A concussion is a neurologic injury that causes a temporary disturbance in brain cells, as a result of extreme acceleration or deceleration of the brain within the skull. It is also referred to as a type of traumatic brain injury that is caused by a blow to the head or body, a fall, or another injury that jars or shakes the brain inside the skull. There may be no visible signs of a brain injury (lacerations and bruising on the head) and you do not have to lose consciousness to have a concussion. You may forget what happened right before in the injury or lack recall of the incident itself. Often times people make a full recovery, however, there is a portion of people whom recovery takes longer and is more complicated. Below, we will explain the in-and-out of concussion management.
It is important to recognize that the brain is much more sensitive following a concussion and susceptible to further injury, therefore it is important that you understand what to avoid as to not negatively impact your recovery. In rare cases, concussions can cause more serious problems as can repeated concussions or a more severe brain injury.
Concussion management and mild traumatic head injuries are widespread and impact people of all ages.
The Government of Canada recognizes that too many individuals experience concussions during sport and recreation activities, sometimes with tragic outcomes. Concussions in sport are a recognized public health issue because of their frequency and their potential short- and long-term consequences.
- 64% of visits to hospital emergency departments among 10-18 year-olds are related to participation in sports, physical activity and recreation.
- Among children and youth (10-18 years) who visit an emergency department for a sports-related head injury, 39% were diagnosed with concussions, while a further 24% were possible concussions.
- Football, soccer and hockey have all shown a greater than 40% increase in rates of reported head injury (relative to other injuries) between 2004 and 2014 for children and youth.
By ensuring quick access to care and best practice information related to treatment and return to school, sport, work and activity can dramatically improve successful outcomes and a return to normal life.
Adapted from Willer B, Leddy JJ. Concussion management and post-concussion syndrome. Current Treatment Options in Neurology. 2006;8:415-426; with kind permission from Springer Science and Business Media. More info can be found here as well.
At Pillars of Wellness we will conduct a thorough post-injury evaluation in order to gain a complete picture of your injury and how it’s impacted you. This includes a detailed interview in order to obtain information on how the injury occurred, how you were feeling after the injury and what post-trauma care occurred, listing previous head trauma or concussions, reviewing previous medical conditions and medications. Following an extensive interview, we will perform a physical examination to provide insight into the severity of your injury and impairments needing to be addressed.
The integrated approach will include computerized neurocognitive testing, vestibular testing, balance / gait / strength and co-ordination testing, visual motor testing and generalized neurological and musculoskeletal assessment. The Pillars of Wellness team will review all assessments results and determine the best treatment options depending on the identified needs and stage of recovery. Within the Concussion / Head Injury Wellness package, you have access to Chiropractic care, Physiotherapy, Naturopathic intervention, MPS, Mindfulness as well as Occupational Therapy and Speech Language Therapy.
Recovering from a concussion
Recovering from a concussion or head injury can be challenging and often time’s people lack the knowledge to manage their symptoms and access appropriate care. At Pillars of Wellness, we develop individualized care programs to help maximize the speed of your recovery utilizing various treatment techniques including:
- Education on the injury, the importance of energy conservation, pacing and rest
- Guidelines with respect to return to school, work and sport
- Slow integration into physical activity
- Vestibular rehabilitation and manual therapy
- Cognitive rehabilitation and visual perceptual training
- Manual therapy and acupuncture / MPS
- Dietary recommendations and supplementations