Our team is led by David Wang MD, with 3 decades experience in sports medicine, from the recreational to the Olympic level.
A concussion occurs when brain function is affected by a significant impact or rapid changes in direction. Concussion symptoms can include headaches, nausea, blurred vision, changes in cognitive function (attention, memory), fatigue, changes in mood, and sleep. Unfortunately, the diagnosis of concussions is not always straightforward, especially when other issues or difficulties (such as ADHD, depression or anxiety) precede the injury.
Clinicians assessing concussion are traditionally forced to rely on a patient’s self-report, or tests of concussion symptoms, rather than any more direct measures. The quantitative EEG testing available at Gray Matters changes this paradigm, offering a direct and detailed measure of actual brain activity, post-injury.
Proper concussion diagnosis and management still relies on a thorough history and physical examination. This evaluation needs to be comprehensive, going beyond changes in cognition to include vision, balance, sleep, mood, speech, autonomic function, and the possibility neck injury.
Adding to these assessments, the brain imaging available at Gray Matters offers a truly comprehensive approach, being able to see and measure the subtle changes in brain connectivity that characterize concussion.
As a team, our medical expertise, combined with leadership in functional brain imaging, offers concussion treatment that is simply the best available.
Treatment Strategies for Concussions
There has been a significant evolution of concussion treatment from the days when resting in a dark room was advised. We now look at different systems such as vision and balance and target these systems with specific treatment strategies to help speed up recovery. Other processes that are addressed include cognition, sleep, mood, and the cervical spine. Treatment options can include:
• Exercise Therapy
• Oculomotor vision therapy
• Sleep treatments
• Cervical Therapy
• Balance Therapy
• Sports psychology
• Superficial Nerve Block
• Manual therapies
• Craniosacral therapy
• Speech therapy
• Sports Season Management
• Addressing preinjury conditions
• Assessing genetic contributions
• School Accommodations
Most of these treatments are not typically necessary, but understanding when they are needed can be a game changer in the recovery from a concussion.
Return to Play
Every concussion is a unique injury, requiring an individualized approach to treatment and decisions regarding “return to play”. That said, our experience has shown that each sport has its own physical demands which must be considered in return to play protocols.
David Wang MD has used his extensive experience, both as an athlete and in sports medicine, to create return to play guidelines for his patients that are sport specific so that, after treatment, their risk of a second concussion is reduced – helping to answer the question When is it safe to return to play?
About David Wang, MD
David Wang MD, MS has worked with competitive athletes for over 25 years. A former collegiate athlete, the experienced sports medicine physician draws upon his knowledge and training to deliver a deep understanding of the medical, orthopedic, and psychological issues that many athletes face.
His overarching goal is to solve complex medical challenges where traditional thinking has not yet provided a clear diagnosis or treatment. He is directly involved in the research of many issues involving athletes, with numerous publication credits in concussion reporting and recovery.