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Concussion and Post-Concussion Syndrome

What is concussion? :

According to the American academy of neurology concussion is defined as “trauma induced alteration in mental status that may or may not involve loss of consciousness.”

PCS is defined by the WHO as persistence of three or more of the following symptoms after head injury : headache, dizziness, fatigue, irritability, insomnia, concentration or memory difficulty (PCS is diagnosed if symptoms persist > 3 weeks)

Levels of the symptoms :

  1. Mild, with symptoms that last less than 15 minutes and involve no loss of consciousness

  2. Moderate, with symptoms that last longer than 15 minutes and involve no loss of consciousness.

  3. Severe, in which the person loses consciousness, sometimes for just a few seconds.

Causes of concussion :

Falls, motor vehicle accidents, struck by or against events, and assaults, respectively. Blasts are a leading cause of head injury among active duty military personnel in war zones. Sports and recreation activities are also a major cause.

If you think or remember any significant events that are mentioned above the right course of action is to mention it to your primary care physician as it is very important information that a lot of people miss or forget to share which can determine the right path towards your healing process.

Common symptoms seen after concussion or with post concussion syndrome :

You may notice physical, cognitive, emotional or sleep changes :

Physical symptoms like headaches, fuzzy or blurry vision, ringing in the ears, dizziness, fatigue, drowsiness, sensitivity to light, sensitivity to noise, balance problems, nausea or vomiting (early on) are very common and can last from 7-10 days or longer.

Cognitive symptoms like difficulty thinking clearly, feeling slowed down, difficulty concentrating or difficulty remembering new information may also show up.

Emotional symptoms may include irritability, sadness, feeling more emotional, nervous or anxious.

All the above changes also can contribute to sleeping more than usual, sleeping less than usual or trouble falling asleep.

The standard approach to concussions is getting a CAT scan or MRI and resting until the symptoms disappear. Unfortunately, this approach may lead to scar tissue formation within the fascial layers and can cause further compensation for function.

Is there an alternative treatment? Manual therapy is a better approach than the Gold standard process

Craniosacral Therapy :

Think of the analogy of trying to get saran wrap to smoothly cover a loaf of bread but it becomes folded and twisted. The fascia (connective tissue) is a lot like that as it wraps around the brain and SC. The goal of this therapy is to smooth and straighten the tissues so the organ underneath (the brain) functions better.

The increased balanced motion of the membrane surrounding the brain helps flush toxins and inflammation out of the brain tissue. As this occurs it can naturally elevate the biochemical processing which increases the function of neurons and neurological pathways. Newfound motion of the brain tissue and fluid helps decrease the abnormal and often enormous strain the brain is under. As the strain on the brain is reduced the patient's symptoms discussed above are reduced or completely eliminated with 60 minutes of manual therapy within 4-6 sessions.

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