Concussion

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From Squamish being the outdoor capital of Canada, it can be possible that one of your friend or even you have done, or will eventually do a concussion. So lets have a look to what it is, what are the results of it and what can we do to help it.

What is a concussion:  A concussion is often defined as representing the immediate and transient symptoms of traumatic brain injury. It can be from a direct as an indirect impact (whiplash) and can potentially produce a tear in the nuchal ligament. No matter what type of concussion, it is important to treat it.

Signs & Symptoms: They appear within the first 24 to 48h. Then, after a big mountain bike crash or a good whiplash falling from kite boarding, helmet or no helmet, the person concern must take precaution within the next days and must be aware of late symptom appearance. Cognitive and physical rest is required for the first 48h.

A concussion can result of many different type of symptoms such as physiological, cervical and occulo-vestibular symptoms.  Symptoms like cervical restriction, headache, dizziness, change of vision, fatigue, anxiety, and change in emotional behaviour, concentration and/or memory disorder can be noticed.

The brain itself can result of an increased energy demand and glucose consumption, an activation of the inflammatory process and a high level of cell Calcium. Even cell apoptosis as an axonal disruption can occur.  

When to go to the emergency? : If there is several vomiting episodes, suspected skull fracture, amnesia and alteration of consciousness state, symptoms in the extremities, increasing neck pain and headache, convulsion or double vision, it is important to go to the emergency and to have a proper medical follow-up.

Management: 80-90% of the concussions will heal within 7-10 days for adults and 4 weeks for children. Latest studies show that each concussion should be taking individually and that healing and activity should be following symptom tolerance. A graded exercise program at a level that does not exacerbate symptoms should be performed and no medication should be taken to take off symptoms (though, if necessary, Tylenol can be recommended for cervical pain).

Indeed, prolonged rest can have negative effects as doing too much to quickly. To completely rest until being symptom free is not appropriate. On the other hand, every time someone increases symptoms too much makes the healing process to last longer.When symptoms persists and recovery falls outside the expected window (ie, 10 days) it is recommended to be managed in a multidisciplinary manner by healthcare providers with experience in sport-related concussion, like chiropractors and physiotherapists.

What if I go back to my sport right away after a concussion?

Once a concussion has occurred the person becomes as much as 4 to 6 times more likely to sustain a second concussion. Suffering a second concussion while still having symptoms from a previous concussion can be lethal. We call it the second impact syndrome. It is a condition in which the brain swells rapidly and catastrophically after a person suffers a second concussion before symptoms from an earlier one have subsided.

In conclusion, your brain is important and taking the proper time for it to heal is smart. Go to your healthcare provider that has experience in sport-related concussion and if needed, medical specialist exist (neuro-optometrist, neuro-physchologist…)

Don’t forget:

  • We must always prioritize the return to school or to work before to sport

  • There is no miracle treatment.

  • Synonymous with concussion, dysfunction of the cervical spine may involve many type of symptoms and chiropractors are specialist in that field.

  • Studies show that manual therapy have a benefit effect in reducing post-traumatic headache

  • Progressive return to school, work and to sport is required

Have fun on the mountains.        

Your sport focused and family chiropractor,

Dr. Valerie Brabant Chiropractor, DC.

Physiofocus Squamish

For appointments call 604.848.6281 or book online at www.physiofocus.ca