Over the last few years, around this time of year, concussions have become a major topic of interest. More and more research is coming to light about just how dangerous concussions really are. While much of the focus has been done to better diagnose and prevent concussions (which needs to happen), very little has been done in the advancement of treatment.
Rest remains the most appropriate way to allow your brain to recover from a concussion, but what happens when symptoms remain even after weeks and months of rest?
Concussions are a brain injury. Currently, there are 8 factors used to diagnose concussions. In order to be diagnosed with a concussion, you only need to experience 3 out of the 8 factors. Headaches, dizziness, changes in mood, sleep, concentration, personality, irritability, not managing stress, are all on the list. Surprisingly, neck pain didn’t make the list!
As mentioned previously, concussions are a brain injury, but you can’t get a brain injury without neck (cervical) trauma. Alarmingly, the spine is rarely evaluated! What should, and needs to happen, is to find out how much influence the cervical trauma is playing in post-concussive symptoms. While neck symptoms don’t need to be present, presence of neck pain and symptoms will delay recovery from concussion injuries.
The suboccipital muscles are a group of 6 muscles that attach to the top of the skull and neck. Some of these muscles attach directly to the spinal cord. These are the most commonly injured structures with any neck and head trauma. Injury to these muscles can directly cause and increase concussion symptoms. As a result of trauma to the head and neck, adhesion is most likely to appear in these muscles.
As a consequence, adhesion decreases flexibility and pain. Adhesion in the suboccipital muscles can cause a variety of symptoms including, headaches and neck pain. It can be easily fixed by an expert trained to diagnose and treat this injury. The only way to know if you have adhesion present is to be evaluated by one of these experts.
Concussions are always individual and each person recovers at a different pace. If you have recently had, or been struggling with post-concussive symptoms it is vital to know how much of your injury is due to the brain, and how much is due to the cervical trauma!
While most of the recovery and treatment of concussions need to be focused around rest and managing activities, those that still suffer with symptoms weeks and months after need other solutions! Otherwise, these symptoms can persist years down the road. Concussions are always multifactorial, changes in diet and psychiatry may also help, but negating to treat the musculoskeletal component of the injury can be a huge mistake!
You owe it to yourself to explore all avenues of treatment to fully recover from injury and prevent long term damage!
Integrative Diagnosis providers are musculoskeletal experts trained in the evaluation and treatment of neck pain and injury. If you are fortunate enough to have an Integrative Diagnosis provider in your area, they can help with the recovery and treatment of concussions. Use this link to find a provider near you => PROVIDERS
If you live in or around the Cedar Rapids area, let the experts at Thrive Spine and Sport help! If you or someone you know are struggling to recover from a concussion we encourage you to call our office today at 319-423-0925 or schedule an appointment at www.thrivespineandsport.com/appointment-request/.
Thanks for reading!