Concussions & Post-Concussion Syndrome in Ottawa ON
The brain is a very delicate organ, and it is similar to gelatin in its consistency. It is protected from damage by the hard skull and a cushion of cerebrospinal fluid fills the space between the brain and the skull which keeps the brain from bumping against the skull during normal head movements. A blow to the head, hard fall or sudden direction change (such as a car accident) causes the brain to move around inside the skull. When this gets violent enough it can cause the brain to knock against the inside of the skull and sustain an injury.
Concussions in Ottawa ON are often caused by falls, car accidents, and sports. Many people with concussions can benefit from chiropractic treatment, acupuncture, and physiotherapy.
About Concussions in Ottawa ON
A concussion is a mild form of traumatic brain injury (TBI) caused by a bump, blow, or jolt to the head. Concussions can also occur from a fall or a blow to the body that causes the head to move rapidly back and forth. Understanding the signs and symptoms of a concussion can help you get better more quickly.
Signs and symptoms of a concussion may include:
- Headache or a feeling of pressure in the head
- Temporary loss of consciousness
- Confusion or feeling as if in a fog
- Amnesia surrounding the traumatic event
- Dizziness and balance issues
- Ringing in the ears
Some people lose consciousness (“knocked out”) for a short time, but most concussions do not result in a loss of consciousness. Some people experience not being able to remember events (amnesia) prior to, or following the injury, for a period of time is another sign of concussion. Some people simply feel dazed or confused.
Symptoms of concussion usually fall into four categories:
- THINKING/REMEMBERING, such as difficulties remembering recent events (even those information and a full list of concussion immediately before and/or after the signs and symptoms concussion), or feeling mentally “foggy”
- PHYSICAL, such as headaches or difficulty with bright light or loud noises
- EMOTIONAL/MOOD, such as irritability, sadness, or nervousness
- SLEEP DISTURBANCE, such as sleeping more or less than usual
Most people with a concussion recover quickly and fully, but for some people, symptoms can last for days, weeks, months or years. In general, recovery may be slower among older adults, young children, and teens. Those who have had a concussion in the past are also at risk of having another one and may find that it takes longer to recover if they have another concussion. In fact, people who have experienced multiple concussions may experience symptoms with even a small jolt to the head.
Even mild concussions should not be taken lightly. While some doctors may describe these injuries as "mild" (because most concussions are usually not life-threatening), neurosurgeons and other brain-injury experts emphasize that although some concussions are less serious than others, there is no such thing as a "minor concussion." . Their effects can be serious. In most cases, a single concussion should not cause permanent damage. A second concussion soon after the first one does not have to be very strong for its effects to be permanently disabling or deadly. There is even a name for it: second impact syndrome.
A study conducted by McGill University in Montreal found that 60 percent of college soccer players reported symptoms of a concussion at least once during the season. The study also revealed that concussion rates in soccer players were comparable to those in football. According to this study, athletes who suffered a concussion were four to six times more likely to suffer a second concussion.
According to the University of Pittsburgh's Brain Trauma Research Center, more than 300,000 sports-related concussions occur annually in the U.S., and the likelihood of suffering a concussion while playing a contact sport is estimated to be as high as 19 percent per year of play. More than 62,000 concussions are sustained each year in high school contact sports and, among college football players, 34 percent have had one concussion and 20 percent have endured multiple concussions. Estimates show that between four and 20 percent of college and high school football players will sustain a brain injury over the course of one season. The risk of concussion in football is three to six times higher in players who have had a previous concussion.
Post Concussion Syndrome
Post-concussion syndrome is a complex disorder in which symptoms (like headaches, memory issues, light sensitivity, and dizziness ) last for weeks and sometimes months after the injury that caused the concussion. The goal of treatment after concussion is to effectively manage your symptoms. Time and rest may be the best therapy for post-concussion syndrome if you have cognitive problems, as most of them go away on their own in the weeks to months after the injury.
If you already had a medical condition at the time of your concussion (such as chronic headaches), it may take longer for you to recover from the concussion. Anxiety and depression may also make it harder to adjust to the symptoms of a concussion. While you are healing, you should be very careful to avoid doing anything that could cause a bump, blow, or jolt to the head or body.
Rest is very important after a concussion because it helps the brain to heal. You’ll need to be patient because healing takes time. Only when the symptoms have reduced significantly, in consultation with your health professionals, should you slowly and gradually return to your daily activities, such as work or school. If your symptoms come back or you get new symptoms as you become more active, this is a sign that you are pushing yourself too hard. Stop these activities and take more time to rest and recover. As the days go by, you can expect to gradually feel better.
Chiropractic & Post-Concussion Syndrome
If you or a loved-one have suffered a concussion or think that you many have based off of the symptoms above, contact your local chiropractor immediately. 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 regularly manage athletes who suffer from concussions, including Sidney Crosby.
Chiropractors use a specific assessment tools to evaluate, assess, and manage concussions in athletes and others. They understand that if certain symptoms are indicators that the neurological symptoms are worsening.
Because a concussion is a brain injury caused by a direct blow to the head, neck or face, there’s a good chance that the blow has caused a misalignment of the cervical spine. This is similar to whiplash causing a misalignment of the cervical spine. 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.
Not every symptom is a result of the concussion. A good number result from neck subluxation and misalignment.
According to the literature reviews, one of the most important recommendations that a chiropractor will tell you what to do for concussion is this: Do not let your child continue playing the sport while they have a concussion. Kids needs to rest until totally healed from the concussion. Only after symptoms subside is it time to get back into the game. Ease into the sports play again. Don’t expect to jump back in, full force. This will prevent the return of symptoms.
Additional guidelines your chiropractor will give you for concussion include no alcohol, aspirin, anti-inflammatory medications, and sleep agents should be taken. Use Tylenol for pain if necessary. Do not drive until you can return to the sport.
Chinese Medicine, Acupuncture & Concussion
TCM considers the acute/sub-acute stages of many traumatic injuries to be at least partially due to blood stasis. Signs of blood stasis include pain that is fixed and stabbing in nature and is sensitive to pressure (hurts to touch). There can also be visible signs such as bruising, varicose or spider veins or dry & cracked skin. Your TCM doctor will also note signs such as a dusky or purplish tongue colour with distended veins under the tongue and changes in the quality of your wrist pulses.
There is actually a large body of scientific evidence for acupuncture. This is why acupuncture is often recommended as a non-pharmacological management of chronic post concussion headaches.
These treatment programs should be implemented based on patient-specific assessment findings and patient tolerance. For example, we do not treat the concussion directly, instead we treat the impairments that may be related to or irritating one. Tension headaches as a result of whiplash-associated disorders (WAD) are often confused for a symptom of a post-concussion syndrome, acupuncture can be used as a therapeutic intervention helping headaches and reducing the development of chronic post-concussion headaches.
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Many symptoms can be helped with preventative care like acupuncture, chiropractic, massage, physio and laser therapy. We strongly recommend anyone experiencing the symptoms discussed on this page, see one of our health professionals soon.
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