How can Chiropractic Help Post Concussion?
Historically, little was known about the benefits of chiropractic care in the treatment of concussions – but over the past decade concussions related to sports injuries have been treated more by chiropractors than with any other method.
Statistically speaking, sports related concussions are seen more frequently in children and teens, and are more difficult to treat in young people than in adults.
Concussions can come with a variety of symptoms, prognosis, and treatments – but the bottom line is that a chiropractor is the best line of defense when it comes to a full recovery.
There are a few things you should know about a concussion, so we’ve developed a list of the top five:
- There are multiple ways to get a concussion – although I have mentioned sports related injuries, the can develop as a result of falls, car or bike accidents, or any type of collision resulting from body contact.
- A concussion can be caused by a blow to the head, face, neck, or impact to another part of the body that could impact the head.
- A concussion can be difficult to diagnose because the clinical symptoms and signs can evolve over time. From physical, to cognitive, to neurobehavioural changes – symptoms can develop over time or become increasingly worse.
- When properly and promptly managed, a concussion can resolve in a short period of time (8-10 days), but can be longer in children and adolescents.
- Historically concussion management was based on resting until the symptoms go away. However it has been discovered that prolonged periods of rest can make symptoms last longer and draw out recovery times. It is important to work with us to develop a plan that includes adequate rest – and a gradual return to regular daily activities and treatment.
Diagnosing a concussion can be tricky, and the symptoms depend on the person and the injury – with symptoms sometimes not being noticeable for hours or days, but here is a list of the most common symptoms:
- Balance problems or dizziness
- Being bothered by light or noise
- Double or blurry vision
- Difficulty remembering or paying attention
- Feeling sluggish, hazy, foggy, or groggy
- Feeling irritable, more emotional, or “down”
- Nausea or vomiting
- Slowed reaction time
- Sleep problems
- Loss of consciousness
The most important aspect of treatment is how fast a diagnosis is available so that the treatment can begin immediately. To get a diagnosis, it is imperative that following a head injury you visit us or a qualified health care provider to assess.
Many concussions will bring other effects such as subluxation, whiplash, neck strain, facet syndromes and muscle spasms. We have experiences in all of these conditions, thus making a full recovery most likely.
Whatever the cause of the concussion, research has shown that Chiropractic care offers the best and most effective method of recovery for those suffering from a head injury/concussion.
What A Pain In The Neck!
Neck pain is one of the most common reasons we see patients. Also referred to as the cervical spine, it contains seven small vertebrae that support the weight of your entire head. Your neck is strong and flexible, but it’s the flexibility that leaves it susceptible to strain and injury.
The biomechanics of everyday living contribute to the wear and tear of your cervical spine, so even just prolonged sitting, accidents, falls, normal aging, osteoarthritis, degenerative disc disease, poor posture, repetitive movements and blows to the head can lead to chronic pain and headaches.
Seeing us about your neck pain is an important step in the right direction. During your visit with us, we will ask you a series of questions and will perform an exam to locate the source of your pain. We will ask about your current symptoms and if you have already tried to alleviate the pain on your own. A few of these questions may include:
- When did the pain start?
- Does the pain travel to other parts of your body?
- Are there movements that reduce the pain?
- Are there movements that make the pain worse?
- What measures have you taken to reduce the pain already?
Part of the exam will also include a physical component where we will observe your range of motion, posture, and physical condition so they can note any movements that cause you pain. We will also examine your spine to note any curvature and alignment, and to feel for tight muscles or spasms. We will also check your shoulder area, and may perform a neurological exam as well.
In some cases, there may be a request for additional imaging tests like an x-rays before moving forward with a care plan. There are instances where treatments are out of the Chiropractic scope of practice, like surgeries or medications, and you’ll be directed to your medical physician.
When your treatment is in the scope of chiropractic care, neck adjustments are done to help improve mobility and to restore the range of motion. When performed, spinal adjustments will also increase movement in the adjoining muscles. Typically, patients notice an improvement mobility, reduced pain, soreness, and stiffness within a short time.
Although neck pain is a common reason we see patients, each person has individualized needs that require an individualized treatment plan. If you are experiencing neck pain, request a initial consultation to see if we can help you have an improved standard of living.
Neck pain doesn’t have to be a part of aging, nor should it be tolerated until it “resolves itself.”
Health Isn’t Just The Absence of Disease
Years ago, we were living and believing that if we weren’t sick, we were healthy.
So what’s changed?
The connection between a sedentary life in relation to longer work hours, multiple jobs, and sitting for extended periods of time throughout the day is one.
The connection between mental wellness and physical health has been identified as being a larger piece of this puzzle than previously thought.
Much like everything else in today’s world, the medical world is evolving and learning more about the connection between wellness and overall health, along with the long term effects of poor eating, stress, and the lack of physical activity.
We Have to Be Proactive
Overall wellness requires us to be proactive when treating our health and our bodies. Waiting until something is wrong just means it’s been left uncared for too long. Health is not the absence of disease, it’s being well holistically – preventing disease the best we can. Being healthy isn’t just about feeling fine either, it’s no secret that catastrophic diagnosis like heart disease is often found after years of being asymptomatic.
This Doesn’t Mean You Won’t Ever Get Sick
To be clear, maintaining a healthy lifestyle does not mean you will never get sick, or that you’ll be immune from injuries, pain or disease. People do everything they can, and will still get sick. However, your chances are better when you aren’t neglecting your health.
Holistic Approaches to Health
As a Chiropractor, we work with a team of professionals to teach you how to take the best care of yourself overall. The physical aspects of chiropractic care, therapeutic massage, and physiotherapy will allow your body to work and heal optimally. Nutritional support can help you learn how to fuel your body efficiently. And let’s face it, when we feel better physically, we feel better mentally.
Mental and physical wellness look like improved sleep improved digestion, and improved physicality. These three aspects of wellness alone lead to a stronger and more efficient immune system – which means fewer illnesses.
Untreated Injuries Can Lead to Bigger, More Expensive Problems
Over the years, our practice has seen even seemingly small stress injuries turn into months off of work. Carpal tunnel syndrome, neck/back pain, and migraines can all initially seem like they’ll resolve themselves. When left untreated though, they can insidiously become more debilitating types of injuries – leading to time taken off work, and for many, a loss of wages. This kind of stress can lead to a further deterioration in your health.
This Doesn’t Have To Be You
The good news is, our practice has so much experience in holistic wellness. Our clients come ready to learn and do the work. They are committed to their health, and are serious about creating new habits and routines not only for themselves, but for their families. Your body has an innate ability to function intelligently by running a series of complex systems that rely on proper nutrition, balance, and coordination.
We have remained committed to evolving with you, and with the demands of your life. Your life can be vibrant and exciting, as long as we take care of it! This is the best investment you can make.