Concussion injuries typically have a big impact on football players for several reasons. First, at the time of the injury, the player is sidelined. After training for weeks, months or even years, they miss out on an event they’ve invested a great deal in physically and emotionally. Football players may also miss out on upcoming games too as they take time to recover from the concussion. Such losses can seem devastating.

There are also symptoms of concussion that affect athletes such as football players. They may experience headaches, nausea, memory problems, vision disturbances and more. On top of these temporary effects, sometimes the damage concussions involve results in long term symptoms, too—ones that interfere with quality of life and have a negative impact on well-being.

Fortunately, the effects of concussions can be minimized and symptoms can often be resolved—including persistent ones—with the right care. Emergency medical care is needed at the time of a concussion to safeguard against serious brain injury. To facilitate the swiftest and fullest recovery possible, football players can work with a functional neurologist, too.

Emergency care for concussions often involves testing to be sure the athlete’s condition is stable. Medications for pain relief or other symptoms may be recommended, and the injured player is typically told to rest to promote healing. There is much more that can be done to promote recovery, however—care that does not involve medications or ‘guesswork’ about how healing is progressing.

Functional neurologists utilize extensive testing as part of a very thorough evaluation in concussion cases. The type of testing they use can identify exactly how the brain and brain-body connection has been impacted by the injury. Functional neurologists may use a variety of types of testing to evaluate a concussion patient. One example is Videonystagmography, or VNG, which is a computerized form of testing that detects areas of dysfunction or abnormal patterns of function in the nervous system, including the brain. VNG is also a therapeutic option for concussion rehabilitation.

Once it is clear which areas of the brain need support, a personalized plan of therapeutic care can be designed for concussion patients. A customized care plan can bring about measurable improvements as swiftly as possible. As the brain is helped to heal itself, symptoms naturally fade.

Medications and rest aren’t the only options for concussion recovery for football players, and they aren’t always the most effective, either. A functional neurologist can determine exactly what is happening in the brain and body as a result of a concussion. When the precise cause of symptoms is identified, steps can be taken to correct it. The result is improvements that are long-lasting through care that is safe and completely natural as well as effective.