Wednesday, 23 May 2018

Concussions, what are they and how do you move forward?

More and more over the last several years there has been an increase in media attention for one particular type of injury, concussion! Just tune into your morning sports show and you’ll likely hear of someone sustaining a concussion or someone leaving the field/ice because of concussion protocol.

So what is a concussion? A concussion is a mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI) induced by biomechanical forces. This means that a concussion is a result of a direct blow to the head, neck, or body with an impulsive force transmitted to the head. The force transmitted to the head, stretches/shears the nerves in the brain putting the body in the excitation phase of the injury. In this phase, there is a rapid onset of short-lived (minutes to hours) impairment of
neurological function that resolves spontaneously. People in this phase often feel confused, lose balance/coordination, have memory loss, seizure, or perhaps experience a loss of consciousness among other symptoms. After this phase passes, the injured person enters a spreading depression phase leaving them feeling sluggish, fatigued, and irritable. The brain used up a ton of energy in the first phase and is now depleted  of its usual stores so that little tasks (physical or cognitive) are energy taxing.

Acute clinical symptoms largely reflect a “functional” disturbance rather than a “structural” disturbance, therefore, there are no abnormalities seen on routine neuroimaging studies, such as MRI or CT scan.

Here’s the good news if you happened to sustain a concussion, many manual therapists are certified to manage concussion cases and at the Coach House, Dr. Mark is certified to do just that!

Concussion management is done on an individual basis by monitoring the tasks that drain the patient’s energy levels affecting their body/mood. This can be:
               - Body pain (muscle/joint soreness, headaches)
               - Cognitive disturbances (reaction time, concentration)
               - Visual/vestibular disruptions (environment)
               - Sleep disruption
               - Secondary anxiety/depression

The goal of therapy is always to get you back to where you want to be and that is back to your normal life.

In addition, the sooner a concussion is addressed, the quicker it can be resolved.  Research shows that a "wait and see" approach has little benefit, yet proactive strategies yield better outcomes.

Dr. Mark Bird, BSc, MSc, Acu, DC

No comments:

Post a Comment