Mild Traumatic Brain Injury, or Concussion, occurs when a direct or indirect impact to the head causes the brain, which has the consistency of Jello or soft butter, to jolt back and forth making contact with the interior structures of the skull, which tend to be rigid and pointy. This results in contusions (bruises) to the brain, it is safe to say that Mild Traumatic Brain Injuries are anything but mild.
While most people will recover from the effects of a concussion within 7-10 days, approximately 15% of patients experience symptoms beyond 30 days. When symptoms persist, a diagnosis of post-concussion syndrome or PCS is made.
The symptoms of PCS may include:
Headache and migraine
Vertigo or loss of balance
Brain fog/difficulty with concentration
Dysautonomia and fatigue
Most research in the past 10 years has been on the structural and chemical changes to the brain after a head injury. However, the brain is not the only anatomy injured during a concussion. Recent studies have shown that damage to the neck occurs during a head injury, playing a major role in concussion-like symptoms.
Dr. John Leddy, University of Buffalo Concussion Research Lab, demonstrated that post-concussion syndrome can stem from the brain or from the neck and that you couldn’t tell just by symptoms alone.
The average concussion requires a LOT of force. About 60 g’s is required to concuss an adult human, while it takes less than 10 g’s to damage important ligaments in the neck. This means that you can’t have a concussive head injury without also injuring the neck. There is a very strong chance that your post-concussion symptoms may be coming from the neck and researchers are calling this “cervicogenic post-concussion syndrome”.
How Our Chiropractors Can Help
Finding effective treatments for the lasting disability of concussion has been difficult. Interventions like hyperbaric oxygen therapy, cognitive behavioral therapy, vestibular rehabilitation, and plain old walking are just some of the treatments being investigated to help people with post-concussion syndrome (PCS).
The Upper Cervical procedure (a specialty within the field of Chiropractic) may play an important role in reducing headaches, dizziness, and brain fog related to cervicogenic PCS. When a head injury occurs, the joints, ligaments, and muscles of the upper neck become damaged leading to abnormal biomechanics, inflammation, and disruption of the body’s joint position system. This damage can lead to the symptoms often associated with PCS, such as vertigo and headache.
It is important to recognize this, as the neck is often overlooked as a source of headache and vertigo symptoms. Many times PCS cases come to an Upper Cervical doctor only after they have endured an exhaustive course of medications, exercise, and therapy, while the primary symptom generator was ignored or never addressed.
Chiropractors using precise upper cervical procedures, such as in our office, often see excellent outcomes with PCS for the simple fact that they addressed the main symptom generator. With a precise and gentle correction to the neck, Upper Cervical Chiropractors can often help PCS patients see an astonishing improvement within weeks after months of constant suffering.
From One of Our Patients
On my first visit to Dr. Randy, he was very concerned, took the time to listen to me-- not only in regards to the symptoms I was experiencing, but also in regards to my frustration of not finding a "diagnosis" through conventional medicine.
But the best part is this, and the reason why I felt so compelled to write this review. Dr. Randy's expertise focus on the Atlas bone in the upper cervical... that's all he adjusted me that day and I left that office with NO NAUSEA, NO DIZZINESS... it was that instantaneous, I promise you. I had never had anything like that before. Prior to visiting him, I was prescribed a strong nausea medication that I was supposed to take every 8 hours... when I saw him, I was taking one every 4 hours...
After my FIRST ADJUSTMENT, I did not take the meds again. It's been almost 4 weeks since my first visit and I feel great. I can't promise you will have the same results as me, or at least as fast, but I'd say give them a try. You will not regret it.
- Caio S