Concussions – You Never Have “TMI”

Concussions are on the rise in many sports today. Whether this is due to more children participating in athletics or sports becoming more competitive, or it is due to more incidents being reported today than ever before, they are not to be taken lightly.

Today coaches are given mandatory guidelines to follow. In fact, one is if a child has sustained an injury to the head during their sport, they should be immediately removed from participation of the sport. The impact may have been severe enough to have symptoms right away – but not always. Sometimes it may take days – or even up to a week for them to occur.

I like to use two analogies to describe a concussion. The first is that a concussion is like a bruise to the body. The brain will have a bruise and swelling just like the skin or a muscle does. The difference is, the brain is neural tissue and can have severe and long term effects, whereas the skin or muscle will recover in about a week without many effects other than discomfort. The second is that brain matter is like butter. It is soft and vulnerable.

Symptoms of a concussion: Acute symptoms may include one or more of the following: headache, loss of coordination, speed and agility, confusion, inability to concentrate or brain fog, amnesia, sensitivity to light, loss of appetite and vomiting. Long term or chronic symptoms may involve the endocrine system. Untreated, concussions may cause inhibited growth, learning disabilities and menstrual irregularity.

If severe symptoms such as passing out or loss of consciousness, the person affected should seek immediate medical attention and go to emergency room due to possible blood clot. Most importantly ask questions about how they feel and observe your child.

Treatment for concussions – R.A. N. C.

Rest: Rest is the most important. This means rest from anything that requires work from the brain. Therefore, it is a good idea to refrain from T.V., electronics, cell phone, Instagram and Facebook, etc. If your child is experiencing any concussion symptoms they may not resist this protocol because they know they don’t feel good and something is wrong. Educating them on the ramifications is a good idea. Getting a good night sleep and naps after school may be required until their symptoms are gone.

Acupuncture: Ear acupuncture is the best for this condition. The ear acts as a switchboard. There are specific points in the ear that trigger healing blood flow and energy flow to specific areas of the brain. Targeting specific brain centers with healing energy like the frontal lobe, Cerebral Cortex and Cerebellum will reduce swelling and reduce the effects of the brain bruise (hematoma).

Nutrition: Amino acids such as Glutamine. Omega – 3 fatty acids or Fish Oil with EPA and DHA. Trader Joe’s has an odorless one that is easy to digest. Also, taking it at night helps cut down any after taste or burping.

Chiropractic: A Chiropractic evaluation is recommended. The impact can affect cranial and cervical alignment and may cause neck pain or if left untreated may cause chronic neck pain and headaches issues later.

Preventing Concussions

Wearing helmets and/or protective head gear in contact related sports should be encouraged at all times for appropriate sports. Technique is also very important. In soccer for instance, proper biomechanics while heading are critical. Players should strike the ball just below the hairline on the front of the head while simultaneously isometrically contracting the neck musculature. To counteract the force of the impacting ball, the player should apply a counterforce generated by moving the trunk into flexion. By performing the maneuver as described, the body of the player becomes a single, rigid unit that lowers the risk of injury by decreasing the linear and rotational accelerations on the head as forces generated by the ball are dispersed across the player’s body.

For more information please contact Dr. Jody Danese, D.C., Lac at jodydanese@aol.com or 949-637-2727.

Additional information on the concussion topic can be found here:

www.concussionsaftey.com

bianys.org/_literature_98853/Conc_in_the_Classroom

www.acquiredbraininjury.com