At BodaHealth, we work with patients who have suffered from a concussion. You may have heard about concussions occurring on the football field, but they can happen in any number of ways, such as a fall, car accident, or an assault. Concussions can also occur in sports other than football, such as soccer, hockey, Lacrosse, skiing, and cycling. And while you may see professional athletes get up and continue playing after a hit to the head, a concussion is a serious injury that needs attention.
A concussion is considered a kind of a traumatic brain injury (TBI). It occurs after a trauma to your head or violent shaking, such as a whiplash injury. Your brain is made of soft tissue, and is cushioned by fluid within your skull. However, a blow or jolt to your head causes your brain to twist or bounce forcefully against the side of your skull, causing changes to chemicals in your brain and injuring brain cells.
Some medical practitioners consider concussions a mild brain injury because they typically aren’t life-threatening. However, the impact from a concussion can be life-altering. Your brain is a very complicated organ, and injuries to the brain vary from person to person. The symptoms of a concussion can be subtle and easily missed. In addition, concussive symptoms may not appear for days or weeks after an injury. Some of the more immediate symptoms of a concussion include:
- Momentary loss of consciousness
- Headache &/or neck pain
- Feeling confused or appearing confused to others
- Not remembering the injury
- Ringing in the ears (tinnitus)
- Seeing stars or sparkly vision
- Feeling dizzy
- Nausea &/or vomiting
- Changes in speech or delayed responses
- A sensation of pressure in the head
Each concussion is different, and recovery time will vary from person to person. People who have had a previous concussion and older people tend to recover more slowly. Most people with mild concussions fully recover, but it can take weeks, and sometimes months to be symptom-free.
Post-concussion syndrome occurs when you have recently had a concussion and continue to experience symptoms for months or even longer. The symptoms of post-concussion syndrome may begin to appear in the days following your concussion, or take weeks to develop. Some patients with post-concussion syndrome struggle to describe their symptoms but say they just don’t feel right, and others have very concrete symptoms including:
- Continuing headaches
- Vertigo or dizziness
- Memory and/or concentration issues
- Feeling restless or irritable
- Visual and auditory hypersensitivity
- Changes in personality
Most people who suffer from post-concussion syndrome recover, but recovery time is unpredictable, depending on each patient’s history and the nature of the injury.
Concussion Treatment Strategies at BodaHealth
Because every patient experiences a concussion differently, the practitioners at BodaHealth take into account your overall health prior to your injury, the nature of your concussion, and your current symptoms. Based on your needs, we offer a number of treatments and strategies to help you recover from your head injury as quickly as possible.
-Cold Laser Therapy – We’re proud to offer cold laser therapy for our patients who have suffered from a concussion or brain trauma. Cold laser therapy is a treatment that uses red and infrared light to heal. The lasers used are safe and gentle and emit light particles that penetrate deep within your body to help repair damaged tissue, reduce swelling and relieve pain. Researchers have discovered that cold laser therapy improves the integrity of myelin, the protective layer that surrounds neurons (nerve cells) in the brain. And health care providers are finding that cold laser therapy sessions can dramatically improve concussion-related symptoms such as memory loss, headaches and sleep problems while improving measures of mental functioning. In fact, the benefits of cold laser therapy on the brain are so evident that the U.S Veteran’s Administration offers it to veterans who are experiencing combat-related traumatic brain injuries. This is an exciting breakthrough in treating concussions and brain trauma, and is available at BodaHealth!
At BodaHealth, we also recognize that people with concussions frequently have neck and upper back injuries from the impact of their concussive injury. Therefore, it’s our goal to help you recover from your concussion symptoms, and from any related musculoskeletal problems. Here’s how we can help:
-Acupuncture. The use of acupuncture in recovering from a concussion is beneficial for a number of reasons. It can improve the flow of blood to your brain, offer pain relief, and reduce concussion induced symptoms such as nausea and dizziness. In addition, acupuncture alters chemicals in your brain to calm your nervous system, which can help with anxiety, irritability, and insomnia.
Research on the use of both Traditional Chinese acupuncture and ear acupuncture in treating traumatic brain injuries concluded that both forms of acupuncture are effective in reducing headaches, compared to the usual care provided. Research also supports acupuncture as an effective choice for relieving neck pain. An analysis of several studies on treating neck pain concluded that acupuncture is safe and effective for reducing pain and associated disability.
-Traditional Chinese Medicine. In addition to acupuncture, other healing modalities in the Chinese medical tradition are offered by our practitioners at BodaHealth. This includes cupping, Gua Sha and moxibustion which are soft-tissue treatments focused on reducing pain, increasing circulation, warming the tissues and speeding recovery from whiplash and neck injuries associated with concussive trauma. Healing from a major injury requires rest and uses your body’s energy. To support the healing process, our practitioners are experienced in using Chinese herbal medicine to support your entire system as your body recovers. Herbs may be prescribed to reduce pain, relieve headaches, address anxiety or depression, and boost your energy.
-Osteopathic Medicine. Our osteopathic practitioner is trained specifically in musculoskeletal techniques, used not only to assess, but also to treat your concussion symptoms. She is able to provide supportive care for any issues you may have related to concussion, neck and upper back injury, or any other health problems you may be experiencing.
–Naturopathic Medicine. Naturopathic medicine can be an important component in treating concussions safely and naturally. Our naturopathic doctors are able to assess your health status at a number of levels, including diet, digestion, emotional health, and chemical imbalances—all of which may be disrupted post-concussion. They are able to order tests if necessary, prescribe medications when appropriate, and may prescribe herbs and nutritional supplements, dietary guidelines, and lifestyle strategies to support your recovery.
-Massage Therapy. When treating concussions and associated neck and upper back pain, massage therapy can be extremely beneficial, and it feels good, too! Our massage therapists are experienced and proficient in working with patients who have sustained a wide variety of injuries. Massage can increase the flow of blood to injured areas, relieve pain, loosen tight or spastic muscles, increase your range of motion, reduce stress, and enhance the healing process.
Therapeutic Exercise, Clinical Pilates and Fascial Stretch. At BodaHealth, we offer therapeutic exercise, clinical Pilates and fascial stretch in one-on-one sessions. Our exercise therapy practitioners are skilled in helping patients strengthen and regain the use of their bodies after an injury, and concussion-related injuries. They can prescribe movements and exercises that help stretch and strengthen areas that have been injured. Their goal is to support your recovery and restore function.
At BodaHealth, we understand that the symptoms of a concussion can be subtle, life-altering, and take a long time to heal. Our experienced and compassionate practitioners are here to help you recover from your injury and get your life back on track. Contact us today to see how we can best help you.