Post-Concussion Syndrome

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A concussion can occur when a full body hit causes the head to move quickly back and forth; a concussion can also be caused by a blow, jolt, or even a bump, to the head. If the head is impacted with a force of 95 gs, there is the possibility of concussion. 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.

Symptoms include:

  • "Don't feel right"
  • difficulty concentrating
  • difficulty remembering
  • fatigue or low energy
  • confusion
  • drowsiness
  • trouble falling asleep
  • more emotional
  • irritable or sad
  • nervous or anxious
  • headache
  • pressure in head
  • neck pain
  • nausea/vomiting
  • dizziness
  • blurred vision
  • balance problems
  • sensitivity to light
  • feeling slowed down
  • feeling like "in a fog"

To read more about Post-Concussion Syndrome visit the Vital Blog.


How can a Brain-Based Approach help me?

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: 

  1. 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. 
  2. 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. 
  3. 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 doctor can tell you whether this type of misalignment is contributing to your post concussion symptoms. If it is, a precise, gentle correction to the neck based on biomechanical calculations can restore head and neck alignment to: 

  • 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

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