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Chiropractic Care for Concussions

With high-octane sports growing in popularity, it’s no surprise that head injuries are on the rise. These can range from concussions that fully heal to post-concussion syndrome that can take months or years to resolve. It also can turn into a severe, chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE). CTE is often associated with NFL players and combat veterans coming back home.

CTE can lead to the following symptoms:

  • Mood swings
  • Severe headaches
  • Confusion
  • Dementia
  • Depression
  • Substance abuse

According to an article published in the Orthopedic Journal of Sports Medicine in 2015, there were 4 million ER admissions between 2000 and 2011, relating to concussions. There has been a steady increase in concussions in surfing, mountain biking, Motocross, skateboarding, snowmobiling and skiing.

Snowboarding was #1 when it came to concussions with a whopping 42,811 diagnosed concussions. Regarding summer sports, skateboarding resulted in 28,328 concussions. The numbers drop for surfing at 3,242 concussions and 4,530 concussions from mountain biking (excluding BMX).

Suicide Risk Associated With Concussions

In 2016, the Canadian Medical Association Journal revealed a study of 235,000 men in Ontario who had concussed between 1992 and 2012. The study found that single concussion sufferers had suicide rates three times higher than those who had never had a head injury. The study also revealed that the rates increased to four times when the concussion occurred on a weekend leading to suicide frequency that exceeded the risk among military personnel.

It’s the movement of the brain within the skull that triggers a concussion. You’re bruising an area of the brain as it bounces around in the skull because of a rapid deceleration. Helmets will dampen that a bit, but they’re more important in preventing a skull fracture — the impact of force to the bones of the skull.

We tell patients that if there’s little trauma to the head – a small amount of force such as in a minor fall or car accident — this can not only cause injury to the brain but also the neck and other areas of the spine.

When to See a Chiropractor

If you’re having symptoms of a concussion, we encourage you to see us. A concussion could result in secondary changes to the spine that we can address at an earlier stage. In our office we’ve often seen that there’s a neck component to a concussion that’s triggering headaches.

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