Craven: Concussions

HEALTH &FITNESS Sport Physiotherapy | Orthopedic Rehabilitation | Training August, 2018 “Ever Wonder What Can be Done For A Concussion?” TOP 5 TREATMENT OPTIONS FOR CONCUSSIONS

2. Manual Therapy. With every concussion, there is also a whiplash. Studies have demonstrated that the acceleration required to cause a concussion is somewhere between 70 and 120 G’s (where G = force of gravity = 9.8m/s2). Whiplash, on the other hand has been shown to occur at only 4.5 G’s. It is therefore conceivably impossible for a concussion to occur without also causing a sprain or strain injury to your neck! In fact, a Canadian study found that 100% of the time, these injuries are happening together. What becomes even more confusing is that the signs and symptoms of whiplash and neck dysfunction are the exact same as concussion! Headaches, cognitive and emotional problems, balance problems and dizziness, eye movement control problems, and brain blood flow abnormalities have all been shown to occur in whiplash and neck pain patients. There is actually no way to tell if the symptoms are coming from your neck or from your concussion except with testing. In a recent unpublished study with the University of Buffalo, the researchers found that there was absolutely no difference in the symptoms that whiplash patients report and the symptoms that concussion patients report. Concussion is an injury that typically resolves quite quickly in most people (symptoms generally disappear for 80-90% of patients within 7 to 10 days); however, whiplash symptoms can linger for up to a year or more. So, if you are still having what you think are concussion symptoms, even if you don’t have neck pain, you may actually be suffering from symptoms that are coming from your

neck; which are easily treated with manual therapy and rehabilitative exercises. 3. Diet/Nutritional Changes. With injury to any tissue, there is inflammation; concussions are no exception with several studies demonstrating increased inflammatory markers following injury. Concussion results in a metabolic dysfunction (read: energy deficit) in the initial stages, which is why rest is important early on; anything that burns energy, such as thinking or physical activity, can increase symptoms. It is important to note however that the majority of studies examining this metabolic disruption show a recovery between 22 and 45 days after injury. In other words, beyond a 3-6 week period there is little metabolic explanation for your symptoms; unless of course you did not rest in the initial stages and/or received a second concussion soon after the first. Treatment options for both of these things can include simple dietary changes such as avoiding pro-inflammatory foods (red meats, refined sugars, white breads and pastas, artificial sweeteners) and replacing them with healthier options such as fruits and vegetables, fresh caught fish (salmon, mackerel, herring), and good fats (coconut oil, flax seed, almonds). These changes may help to offset an ongoing inflammatory response and reduce your symptoms. Although still in it’s infancy, there is increasing support for various supplements such as Omega-3 fatty acids, creatine, curcumin, magnesium glycinate,

and melatonin. Please speak with your healthcare professional prior to starting on any supplements as there can occasionally be adverse effects and/ or interactions with other medications that you may be taking. 4. Vestibular and Visual Rehab. Dizziness is one of the most common ongoing complaints of patients with persistent symptoms. This may be due to a number of overlapping issues such as problems with the balance centers of your brain, your visual system, and/or problems with the muscle and joint sensors of your neck. Visual system problems may also be one of the causes of ongoing cognitive complaints such as trouble with concentration and/or memory. Testing for each of these areas requires extensive knowledge of each of the systems and how they may interact. 5. Education and Reassurance (due to Psychological Comorbidities). It has been well established that patients with a pre-existing history of depression and/ or anxiety tend to have prolonged symptoms. Not only that, the symptoms of these and other mental health conditions can result in, or mimic, the same symptoms of concussion (dizziness, mental confusion, concentration problems, sadness, emotional outbursts). Many of these issues can begin before or after the concussion. In most cases, patients often feel much better following some education and reassurance.

Source: Complete Concussion Management: https://completeconcussions. com/2016/06/29/top-5-evidence-based-treatment-concussion/

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