Discovering and treating the source of the Concussion/TBI symptoms after an injury.
Concussion is a new epidemic in part because our understanding of brain injury has progressed in the last 5 years. Most heal within a short period of time, 2 weeks or so. Sports concussions have guidelines and rules for returning to play so that the individual doesn’t have a second head injury while the first is trying to heal.
Concussion and Migraine Therapy at Dearing Chiropractic Neurology
Concussion Rehabilitation with Ben S.
However, concussions come from many different types of head and neck injury and most people don’t realize that their slip and fall on the ice, car accident or head whacking the cabinet can really injure the brain.
Injuries with a slower recovery period show signs of network problems within brain signals. These people have a wide range of complaints when entering our office for examination. Many common conditions that I see in my office are related to prior head injuries, and these symptoms can last for years if not for life. The most concerning symptoms are those related to cognition, memory, cardiovascular function, gut function, and the immune system.
Why? How? and What to do about it?
Lets take the recent attention to concussions in sports like football.
Technology is changing the way that football helmets are designed. These improvements aim to significantly reduce the force of impact. Does this reduce the severity of brain injury and incidence of concussion? Yes, but not entirely.
Better helmets will not eliminate or “transform” the effects of concussion entirely, because there is still a neck component to every concussion. The neck absorbs just as much or even more of the impact force than the head during a hit. We’ve seen years of whiplash studies showing that even mild whiplash in a car accident often lead to symptoms of concussion. If the neck moves or provides resistance during a hit, rest assured, the brain will be affected. Advancements in treating concussions have come a long way thanks to boosts in research regarding NFL problems. This comes after years of countless concussions and the resulting CTE (chronic traumatic encephalopathy). CTE is responsible for the early dementia-like symptoms because the brain spends years in a state of chronic inflammation, which is the attempt to repair the multiple areas of damage. The resulting damage created by the process of inflammation leaves the brain with disorganized processing and the inability to maintain its critical network of messaging. Think Mohammed Ali or Mike Tyson and their rapid deterioration in brain function after thousands of small/big blows to the head and neck.
Succesful treatment requires multiple rehabilitation specialites
Treatment is based on cutting edge research which has yet to be implemented on a wide scale in the Neurology or Rehab community, perhaps because of its complexity. Treating any one of these body systems by itself is not enough to properly heal broken networks.
Trusted evaluation techniques and state of the art technology allow us to create specific treatment protocols for the brain injury. We use these 6 techniques to evaluate and treat brain injuries.
Blood vessel and cardiovascular stability involves many reflexes and depends on a well functioning brainstem. Central to every brain injury recovery and I would argue, every human beings’ health in general. The autonomic nervous system balance between sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous system is an essential part of our normal function. Concussions or brain injuries experience an imbalance in this area of the brain, becoming a central point for rehabilitating all of the symptoms:
- Blurred vision and feeling Hazy, Dizzy, Sluggish
- Confusion in normal tasks
- Dizziness and Balance Problems
- Feeling Irritable, extra Emotional, or feeling “down”
The inner ear (vestibular system), eyes, and spinal/extremity proprioceptors become mismatched in specific ways. Teasing through these problems takes years of study and experience working with brain injury. Without a matching sensory system from the body to the brain, any attempt at correcting an individual part of this system is useless. It must be the whole body and sensory system.
Eye Movement Training
Again, a very integral part of sensing your environment and the body’s movement within it. Eye movements are capable of multiple compensations to altered sensory systems in the body.
Neck, Spine & Stability Integration Therapies
Manual manipulation of the spine and extremities specific to the individual brain involved. This is not standard chiropractic adjustments but a very specific focus on the damaged processing networks throughout the nervous system, always including the neck reflexes and circuitry for movement. A critical keystone of concussion rehabilitation.
Myofascial muscle work for structural integrity is crucial to spinal positioning and correcting reflex communication from the neck to the brain.
Physical and Fitness Therapy must integrate all of the components on this list. Read our FNOR approach under treatments.
Balance Training for the whole body is required for proper re-organization of sensory communication.
Low Level Laser Therapy – Class IIb and III Cold Laser
Cold lasers, when applied with specific settings, at a specific wavelength and frequency help to structure cellular energy. Brain cells are the pieces that make up the broken network, so naturally they need energy to clean up the junk (cytochrome c oxidase), make more ATP (energy source for metabolism), reduce damage by free – radicals, converting them, and resolve the inflammatory cytokines that exist around the cells. Cold laser is directed at making the cells function better. It does not treat the injury or heal on its own. Laser is a very good tool for helping the body repair faster.
Nutrition for Brain Repair
Feeding the gut exactly what it can handle and absorb for proper repair. Most digestive systems aren’t functioning all that well before an injury to the master control (brainstem networks), and tend to struggle more after concussion. The traditional american diet is severely detrimental to brain healing, and IS damaging the brain all by itself. Minimizing supplements that are widely promoted to heal the brain. Rocket fuel in the form of specific supplementation needs to come way later after the brain has repaired critical networks.