What do hockey players, gymnasts, skiers and cheerleaders have in common?

CONCUSSIONS & Chiropractors

·      Concussion is a brain injury caused by a blow to the head, or to another body region resulting in a sudden jarring of the head and neck.

·      You DO NOT have to get “knocked out” (lose consciousness) to get a concussion.

·      Symptoms are not just physical, but can also affect the way you think, memory, and behavior.

·      Usually results in rapid onset, short-lived neurological impairment that resolves in 7-10 days. 

·      X-rays, CT scans and MRIs rarely show any detectable injury.

What are the signs and symptoms of concussions?

**There is a wide range of signs and symptoms that may last only a short time (sometimes under 15 minutes).  Young athletes can have a delayed onset of symptoms and some athletes have a brief period of symptoms that resolve and then return hours/days later.

  • Confusion                   
  • Headache                   
  • Emotional changes
  • Trouble falling asleep
  • Amnesia                     
  • Dizziness                   
  • Irritability         
  • Sleeping more than usual
  • Disorientation             
  • Balance disruption     
  • Fatigue           
  • Sleeping less than usual
  • Vacant stare              
  • Nausea/Vomiting        
  • Anxiety           
  • Inability to focus
  • Visual disturbances
  • Sadness
  • Feeling as if “in fog”
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Delayed verbal and motor responses
  • Slurred/incoherent speech
  • Excessive drowsiness

Recovering from a concussion

·      See a healthcare provider

·      If the athlete has had head trauma, they do NOT return to play

·      Initial management should include total REST for a period of 24 hours – absolutely no reading, watching TV, playing video games, using a cell phone, playing games, going to school or work, or physical activity

·      Rest your mind and body

·      Focus on improving sleep hygiene – avoid daytime naps

·      Eat a balanced diet, increase consumption of OMEGA 3 fatty acids and vitamin D

·      Meditation / relaxation / visualization exercises have shown improve recovery time

·      The acute use of medication is to be avoided as it can mask the signs of worsening condition

·      The use of NSAIDS (ibuprofen) should be avoided acutely in case of intracranial hemorrhage

·      The athlete should not return to play until given clearance by their DC or MD.  Returning to play too soon can increase the chance of “second impact” syndrome – causing a worsening of the symptoms and suffering a more serious brain injury