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What Is a Concussion?

A concussion is a traumatic head injury that changes normal brain function. It occurs when the soft brain impacts the inside of the skull. This usually results from a blow to the head but violent shaking traumas may also cause concussions. Although most resulting brain dysfunctions are temporary, severe traumas and repeated concussions may cause permanent brain challenges.

Symptoms of a concussion may have been delayed onset and can persist for days, weeks, or months. Most are mild and recover fully in time, however, strict recovery treatment parameters must be followed. Common symptoms include headache, nausea/vomiting, fatigue, dizziness, ringing of the ears, speech difficulties, reduced concentration, amnesia, and balance and coordination difficulties. A loss of consciousness may occur, however, it is not definitive of a concussion. Head traumas are common for young children, however, due to their absence or limited speech, recognizing a concussion may be difficult. Look for nonverbal cues that may indicate an abnormality. These can include listlessness, irritability, excessive crying, loss of balance, change in eating or sleeping patterns, and lack of interest in play.

As the resulting dysfunctions may be severe, all suspected head trauma must be examined by a trained health care professional. Immediate transport to emergency care must occur for severe head trauma, prolonged loss of consciousness, recurrent loss of consciousness, repeated vomiting, amnesia, speech difficulties, seizures, convulsions, or prolonged confusion. Proper diagnosis is vital to provide the most appropriate treatment for concussion. Always pay close attention to the symptoms of any head trauma and if you have any uncertainty, you must consult your health care provider.

Chiropractic & Concussions

You or your child gets a hit to the head, what do you do? Your Chiropractor may not be the medical professional you imagine when it comes to concussion management, but many chiropractors are trained to spot the signs of a mild traumatic brain injury and support the patient in a successful recovery. Chiropractors are often the first health care provider to care for patients who are suffering from a head injury, such as those incurred in sports or car accidents.

Chiropractors use a specific assessment tool called the Sports Concussion Assessment Tool 2 (SCAT2) to evaluate, assess, and manage concussions in athletes 10 years and older, with the end goal of safely returning the athlete to the sport (Journal of Chiropractic Medicine 2013 (12):252-9). Since a concussion is a brain injury caused by a direct blow to the head, neck, or face, there is a good chance that the impact has caused a misalignment of the cervical spine. This is similar to whiplash/

A chiropractor can evaluate whether you demonstrate signs of neck injuries commonly associated with concussions, and provide you with relief of neck pain and cervicogenic headaches. One of the most important recommendations that a chiropractor will make is this: if you or your child are participating in a sport and suffer a blow to the head and/ or experience signs of a concussion, do not continue playing the sport. You need to rest completely until the concussion subsides to avoid returning symptoms.

Now, let's ask the question again: chiropractic for concussion? Absolutely!


Did you know?

- Loss of consciousness is believed to occur in less than 10% of concussions

- People taking blood thinner should be seen immediately by a health practitioner if they have a bump or blow to the head, even if they do not have symptoms.

- At least 25% of concussion sufferers fail to get assessed by medical personnel.

- During the last decade, emergency visits for sports related traumatic brain injuries, including concussions, among children and adolescents increased by 60%

If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to talk with one of our doctors today.

- Active Health Chiropractic

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