Advanced Rehabilitation and Active Recovery

The Morahan Center is doing this DIFFERENT!

Our advanced Rehabilitation program is focused on a plan for active recovery that gets athletes moving sooner following a brain injury! The old rule was to shelter or “cocoon” athletes at home following concussion as well as eliminating stimulation completely to allow for the brain to heal. According to several recent studies, complete brain rest beyond 48-72 hours is controversial. Taking athletes completely out of their social environment, sport, and school day can lead to alternate diagnosis and issues such as slower recovery, psychological depression, or post-traumatic stress disorder. Remember do NOT GET ACTIVE until your health care provider tells you to. When returning to school, work, or sport, activity needs to be introduced in phases that are medically recommended at the right pace by your managing physician.

At the Morahan Center, we get our athletes active sooner through clinically supervised exercise and rehabilitation programs that can accelerate recovery and find the root cause of symptoms sooner. The Morahan Center follows a calculated approach through the MORAHAN CAARPTM, prescribing individualized programs based on physical and academic thresholds. Once our physician clears an athlete to begin supervised activity, our experienced team of athletic trainers, exercise physiologists, and physical therapists assess both acute concussion symptoms and prolonged symptoms. They also treat a wide span of brain injuries including those that heal quickly to those that can take weeks or even months to improve. Ocular-motor deficits, visual disturbances, cervical spine injuries, and other contributing factors can often be the root cause of lingering symptoms following concussion. With advanced evaluation tools and management plans, the multidisciplinary team at the Morahan Center can detect these issues right away and work with an athlete to correct them and retrain the body’s visual and vestibular systems to a level and intensity that is safe for sport.

Dependent on the rate at which an athlete recovers, they will either be on a fast track back to the playing field or an extended care plan for symptoms lasting beyond two to three weeks. Placing athletes into “tracks” through the MORAHAN CAARPTM provides an evidence-based approach for healing that is unique to the Morahan Center for improving patient outcomes and recovery timelines. This algorithm of care was recently recognized in publication at the International Conference on Concussion and Sport, the largest concussion conference in the world.

Post Concussion Syndrome (PCS)

We term the athletes that take longer to recover to be diagnosed with Post-Concussion Syndrome or PCS. PCS is a phase of recovery that goes well beyond the acute phase (several weeks to one month). Generally, these types of brain injuries will take longer to heal and recover from those that resolve symptoms sooner. However, all athletes and patients have individually established symptom thresholds and limitations that are monitored by our comprehensive clinical team through low level exercise programs, treadmill testing, cognitive testing, and physical therapy evaluation and treatment. The variable assessments and methods of care help to establish safe parameters for exercise progression and return to learn (see chart on Return to play and Return to Learn for more information).

Before you’re back on the field, remember…

  • Symptoms aren’t gone if masked by medications
  • Full school days are required before return to full practice or sport can happen
  • A return of symptoms will pause and restart the Return to Play progression

Cooperman Barnabas Medical Center Rehabilitation at the JCC MetroWest

Sports Medicine and Orthopedic Physical Therapy
760 Northfield Avenue, West Orange, NJ 07052

Our team of physical therapists from Cooperman Barnabas Medical Center Rehabilitation at the JCC MetroWest work in conjunction with the Concussion Program to offer a multidisciplinary approach and thorough evaluation of the head, neck and spine; visual muscle coordination screening and vestibular (balance and coordination) system analysis, plus perform an exercise tolerance/threshold activity.

Based on those results, a specific treatment plan will be created to assist in and promote recovery both on the field and in the classroom. In addition, once a patient have become symptom free for seven days with full return to screen use, school and/or work, our multidisciplinary approach to brain injury will progressively get him or her back to safe play and contact sports with confidence. The staff also performs the Concussion Clearance Protocol in order to return to full contact sports, gym and competition.