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Effective, Research-Based Treatments for Persisting Post-Concussive Symptoms

100% success rate at decreasing symptoms associated with concussion using a patient-centered approach to your treatment.


We  do an extensive evaluation of your symptoms for specific diagnoses and tailored programs to improve recovery times

Decreased Fatigue

Specific exercises to improve blood flow to the brain and increase energy levels. 2

Improved Gaze Stability

Specific tailored exercises to improve eye tracking and coordination. 4

Return to Sport

Feel confident getting back in the game with objective and trackable tests and measures

Improve Dizziness

Vestibular rehabilitation programs to decrease symptoms of vertigo, dizziness, or unsteadiness. 3

Pain Reduction

Manual therapy and dry needling will reduce headaches and decrease neck pain. 1

Restore your Brain's Chemical Balance with Our Experts

As certified concussion specialists, we utilize the most advanced technology for rehabilitation including concussion-specific mental and physical tasks and exercises within each comprehensive treatment program. With physical therapy treatments consisting of manual therapy and heart rate-monitored symptom-based exertional tasks, we can support the most efficient mechanisms for bringing blood flow to the brain and restoring the chemical balance to aid in the healing process.

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Concussion Classification for Physical Therapy Intervention


As concussion specialists, we utilize concussion-specific visual tasks involving eye tracking, coordination, and targeting acuity movements that will improve your control and coordination. 


We utilize concussion-specific exercises to train and correct your vestibular system, weakened reflexes, and canal dysfunctions within a comprehensive treatment program.


As concussion specialists we utilize concussion specific mental and physical tasks and exercises along with manual therapy including joint manipulation and dry needling within a comprehensive treatment program to fix your neck pain.


Concussion: Symptom Classification

A concussion is a heterogeneous mild traumatic brain injury with varied symptoms, clinical presentations, and recovery pathways that generally fit within 5 categories (cognitive, ocular-motor, headache/migraine, vestibular, and anxiety/mood) and two associated conditions (cervical strain and sleep disturbances). As such, cervicocranial physiology, visual disturbance, exertional tolerance, and vestibular function must be addressed in patients seeking conservative treatment following concussion. Graded aerobic treadmill testing may be particularly useful in distinguishing physiologic, cervicogenic, and vestibular-ocular post-concussion syndrome. Special tests designed to provoke pain and/or dizziness in the structures of the upper neck and inner ear are further indicated to distinguish between cervicogenic and vestibular-ocular post-concussion subtypes.5,6

A Deep Dive Into The Science

The sections below are meant for those who are interested in the science and research about concussions that has contributed, in part, to the physical therapy treatment protocols we use at Symmetry Physical Therapy, Miami.

Young female soccer athlete is dazed while ER doctor asks her questions. The girl has an icepack on her head. The girl's mom is in the background.

Pathophysiology of Concussions

A concussion or Mild traumatic brain injury occurs secondary to trauma to the head causing an acceleration/deceleration mechanism also referred to as a coup-counter coup or shearing type of injury.  This type of injury can cause diffuse axonal shearing without damaging the skull.  This type of injury is not always visible with extensive testing CT scans or MRIs. Current scientific research realizes that every concussion is different and once you obtain one, you are more prone to having another concussion.

Concussions are generally caused by direct blows to the head, face, neck or elsewhere on the body that lead to an impulsive force that is transmitted to the head, which can disturb cell membrane and axon integrity of the neurons in the brain, resulting in disruption of metabolism.7 However, whiplash and explosions in the absence of blunt force trauma can also lead to concussions.8,9


Metabolic Effect and Symptoms of a Concussion

As Concussion specialist physical therapists we educate our patients on the metabolic process that occurs in the brain when one has sustained a concussion. There is a cascade of events which results in an “energy-crisis” that occurs within the brain at the cellular level and cannot be seen with imaging. This cascade alters glucose metabolism which requires an increase in energy demand and as well as a decrease in cerebral blood flow that will cause impaired axonal function, which may play a part in one’s symptoms.

It is of utmost importance to assist in increasing blood flow to the brain to aid in the healing process.

Symptoms of post-concussion syndrome vary but may include: headaches, dizziness, vertigo, irritability, issues with concentration and memory, photophobia, phonophobia, neck pain, sleep impairment, and difficulty managing stress.10,11

Spinal Manipulation and Mobilization for Cervicogenic-type Post Concussive Symptoms

According to the Clinical Practice Guidelines, concussion specific physical therapy must implement interventions aimed at addressing cervical and thoracic spine dysfunction, such as range of motion, postural position, and manual therapy for patients who have experienced a concussive event. All of these which can be improved with spinal manipulation and can be superior to mobilization and exercise in this patient population.

Bronfort et al. reported that mobilization and manipulation of the cervical spine were effective treatments for patients with cervicogenic headaches.12


Dry Needling for Cervicogenic-type Post Concussion Trajectory

Dry needling inactivates trigger points that are causing headaches or neck pain by eliciting a localized twitch response to clear excessive acetylcholine from neuromuscular junctions, thereby breaking the pain-spasm-pain cycle of hypertonicity, while diminishing factors of inflammation responsible for the myofascial metabolic crisis.

A recent multi-clinical site randomized control trial published by the Doctors at Symmetry Physical Therapy of 142 patients with cervicogenic headaches found that electric dry needling and spinal manipulation resulted in significant reductions in medication intake along with headache intensity, disability, frequency, and duration in patients with cervicogenic headaches.13

Vestibular Rehabilitation for Vestibular-type Post Concussive Trajectory

According to the Clinical Practice Guideline, physical therapists with appropriate expertise in vestibular and oculomotor rehabilitation should implement an individualized vestibular and oculomotor rehabilitation plan for patients who have experienced a concussive event and exhibit vestibular and/or oculomotor dysfunction. If visual vertigo/visual motion sensitivity (dizziness provoked by repetitive or moving visual environments) is identified, an individualized visual-motion habituation program may also be beneficial. Patients with neck pain or other cervical impairments may exhibit worsening of cervical impairments due to repetitive head movement as part of vestibular rehabilitation. Therefore, the implications of head-rotation interventions on the possible concomitant cervical impairments should also be considered and addressed.

Strong evidence exists that individuals with benign paroxysmal positional vertigo and vestibular ocular dysfunction that are treated with repositioning maneuvers and ocular-motor habituation exercises, respectively, experience meaningful symptom resolution within 1-2 physical therapy treatments.14


Post Concussive Trajectory
Neck pain, physiotherapy or woman and therapist consulting, massage or medical healthcare support, help or care. Medicine, wellness or girl head injury for muscle physical therapy or helping patient

Oculomotor-type Post Concussive Subtype

Our oculomotor systems assist in the coordination and adjustment of your eye position when one is in motion. Those with more symptoms from an oculomotor perspective will have difficulty with one or more of the three following: Convergence, Intrinsic eye action, and eye movements and tracking. Headaches associated with this trajectory are frontal and supraorbital pain ( pain behind the eyes).15,16

How to know if you are suffering from this type of trajectory, you may experience:

  • Difficulty reading
  • Double and/or blurred vision
  • Difficulty with tracking or scanning
  • Difficulty encoding information
  • Convergence insufficiency

Works Cited

  1. Cote P, Yu H, Shearer HM, Randhawa K, Wong JJ, Mior S, et al. Non-pharmacological management of persistent headaches associated with neck pain: A clinical practice guideline from the Ontario protocol for traffic injury management (OPTIMa) collaboration. Eur J Pain. 2019.
  2. Physical Therapy Evaluation and Treatment After Concussion/Mild Traumatic Brain Injury, Clinical Practice Guideline, Journal of Orthopaedic & Sports Physical Therapy Published Online:April 2, 2020Volume50Issue4PagesCPG1-CPG73
  1. Gianoli GJ. Post-concussive Dizziness: A Review and Clinical Approach to the Patient. Front Neurol. 2021;12:718318.
  2. Ellis MJ, Leddy JJ, Willer B. Physiological, vestibulo-ocular and cervicogenic post-concussion disorders: an evidence-based classification system with directions for treatment. Brain Inj. 2015;29(2):238-48.
  1. Lumba-Brown A, Teramoto M, Bloom OJ, Brody D, Chesnutt J, Clugston JR, et al. Concussion Guidelines Step 2: Evidence for Subtype Classification. Neurosurgery. 2020;86(1):2-13.
  1. Cheever K, Kawata K, Tierney R, Galgon A. Cervical Injury Assessments for Concussion Evaluation: A Review. J Athl Train. 2016;51(12):1037-44.
  2. Shaw NA. The neurophysiology of concussion. Prog Neurobiol. 2002;67(4):281-344.
  3. Stemper BD, Pintar FA. Biomechanics of concussion. Prog Neurol Surg. 2014;28:14-27.
  4. Gil C, Decq P. How similar are whiplash and mild traumatic brain injury? A systematic review. Neurochirurgie. 2021;67(3):238-43.
  5. Dwyer B, Katz DI. Postconcussion syndrome. Handb Clin Neurol. 2018;158:163-78.
  6. Babula G, Warunek E, Cure K, Nikolski G, Fritz H, Barker S. Vestibular Rehabilitation as an Early Intervention in Athletes Who are Post-concussion: A Systematic Review. IJSPT. 2023;18(3):577-586. doi:10.26603/001c.75369
  7. Bronfort G, Haas M, Evans R, Leininger B, Triano J. Effectiveness of manual therapies: the UK evidence report. Chiropr Osteopat. 2010;18:3.
  8. Dunning J, Butts R, Zacharko N, Fandry K, Young I, Wheeler K, et al. Spinal manipulation and perineural electrical dry needling in patients with cervicogenic headache: a multicenter randomized clinical trial. Spine J. 2021;21(2):284-95.
  9. Bowman TG, Thibault R, Radack BM, Davis A, Elam P. Clinical outcomes for various benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV) diagnoses in adolescents and young adults with recent concussions. Phys Ther Sport. 2023;65:90-4.
  1. Hall CD, Herdman SJ, Whitney SL, Cass SP, Clendaniel RA, Fife TD, Furman JM, Getchius TS, Goebel JA, Shepard NT, Woodhouse SN. Vestibular Rehabilitation for Peripheral Vestibular Hypofunction: An Evidence-Based Clinical Practice Guideline: FROM THE AMERICAN PHYSICAL THERAPY ASSOCIATION NEUROLOGY SECTION. J Neurol Phys Ther. 2016 Apr;40(2):124-55. doi: 10.1097/NPT.0000000000000120. PMID: 26913496; PMCID: PMC4795094.
  2. Master CL, Scheiman M, Gallaway M, et al. Vision Diagnoses Are Common after Concussion in Adolescents. Clin Pediatr (Phila) 2016;55:260–7

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Symmetry Physical Therapy is a privately owned one-on-one, patient-centered physical therapy clinic in Downtown Miami/Brickell. Every treatment is with the same Doctor of Physical Therapy for the entire hour. Symmetry’s specialized, dedicated, and passionate team of physical therapists is fully committed to each patient’s success.

10+ Years as a Therapist Owned Physical Therapy Practice