How to Find a Concussion & Vestibular Trained Healthcare Provider Perfect for You

Concussions, vestibular ailments, and dizziness can individually be overwhelming to manage and find quality care - it can be even harder when you have multiple symptoms. Unfortunately there is no central database to lead you to the perfect provider at the right time. This can lead to unnecessary and disappointing appointments, some that may take months to get. So where should you start? That is different for each individual based on mechanism of injury, duration of symptoms, and current symptom impairments. Keep reading for a brief outline of key concussion and vestibular provider types and why you would see each one.

  1. Primary Care Physician: Considered the "gate keeper" for referrals to specialists, your PCP should be able to help guide you to who you should see and when. Unfortunately many primary care providers do not have in-depth concussion or vestibular training, and some still recommend out of date recommendations like "cocooning". If any of your providers recommends sitting in a dark room and doing nothing for days, this is bad advice and can actually make your recovery longer!

  2. Neurologist: A brain specialist that may or may not have experience with concussions or vestibular ailments. Their role is to make sure that nothing sinister is present, like a brain bleed or a brain tumor. Sometimes a neurologist will prescribe medications to help reduce symptoms like headaches. Neurology appointments are typically hard to get and often do not provide you with functional advice or care.

  3. Physical Therapists & Chiropractors (with specific training in concussion and vestibular ailments): A trained physical therapist or chiropractor should be on the top of your list to see - they will be the one to screen for all functional deficits and give you a specific treatment plan and exercise plan to reduce your symptoms and function better. Common symptoms a PT treats include: neck pain, headaches, dizziness, jaw pain, off-balance, acute and post concussion syndrome, exercise intolerance, and movement sensitivity.

  4. Speech Therapist/Cognitive Therapist and Occupational Therapists (with specific training in concussion): A trained SLP and/or OT will be able to help you with memory, brain fog, or life skills to help you navigate life as you heal.

  5. Counselor (with specific training in concussion and vestibular): An injury that disrupts your life is hard to manage, counseling can help navigate this. Concussions can also cause chemical (neurotransmitter) changes in your brain that can cause depression or anxiety. A trained counselor can help you manage and work through these changes.

  6. Ear, Nose, Throat Specialist (ENT): An ENT, usually in association with an audiologist, will perform specific testing to reveal information about inner ear and hearing function.

  7. Neuro-optometrist and Vision Therapist (with specific training in concussion and vestibular: These providers are key in helping those manage with blurry vision, difficulty reading, motion sensitivity, and convergence insufficiency. Treatment plans often last weeks or months and involve extensive home exercise programs.

A great (but incomplete) resource for providers trained in concussion and vestibular ailments is VEDA:

Questions? Email me:

Concussion & Vestibular Health Coaching available globally to help you navigate and understand your symptoms and care, book here.

Dr Jessica Klain PT, DPT, COMT, CSCS, OCS, CNPT

Board Certified Orthopedic Clinical Specialist (OCS)

Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS)

Certified Orthopedic Manual Therapist (COMT)

Certified Nutritional Physical Therapist (CNPT)

Certified Vestibular Specialist

Certified Concussion Specialist

Trigger Point Dry Needling Certified, Level 1&2

Certified Yoga Teacher

University of Florida, Doctorate in Physical Therapy (2009)

The Ohio State University, Bachelor of Science in Biology (2006)

Call/text: 720-295-0060

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