Concussions are a serious public health problem affecting all ranges of people from children to adults. With the instances of concussions becoming more prevalent in multiple sports as well as the general public, it has become everyone’s responsibility to educate themselves about the symptoms, dangers, and treatments of concussions. We are here to make a proactive effort to help educate people about the seriousness of concussions and to treat anyone who comes to our clinic having sustained a concussion. Please contact us at 724.655.3090 or Info@EliteSports-Spine.com for more information.
What is a Concussion?
In the past, most people commonly referred to an impact to the head or body as a “bell-ringer” or a “ding”. These injuries were once thought to be a normal aspect of athletics and everyday life. As concussion awareness and education continues to increase, we know that there is no such thing as a minor brain injury. Any jolt, bump, or blow to the head or body must be taken seriously and followed up with the appropriate healthcare professionals. If not handled properly, what was once considered a “bell-ringer,” is now known to have the potential to result in short or long term alterations in brain function.
A concussion results when a force is transmitted to the brain. It can be caused by direct or indirect impact to the head or the body, potentially resulting in the brain rebounding or twisting within the skull. A concussion is a mixture of a structural and metabolic injury to the brain. In fact, a chemical imbalance has been shown to result from head trauma. This metabolic-related damage causes the brain to be in a vulnerable state, and susceptible to additional injury. It is possible to worsen effects of the trauma with the increase of stress or physical exertion.
What are the signs and symptoms of a concussion?
The following lists are typical signs and symptoms experienced by a concussed individual. If the individual exhibits any of the following signs, symptoms, or behaviors, he/she must be removed from all physical activity as continued activity can exacerbate the condition leading to risk of further injury.
Symptoms experienced by a concussed individual:
- Balance problems/dizziness
- Double or fuzzy vision
- Feeling sluggish
- Feeling foggy or groggy
- Concentration or memory problems
- Appears dazed or stunned
- Confused about what to do
- Forgets plays, score, location
- Moves clumsily
- Answers questions slowly
- Loses consciousness
- Exhibits behavior or personality changes
- Can’t remember events prior to or after the impact
How does someone recover from a concussion?
Physical and cognitive rest is essential until signs and symptoms diminish. Once signs and symptoms have diminished, a step-wise physical exertion progression is utilized to ensure a safe return to physical activity. This step-wise progress consists of a five day graduated physical exertion protocol, prescribed specifically for each patient case.
How can Elite Sports and Spine Chiropractic assist if I sustain a concussion?
At our facility, our providers offer an array of services. From rehabilitative services to sports training, we can help you with your specific needs. For an individual who has sustained a concussion, the staff at Elite Sports and Spine Chiropractic offers vestibular rehabilitation therapy (VRT) in order to assist in complete and full recovery. VRT consists of exercises that aid in regaining equilibrium (balance) and decreasing bouts of vertigo (dizziness) associated with a concussion. We also utilize current SCAT (Sport Concussion Assessment Tool), which is a tool utilized to track the cognitive healing progression of a concussed individual. The USOC (United States Olympic Committee) holds this form of concussion assessment at highest regard in order to increase reliability and specificity when identifying traumatic brain injuries.
Additionally, it is necessary to ensure that the cervical spine and thoracic spine joints are biomechanically sound. As a result, we often prioritize chiropractic manipulative therapy as an additional treatment method. It has been well supported in current literature that chiropractic manipulative therapy is an effective measure in reducing the time it takes to recover from a concussion. Techniques utilized by our sports chiropractors are safe and will not make your concussion worse when this form of treatment is clinically indicated.
What can I expect during Vestibular Rehabilitation Therapy (VRT)?
Vestibular rehabilitation therapy is a therapeutic intervention that focuses on increasing and coordinating head and eye movements to maintain a stable gaze and visual acuity. Simultaneously, postural stability must be maintained during active movement. Therefore, the main goal of VRT is to retrain the brain to recognize and accurately process signals from the sensory input system that controls balance. Through VRT, one should experience a decrease in dysequilibrium (feeling off balance), blurring vision with head movement, and improve static and dynamic balance.
During VRT, an individual will complete many different exercises tailored to his/her current condition. Some examples include gaze stabilization exercises and ocular tracking exercises.
There are other rehabilitation programs that will be utilized depending on the individual case. Please contact us at 724.655.3090 or via email at Info@EliteSports-Spine.com if you have specific questions. We would be happy to assist you!
The content and information on this page is for educational purposes only and should not be used to treat and diagnose individuals in the event of a possible concussion. Always seek medical attention in the case of a possible concussion. Do not disregard medical advice or care because of information read on this page. Elite Sports and Spine Chiropractic will not be held liable for injury or improper use of the information on this page.