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Concussions & Head Injuries

All You Need to Know

Concussions commonly occur in sports but did you know they are actually very common in non-athletes as well? Even though we don’t hear about it as often, concussions happen regularly in motor vehicle accidents, slips, & falls. Any time there is a sudden impact to the head or a jerking motion that whips the neck around, a concussion is highly possible.

We have recently added another blog posting to our collection regarding mild traumatic brain injuries (mTBI) and the phases of care from a chiropractic perspective. Nevertheless, Smart Pain Solutions is here to help you in the recovery process and getting you back to your normal you.

You can learn more about the “red flags” of concussions, other healthcare providers who may aid in treatment, and what our chiropractors do to manage these symptoms from mTBI. Check it out here

Concussion

Let’s Learn about Concussions & Head Injuries!

There has been a lot of new information coming out about concussions over the past few years and it has changed the way we talk about them. You may hear abbreviations and not know what they mean.

Common Head Trauma Terms

TBI stands for traumatic brain injury. This refers to a single event in which there was a concussion. It could be caused by helmet to helmet contact in football, hitting your head on a steering wheel in a car accident, or hitting your head on the ground when slipping on ice.

Another common abbreviation that we hear is CTE. CTE stands for Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy. This happens when there are multiple head traumas that lead to problems with thinking and memory, personality changes, and/or behavioral changes including aggression and depression. In some of the more high profile cases, some retired athletes have committed suicide as a result of their injuries. 

However, just because an athlete is involved with contact sports does not predispose them to CTE. Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy more commonly develops from continuous impacts to the head and can be avoided if players and coaches are educated on proper body mechanics and less impact related practices leading up to the games.

Signs of Concussions & Head Injuries

So what are the signs of a concussion and what can be done about it? Signs of a concussion can include a headache (or feelings of pressure in the head), confusion or mental fog, loss of memory around the time of the event, ringing in the ears, nausea, slurred speech, fatigue, and in some cases loss of consciousness. Only some of these conditions may be present and loss of consciousness is not a requirement for the concussion diagnosis.

What to do?

If you or someone around you has any of these symptoms following head trauma, no matter how minor it seems, it is imperative to seek medical help. At Smart Pain Solutions we can help. If you feel you may be dealing with a concussion and do not know where to turn, an initial evaluation at one of our offices would be a good start.

QAPE It for Concussions

Question:

Neck pain is a common condition seen in a chiropractic office. Common causes for neck pain include things like a concussion, poor posture, and arthritis. The doctors will discuss the onset, and patterns of signs and symptoms to determine what assessments can and should be done if a further evaluation is needed.

Plan:

Trigger Point Release through muscles of the jaw, neck, and upper back, manual stretching and mobilization of jaw, or chiropractic adjustments through neck and upper back following the acute symptomatic phase. Trial of care 2x/week for 2 weeks. Additional self management strategies such as rest, eliminating blue light, and increased uptake of foods rich in nutrients may be recommended depending on the case. 

Assess:

After the initial rest phase of concussion recovery, postural assessments, palpation, possibly X-rays, and tests of motion and mobility will be done to diagnose where the neck pain is coming from and why.

Execute:

During the recovery phase from concussions, treatment progress/change should be noted at each visit. If no progress is being made after 2-3 visits a re-evaluation may be necessary leading to a change in plan. If the treatment is working, visits may extend past 2 weeks to achieve maximum medical improvement.

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