Concussion Symptoms and Treatment
The Head & Neck junction is often related to many post-concussion symptoms, and vital for proper recovery.
A concussion can be caused by a blow, jolt, or even a bump, to the body. This can cause trauma inside the skull, as well as injury to the junction between the skull and neck. For the most part, concussion symptoms resolve within 7-10 days, however, 10-15% of concussion patients develop persistent symptoms that last weeks, months, or even years after the injury. While there are a number of classifications, post-concussion syndrome, or PCS, is defined as the persistence of 3 or more symptoms for at least 4 weeks following a minor head injury. Learn more about Post-concussion syndrome on our Vital Blog.
Post concussion symptoms include:
"Don't feel right"
fatigue or low energy
trouble falling asleep
irritable or sad
nervous or anxious
pressure in head
sensitivity to light
feeling slowed down
feeling like "in a fog"
A Brain-Based Approach From a Concussion Specialist
The Head & Neck
The basic background of the head and neck junction is essential to understand. The lower 2/3 of your neck is fairly stable. However, the upper 1/3 of your neck is much more mobile and complex. It also has major influence relating to brain communication, as it functions similar to a relay station, so it’s incredibly important.
When you have any type of injury, even if it’s a minor fall or accident form years ago, it can cause damage to the ligaments (the ‘glue’) that support your neck alignment. If this occurs, your head and neck can become slightly misaligned as shown in the picture above. This causes 3 main problems:
When the top two bones in the spine misalign, the fluid that flows between your brain and body doesn’t flow smoothly (both the blood, and cerebrospinal fluid). The twisted pathway is similar to a river frothing around a curve, and causes inflammation. This can lead to headache and brain fog, among many other symptoms.
The muscles become imbalanced, affecting signals from the muscles back to the brain. The suboccipital muscles (right where your head meets your neck) have high amounts of proprioceptive input, affecting your balance, dizziness, and visual pathways.
The imbalance causes neck stiffness and pain. Inflammation and irritation near the brainstem can interfere with the information signaling between your brain and body, so the body remains imbalanced until a specific correction is obtained.
A specific exam from a NUCCA concussion specialist can tell you whether this type of misalignment is contributing to your post concussion symptoms. Our specialized concussion treatment will
improve fluid flow between the brain and body
resolve neck-head mismatch signals which cause dizziness
improve brain-body balance and communication to decrease pain