Introduction To Concussions
A concussion, otherwise known as a minor form of traumatic brain injury (TBI), is an injury that results from trauma to the head. When the trauma occurs, it causes the brain to move rapidly within the skull, causing it to slam into the inner part of the skull. The reason it is considered mild is that concussions typically do not cause permanent damage to the brain or any of its cells. It is possible, however, for concussion symptoms to persist for weeks, months, or even years. This has the potential to be debilitating for the individual, as it can have a profound impact on his/her quality of life and ability to function.
Thankfully, most symptoms of a concussion resolve in a reasonable amount of time. During that time, though, the symptoms can be highly uncomfortable. Some of the most common symptoms of a concussion include headaches, neck pain, confusion, vision changes, memory loss, nausea, and fatigue, though not every concussion sufferer will experience the same symptoms. Each person’s experience with a concussion is uniquely different and dependent on several factors including what kind of trauma was sustained. There is a common misconception that you only have a concussion if you lose consciousness in the midst of the trauma. This is simply not true, as it is very possible (and very common) to get a concussion while maintaining your consciousness.
This is why it is so important to be evaluated by a health care professional if you experience any type of trauma to the head, even if you feel completely fine in the moment. Sometimes concussion symptoms don’t start until days or even weeks following the incident. Knowing the kinds of symptoms concussions cause can help you identify an injury and empower you to maintain dialogue with your health care provider about how your situation is developing. The biggest takeaway should be that any type of injury involving the head or brain should be treated with the utmost seriousness. There is no such thing as being too cautious with these types of injuries.
At the Springfield Wellness Center, it is common for our chiropractors to see patients who currently have a concussion. Remember, the spine must be in good alignment in order for the nervous system to heal and function optimally. If there are barriers to normal function, such as subluxation in the spine, the brain, spinal cord, the entire nervous system simply is not able to heal in the same way. Understanding that our bodies heal from the inside out, and not the other way around, is essential to overcoming the obstacles that concussions can cause.
How We Treat Concussions in Springfield, IL
Detailed Consultation and Examination
Before you start care at the Springfield Wellness Center, your first visit will include a consultation and exam. During the consultation, the doctor will sit down with you and converse about what your problem is and why you have made this appointment. This sit-down is hugely important because it allows the doctor to get to know you better and understand how this problem is impacting your life. With injuries such as concussions, your doctor will also be screening to determine if our office is even the right place for you at this time. Sometimes people have more urgent needs that can’t be fulfilled in a chiropractic office. Either way, our doctors will either confirm you are in the right place or make sure you get to the right place.
During the examination, the chiropractor will go through a range of tests with you to determine what the source of your problem is. Because concussions can cause many different ancillary conditions such as neck pain, understanding what the source of that neck pain may be is critical in addressing that component of the concussion syndrome at hand. With so many tools at our disposal, the Springfield Wellness Center is able to customize your care to meet your unique needs. This will ensure that you meet your goals for care and get back to living the life you want to live.
Comprehensive Chiropractic Care in Springfield, IL
Chiropractic treatment is the centerpiece of the care we provide at the Springfield Wellness Center. When bones in your spine become misaligned, they create endangering stress on your spinal cord and nerves. These misalignments disrupt the communication that occurs between the brain and body, and the body and brain. This communication is vital for the body to function optimally and have the ability to heal. A concussion can cause subluxations as well as direct injury to nervous system tissue, the brain. An optimally functioning nervous system is essential to properly heal from these types of traumatic injuries.
Also, the type of incidents that cause concussions cause conditions such as neck pain and headaches. Incidents such as sports injuries and car accidents cause whiplash which can cause pain in these delicate areas. Chiropractic is extremely effective at treating these conditions and helping to restore normal function. This can also be part of the healing process towards a full recovery from a concussion. Chiropractic is natural and safe and does not require any medications, injections, or surgery. At a minimum, conservative treatments like chiropractic care should be sought out first before proceeding to more invasive methods.
In incidents that cause the head to forcefully move around and cause a concussion, there is almost always damage to the soft tissues of the neck, upper back, and shoulders as well. This is commonly referred to as whiplash, and it can be a very painful and difficult associated condition to deal with in addition to other concussion symptoms. After a whiplash injury, these muscles can become extremely tight, which limits range of motion and causes significant pain. Massage therapy is one of the soft tissue therapies we offer at the Springfield Wellness Center to help address whiplash and concussion-related headaches. Alleviating the tension of these muscles and helping them to calm down can help reduce pain, improve range of motion, and increase overall function. Massage therapy plays a key role in our care provided to patients of Personal Injury cases after a car accident.
Cervical Spine Decompression
In many traumas that cause concussions, such as sports injuries or falls, spinal compression can occur as well. Compression to the spine restricts normal range of motion due to joint irritation and inflammation, as well as nerve irritation which puts the entire nervous system under endangering stress. One of the treatments that we utilize at the Springfield Wellness Center to address this problem is cervical spine (neck) decompression. Neck decompression is often described by patients as a “weight lifted off their shoulders” which brings pain relief and reduces tension and irritation. As the neck is slowly stretched, it removes pressure from the spine, nerves, and joints, allowing them the space they need to heal and function optimally. When combined with chiropractic care, decompression is a fantastic way to accelerate the healing process from a concussion and its associated conditions.
Therapeutic Exercise in Springfield, IL
One of the most common treatments we utilize to improve concussion patient outcomes in our office is therapeutic exercise. Time and time again research demonstrates how beneficial exercise is for the human brain, and recovering from a TBI like a concussion is no different. Exercise increases blood flow to the brain which helps to facilitate healing and regeneration. It also helps to alleviate many aches and pains such as neck pain, upper back pain, and shoulder pain. At the Springfield Wellness Center, our trainer will work with you individually to understand your needs and help guide you towards what you wish to achieve. Your customized care plan will include office visits as well as home care, so you are constantly in a position to improve.
Common Causes of Concussion in Springfield, IL
Car accidents are one of the most common causes of concussions because even accidents that occur at low speeds can cause a concussion. In fact, speeds of only 5-10 miles per hour can still generate significant G-forces that are strong enough to damage soft tissues of the neck. Also, vehicles are designed to absorb energy from the collision. So even if the car does not appear to have any damage, the people inside are still susceptible to the forces involved, and it is enough to cause a concussion. Sometimes, due to shock and adrenaline in the immediate aftermath, concussion symptoms may be delayed in their presentation. Even if you feel fine after an accident it is still wise to be checked out by a healthcare professional. And if you begin to experience symptoms, you should definitely be evaluated further for your safety.
When people think of sports injuries and concussions, the first ones they usually think of are contact-heavy sports like football and hockey. However, concussions can happen in any sport, and at any age or skill level. Even heading a soccer ball has been known to cause a concussion. This is why it is so important to address head injuries in sports in the appropriate way. Yes, athletes are competitive and want to continue to compete. But when their future health is at stake, it is simply not a risk worth taking. After all, when you get a concussion, if you get another concussion shortly after, it can have serious health ramifications. It is always best to play it safe and allow yourself to heal fully before getting back on the playing field. It is simply not worth taking the risk.
Slips and Falls
Let’s face it: humans can be clumsy. Sometimes we don’t pay attention, and sometimes we just have a knack for falling now and then. Unfortunately, these types of incidents often can lead to concussion, and not always simply from hitting your head on the ground. The sheer movement of falling and catching yourself is enough for the brain to move rapidly within the skull and sustain damage. Whether it is icy or wet out or you’re tripping over a toy, slips and falls are very common and can be very dangerous. If you don’t feel right after experiencing one, even if you feel silly for doing so, it is absolutely recommended that you get checked out just to be on the safe side. If a potential problem goes unaddressed and becomes chronic, it could lead to years or decades of unwelcome symptoms.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can a chiropractor in Springfield, IL help with a concussion?
Yes, the chiropractors at The Springfield Wellness Center have helped many people recover from their concussion symptoms by providing care that optimizes the nervous system and puts the body in a peak state to help facilitate healing from the inside out. By taking a comprehensive approach to their care, we can help people get back to living the lives they want to live.
What are 5 symptoms of a concussion?
Concussions can cause many different types of symptoms. Some of the most common ones include headaches, dizziness, memory loss, nausea, and fatigue. Not everyone will experience all of these, in fact, some may not experience any of these. Every person’s experience is unique to them and the trauma they suffered. Health care providers are aware of all possible concussion symptoms and can accurately diagnose this problem accordingly.
How long does a concussion usually last?
Concussion healing times can vary greatly. Some can resolve within a week or 2, while others may take more than a year to fully recover. It depends on several different factors, especially the extent to which the individual was injured. Approach your recovery with patience and diligence, and in due time you will make the recovery that you desire.
Can a neck adjustment cause a concussion?
No, chiropractic adjustments to the neck are gentle and safe and do not cause concussions. While it does not take a lot of force for a concussion to possibly occur, the technique chiropractors use to perform these treatments ensures that the patient is safe and under no type of stress which could lead to a concussion.
Can concussion damage be reversed?
In most cases, concussion symptoms will resolve completely, which is why it is only considered a mild traumatic brain injury (TBI). However, the time it takes to heal can vary greatly. Being consistent with your care and recovery action steps can help reduce the time it takes to heal from this type of injury.