Concussions at Dana Point, CA
A Chiropractic Approach to Concussions
Concussions and traumatic brain injuries are more common than we think. As a society, we tend to dismiss a whiplash from a fall, and small fender bender or sports injury. We tend to think that it will pass. In many cases it does, but in others, it doesn’t.
Regardless of whether it does or doesn’t, the first thing to do is to recognize the signs in order to prevent another one right away. As research shows that two TBI close to one another can be very detrimental to your brain health and can take months to recover from. Also, studies show that a chronic history of concussions can lead to neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s and Dementia. It’s also important to know that even though symptoms don’t show up right away, it doesn’t mean that no damage has been done.
What is a concussion or traumatic brain injury and how do you know if you had one?
A concussion doesn’t have the same symptoms for everyone. Everyone’s brain is different and can have different reactions.
When the brain is injured, it gets inflamed. And the brain doesn’t feel pain like our muscles or other organs…Neuroinflammation in the brain shows up as:
- Brain fog
- Difficulty concentrating
- Cognitive difficulties
- Sensitivity to Light and Sound
- Get tired easily after being on the computer.
- Coordination issues (which can lead easily to another accident)
These signs are important to recognize and address as soon as possible to help the brain heal.
What to expect at PCH Chiropractic when you come for help for a concussion or traumatic brain injury?
Here are some of the specific steps we do when caring for patients with concussions:
1. Detailed History
We need to know how the injury happened and also when it happened. In many cases, the symptoms of concussions don’t show up right away. They can take months to surface and can linger for that long. It is important to be able to identify those signs to figure out how to help the brain heal.
2. Detailed Exam
This includes a chiropractic exam, an orthopedic exam, and a neurological exam. Eye tracking exercises and coordination/balance tests might also be performed to check how the brain is processing the incoming information and which part might be more affected than others. In some cases, cognitive assessment is also needed.
3. X-Rays, if Necessary
We might also take x-rays to see how the spine has been affected. The research shows that in all cases of concussions and traumatic brain injury, the cervical spine was involved. Therefore, it is important to check the alignment and integrity of the cervical spine. That is why we might perform low-radiation digital x-rays to see how the region of the neck has been affected during the accident.
What do we do at PCH Chiropractic to help people with concussions or traumatic brain injuries?
Just like not everyone has the same symptoms from concussions, there are no size fits all for caring for someone with concussions that is why we have a multi-faceted approach to people with brain injuries.
1. Chiropractic Adjustments
The first thing we will do is to restore the alignment of your spine with chiropractic adjustments. This will also help with decreasing the inflammation in the regions that are most affected. We will check for subluxations (misalignments in the spine) and remove to restore nerve flow, blood flow, and cerebrospinal fluid flow. It also helps break down scar tissue and decrease inflammation. All our muscles and organs are under the control of the brain and nervous system. If there’s a break in communication it can lead to a loss of neuromuscular control. Therefore, by removing subluxations, the nervous system and the brain can start to have better communication with the rest of the body.
This is something that is specific to the technique that we practice at PCH Chiropractic where we help restore the proper curve in your spine. Often with a concussion and a whiplash, the cervical curve is altered and unless something is actively done to restore it, it doesn’t come back to the correct curve on its own. Therefore, we help with some exercises and special equipment to restore the proper spinal curves. The research has also shown that restoring those curves improves the speed at which the brain communicates with the rest of your body by improving the speed of the messages sent through the nervous system.
3. Balance Exercises
Often after a concussion the part of the brain that controls balance and coordination, called the cerebellum, gets affected and coordination issues follow. Depending on the test findings that were performed, we might give balance exercises in order to improve coordination. In many cases, patients find that this helps with brain fog and concentration as well as balance and coordination.
4. Eye exercises
This is another way to stimulate the brain in a positive way. Eye tracking gives us a window into the brain to see how the brain processes information and specifically what areas of the brain are the most inflamed.
5. Cognitive exercises
These might be added to balance and coordination exercises to increase the levels of brain stimulation. All this is really a big gym workout for the brain in order to make it stronger and get back to its old strong self.
We might also recommend some supplements and vitamins that can help with healing the brain as well as the gut. The research shows that within a few hours of a concussion or traumatic brain injury, a leaky gut follows. Therefore, it is very important to address that part of the body as well to make sure that chronic inflammation doesn’t set in.
Things that you can do at home to help with recovering from a concussion or brain injury.