What is a concussion?
A concussion is a type of traumatic brain injury caused by a bump, blow, or jolt to the head, or even a hit to the body that causes the brain to move rapidly back and forth inside the skull.
What happens to the brain when you have a concussion?
In the past, experts used to believe that a concussion was caused by the brain bouncing around inside the skull, causing bruising and inflammation, which lead to the concussion symptoms. But in recent years, research indicates that this is not an accurate explanation for what happens during a concussion.
The latest research indicates that concussions are rather created by a rapid acceleration and deceleration of brain matter. When your head or body receives a direct blow, it can cause the brain to make this rapid movement.
Why is this so harmful? The brain is comprised of grey and white matter which have different densities. This means parts of your brain will accelerate and decelerate at a different rate, causing it to move out of sync. The axons (parts of the nerves) that run between the gray matter and white matter are damaged as a result of this difference in their respective acceleration and deceleration. This damage is what leads to the symptoms commonly associated with a concussion, such as fatigue, headaches, loss of balance, and coordination issues.
Can a concussion be treated?
Historically, concussed individuals were told to rest until they feel better. However, now that there has been a tremendous amount of research done on the recovery process, it’s been determined that while rest is important in the early stages (24 – 48 hours), longer periods of rest can actually complicate a patient’s recovery.
Does this mean I can go back to playing sports right away?
No. While rest and movement are important initially, concussions need ongoing treatment overseen by a practitioner knowledgeable with the latest concussion treatment research.
What does treatment look like?
Our team at Pure has completed extensive training through Complete Concussion Management to treat patients who are experiencing symptoms of both acute concussion and post concussion symptoms with movement designed to help the brain heal in those later stages. Since every patient and every concussion is unique, our team of experts collaborates with each other and their patients to come up with a personalized treatment plan. Treatments may include rehabilitation exercises, vestibular ocular training, chiropractic care, physiotherapy, as well as massage therapy.
Our practitioners look at the 5 main causes of concussion symptoms when coming up with a personalized treatment plan for each patient.
These symptoms include:
- Blood flow and autonomic nervous system function
- Metabolic, inflammatory and hormonal changes
- Visual and vestibular function
- Cervical spine function
- Psychological function
Where can I learn more about concussion?
You can review our website for more information, and recently our very own Dr. Michael Heinzlmeir was a guest on the What the Hack Podcast episode “What If Everything You Know About Concussion Was Wrong?”
To schedule a complimentary consultation for concussion care, please complete the following form: