Efficacy of Standard Concussion Treatments

Efficacy of Standard Concussion Treatments

Historically, physical and cognitive rest, physical therapy, vision therapy, and medication have been considered standard concussion treatments. Even when under the care of a multidisciplinary medical team using these standard practices, many patients continue to experience symptoms that keep them from engaging in their pre-injury work, school, athletic, or social routines.

At Simkovich Cranial Institute, we believe some patients do not experience relief from their symptoms because current TBI and concussion treatments do not address the damage suffered by the cranial structure as a result of the injury. This damage to the cranial structure changes the movement of the bones, fluids, and other elements that protect the brain, which in turn affects the efficacy of standard TBI and concussion treatments.

Efficacy of Physical and Cognitive Rest

Standard concussion treatments assume that the cranial structure can heal itself with physical and cognitive rest; however, recent studies have shown that rest alone is not enough. In 2015, experts met to discuss the concussion epidemic in the United States at a Concussion Summit in Pittsburgh, PA. These experts concluded that “prescribed physical and cognitive rest may not be an effective strategy for all patients after concussion” (Collins et al., 2016, p. 912). Indeed, there is no research supporting the effectiveness of physical and cognitive rest in the reduction of TBI or concussion symptoms. There is also concern amongst the medical community of this approach for TBI and concussion treatment because there is no guide to how much rest to prescribe. In fact, several studies have found that too much or too little rest may be harmful to a patient’s recovery.

Efficacy of Physical Therapy

Although physical therapy has been shown to be a safe and effective TBI and concussion treatment, specifics about the timing and intensity of this treatment method remain uncertain. In addition, physical therapy fails to address the injury to the cranial structure.

Efficacy of Vision Therapy

Vision therapy has been shown to be an effective part of TBI and concussion treatment, especially for those who suffer from oculomotor issues such as reading difficulties, lack of focus, and poor hand-eye coordination. Unfortunately, many patients still do not experience symptom relief following this treatment. Like physical therapy, current vision therapies do not correct head injury-related damage to the cranial structure, especially to the sphenoid bone. The sphenoid bone makes up the orbits of our eyes and attaches to our eye muscles. Damage to this bone can impact our ability to complete vision-related tasks. Although some patients have experienced marked improvements with TBI and concussion treatments that include vision therapy, others may not experience as much success because this treatment fails to repair cranial structure injuries.

Efficacy of Medication

Medication has been used as an effective tool in TBI and concussion treatment. However, these medications only treat the symptoms of a head injury as opposed to treating the source of the symptoms. For example, medication may alleviate the symptoms of chronic migraines, but because it does not treat the source of a migraine, these migraines may continue to happen. Like physical and vision therapy, TBI and concussion treatments that rely on medication fail to treat the injury at its source: the damaged cranial structure.


At Simkovich Cranial Institute, we have experienced over 30 years of success using a revolutionary TBI and concussion treatment that corrects the damage done to the cranial structure: Cranial Movement Therapy (CMT).

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