Dr. Bell's Blog

Concussions: What Can Be Done?

Photo by stockdevil/iStock / Getty Images
Photo by stockdevil/iStock / Getty Images

In this current climate, especially when it comes to sports injuries, concussions have become the main topic of conversation.  Parents across the country are becoming increasingly nervous to have their son or daughter play many contact sports.  This has ultimately resulted in decreased player participation, and in many cases the unfortunate collapse of some high school sports programs.  Concussions have always happened, we are just now aware, more than ever, of their consequences. 

Prevention

Prevention of concussions obviously should be priority #1.  This has taken place with improved safety equipment and even rule changes in certain sports to reduce the likely hood of head trauma. A high level of physical fitness has also been shown to be valuable in preparing your body to accept increased physical punishment. Be sure your child is physically prepared to play their given sport they are participating in.

Symptoms

Many times there are not black and white symptoms of whether a concussion has occurred, and that is what is so difficult.  The individual does not have to be knocked unconscious, which is one of the big misconceptions.  Here are a few signs and symptoms that someone may have suffered a significant head/neck trauma:  Confusion, loss of memory, blurred vision, headache, problems with balance, anxiety, nausea, vomiting, dizziness, loss of energy, sadness, or a sensation of moving in slow motion.

Treatment

Traditional "treatment" primarily revolves around rest until the symptoms have completely subsided, at which time a gradual return to physical activity is instituted.  In chiropractic we are uniquely suited to care for individuals that have sustained concussions due to our extensive education with the central nervous system. Rest is indeed important, but in many cases the trauma that was sustained also causes significant misaligned vertebrae in the upper portion of the neck.  This can create symptoms that mimic those of a traditional concussion.  By correcting these problems with specific chiropractic adjustments and getting your nervous system back functioning at optimal levels, it will facilitate healing to happen as quickly as possible.  NHL superstar Sidney Crosby is a great example of how chiropractic can benefit athletes with concussions.  After being plagued with headaches and dizziness following a concussion, he turned to chiropractic for help.  This ultimately helped him to return to the ice in short order after an extended time away. 

For athletes specifically, chiropractic has been shown to increase performance, reduce injury rates, improve recovery time, enhance focus and mental clarity, improve reaction time, and help to extend athletic careers. This is why most major college and professional sports teams employ a chiropractor on staff.  If your son or daughter is active in sports (and even if they are not), be sure to get them checked by the chiropractor on a regular basis.  Not only will this help their athletic performance, it will also help them live a long and healthy life.

LIVE well.  BE well.