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Dizziness after sports-related concussion: Can physiotherapists offer better treatment than just ‘physical and cognitive rest’?
  1. Jennifer C Reneker1,2,
  2. Chad E Cook3
  1. 1Division of Physical Therapy, Walsh University, North Canton, Ohio, USA
  2. 2Department of Biostatistics, Environmental Health Sciences, and Epidemiology, College of Public Health, Kent State University, Kent, Ohio, USA
  3. 3Division of Physical Therapy, Department of Community and Family Medicine, Duke University, Durham, North Carolina, USA
  1. Correspondence to Jennifer C Reneker, Division of Physical Therapy, Walsh University, 2020 Easton St. NE, North Canton, OH 44721, USA; JReneker{at}

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Examination and treatment of concussed athletes is a complex endeavour. Three notable position papers: the International Conference on Concussion in Sport (Zurich) Consensus Statement,1 the American Academy of Neurology (AAN) Guideline,2 and American Medical Society for Sports Medicine Position paper,3 advocate for a multifactorial assessment to diagnose sports-related concussion (‘concussion’ in this paper) and determine the degree of functional disturbance. These papers also provide guidelines to manage recovery, the cornerstone of which is cognitive and physical rest. Rest is a well-established practice pattern even though it has only very low-level evidence. Strikingly absent from concussion management are specific treatment strategies which are underpinned by anatomical-symptom correlates.4 ,5

Anatomy that may contribute to concussion-related dizziness

Symptoms such as dizziness are very common among concussed individuals, present in nearly 80% of concussions,6 second only to headaches.3 For the most part after concussion, non-dizziness oriented symptoms are transient, whereas the natural course of recovery from dizziness often lingers, in some cases for years after the initial event.6 Considering the mechanism associated with concussion and …

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  • Contributors JCR and CEC wrote this editorial together. JCR developed the overall idea.

  • Competing interests None.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.