation Hints focuses on concussion, a hot topic (that affects both men and women!) across a number of sports at the moment.  Recently there have been a number of athletes retiring due to multiple concussions including Steve Devine, Ben Afeaki and Lance Hohaia.  Ben Afeaki retired after a third concussion in three years, citing ongoing issues including nausea, ‘fogginess’ and concentration issues.

Concussion is classified as a traumatic brain injury.  To label it anything other is to gloss over the severity of this injury.  The damage to the brain reduces neural activation; therefore the brain has to work harder to function.  As a result, physical or mental exertion before the brain has recovered can lead to post-concussion syndrome or prolonged symptoms.  Sustaining another concussion soon after the first (called ‘second impact syndrome’) can cause exponential and permanent damage.

A concussion does not always result in the athlete being knocked unconscious. Common complaints include headaches, visual disturbances (blurred, double vision or difficulty focusing), dizziness, loss of concentration and memory, balance and coordination deficits.  Concussion in youth athletes is particularly concerning as their brain is far more vulnerable.  The International Rugby Union requires a minimum 3 week stand-down for senior players, and longer for under-19 year old athletes.

Men’s Health month is a time when men are encouraged to ditch the “get hard” mentality and take control of their wellbeing.  If you, your child or someone in the sports team you’re involved in has had a concussion – take control and urge them to seek medical advice.  In the first instance a concussion assessment by a Sports doctor/physio is a good place to start, with Kinetics Physiotherapy & Rehabilitation happy to arrange these at short notice if needed.

AUT Millennium members receive priority booking and a discount on all physiotherapy treatments and musculoskeletal screening, so make sure to mention that when you book!

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After well over a decade working as a musculoskeletal physiotherapist; David joined the team at Kinetics stepping into the role of Principal and owner. David has worked with the Championship winning NZ Breakers basketball team and continues in a role as a touring physiotherapist with Athletics New Zealand. Previously David has worked as a consultant sports physio to Triathlon USA and Triathlon Canada working alongside multiple Olympians including Rio 2016 Gold Medalist Gwen Jorgenssen. With his own background as a World Championship representative duathlete, David combines his clinical knowledge with a personal understanding of the demands in high performance sport. David has a strong interest in gym based rehabilitation and is passionate about injury prevention for youth athletes. This has led to completing post-graduate studies in spinal manipulation, sports physiotherapy, dry needling, injury prevention and more. In addition to clinical physiotherapy; David works weekly as a post-surgical consultant to orthopaedic surgeon Mr Warren Leigh. This has involved developing post-surgical rehab protocols and an expertise in custom knee bracing for complex injuries.