Traumatic brain injuries, or TBIs, have received a great deal of media attention in recent years, and for good reason. Not only do TBIs cause lasting injury on their own, but they significantly increase the risk of death from other infections, diseases or medication overdoses. In addition, brain injuries can cause lasting pain and diminished mental faculty, the symptoms of which fall under the umbrella of post-concussion syndrome.
What is Post-Concussion Syndrome?
Post-concussion syndrome (PCS) occurs after a head injury, such as a traumatic brain injury or concussion. It usually persists for several weeks or even months after the injury has occurred, with symptoms such as headaches, dizziness, difficulty concentrating, sensitivity to light and sounds, poor memory, sleep issues, and psychological symptoms such as depression and anxiety.
Post-concussion syndrome does not occur in all head injury cases, but does appear to be more common or severe in those who have had previous injuries. In addition, those who suffer from headaches or mental changes, such as amnesia or fatigue, directly after a head injury, are more likely to experience symptoms of post-concussion syndrome.
How is Post-Concussion Syndrome Treated?
There is no single treatment plan for PCS. Instead, doctors will treat each patient’s specific symptoms. Therefore, treatment ranges from simple rest and stress relief to prescription medications for pain or mental health symptoms.
How Can Chiropractic Care Relieve Post-Concussion Symptoms?
To understand the potential of chiropractic care to treat post-concussion syndrome, we must first explain how spine misalignment, caused by the force of an accident or injury, is linked to PCS. This occurs when two bones of the upper neck vertebrae – the C1 and C2 – are misaligned, even by a measurement as small as 1/4 of a millimeter.
The C1 vertebrae protects the brainstem, so even a slight misalignment can increase pressure and impair proper brainstem function. Further, when the C1 and C2 vertebrae are misaligned, cerebrospinal fluid may not be able to properly drain from the brain to the spinal cord, causing intracranial pressure and many of the symptoms listed above. Finally, misalignments in the upper spine can inhibit blood flow to the brain, again causing PCS symptoms to persist.
Therefore, when the upper spine is adjusted and misalignments are corrected, many of the common symptoms of post-concussion syndrome will abate. But because the misalignments are slight, it’s important to use low-force, precise adjustments.
At Opp Family Chiropractic, we’ll work with you to identify the underlying causes of post-concussion syndrome and to develop a physical therapy treatment plan that will fit your life. Don’t suffer from headaches, sleep loss, depression, inability to focus, or other concussion symptoms any longer than you have to. Call our St. Francis chiropractic office today to get started.