Athletes seeking to recover from a concussion and avoid long-term symptom struggles should seek out comprehensive care. Emergency care at the time of a traumatic brain injury is vitally important for soccer players injured on the field, and under no circumstances should someone return to play after a head injury. A visit to Urgent Care or the ER is warranted in the event of a suspected concussion, but such immediate care  isn’t a guarantee of swift, full recovery. A functional neurologist is an excellent choice for care when the goal in concussion care is restoring brain function in a comprehensive way.

Functional neurology differs from traditional medical care for concussions in several ways. Emergency care at the time of a concussion typically involves important screenings for serious, immediate risks associated with brain injury. Once it’s deemed safe, patients who suffer concussions are often sent home from emergency care with the advice to address pain with pain relievers, get adequate rest, and take care to avoid a second injury. By contrast, functional neurology focuses on healing, recovery and restoration that leads to symptom relief as healthy function is restored.

A functional neurologist examines patients with the goal of evaluating brain health and function. Challenges with the brain-body connection are identified in precise ways through equipment that evaluates a variety of critical functions. This may include measuring ocular reflexes, motor coordination, auditory integration, cognitive processing and more. Such in-depth assessment identifies exactly which areas of the brain and which brain connections will benefit from therapeutic support. There is no guesswork involved in this type of care, and results are measurable. An athlete who has suffered a concussion can expect to regain optimal brain function and wellness through care that is natural, drug-free and non-invasive.

A complete neurological examination is important for concussion patients because it can help identify specific problems that may interfere with a swift recovery. Patterns that may prove problematic can be identified and addressed, so more problems don’t develop. Functional neurology focuses on customized plans of care that are exactly right for individual patients. No two brain injuries are the same, and the most effective care plan for one person may not be appropriate for someone else. Customized therapeutic support helps ensure every athlete who suffers a concussion gets the best possible results from their care.

Soccer players and other athletes can also take advantage of the unique type of care functional neurology offers through baseline neurological testing. Baseline neurological testing can help athletes identify any minor problems that may be occurring as the result of a recent or prior concussion. Baseline testing can also provide valuable reference points a functional neurologist can use for comparison should a concussion occur in the future.