Auto Injury, Concussion & Chiropractic
Chiropractic Can Speed Concussion Recovery
Along with neck injuries, a common condition associated with auto injury are concussions. Contrary to popular thought, you do not have to hit your head to suffer a concussion. In an auto collision, the rapid jerking of the head forward and back can be enough force to change the shape of the brain by stretching, compressing or a sheering the brain tissue. This causes damage to the nerve cells (neurons) and starts a complex chemical reaction with inflammation of the nerve cells, disrupting the normal function of the brain, producing the typical symptoms of a concussion.
According to the CDC, the common signs and symptoms of concussion can be divided into four categories (1)
- Difficulty thinking clearly
- Difficulty concentrating or remembering
- Feeling more slowed down
- Feeling sluggish, hazy, foggy, or groggy
- Headache or “pressure” in head
- Nausea or vomiting
- Balance problems or dizziness
- Fatigue or feeling tired
- Blurry or double vision
- Sensitivity to light or noise
- Numbness or tingling
- Does not “feel right”
- More emotional than usual
- Sleeps less than usual
- Sleeps more than usual
- Has trouble falling asleep
Fortunately, many find the major symptoms of a concussion typically diminish in 7-10 days. During this initial time frame, rest and limiting mental activities are typically advised. Unfortunately, these symptoms can be prolonged due to moderate or significant injury or lack of proper evaluation and treatment in the beginning.
The good news is that manual therapy, spinal manipulation/adjustments and the appropriate therapy has been shown to be effective in helping to recover from a concussion.
One study in 2014 demonstrated that intervention of spinal manual therapy, physiotherapy and neurmotor/sensorimotor training are more effective for recovery compared to a program of rest and exercise. (2) Another study demonstrated that athletes were cleared to return to play earlier if they were treated with therapy on the cervical spine and vestibular rehabilitation (3)
Further, the studies also indicated that the assessment and treatment of the cervical spine and vestibular system in the presence of persistent dizziness, neck pain, and/or headaches facilitate functional and symptomatic improvements and shorten recovery. [2, 3].
In summary, studies indicate that treating the neck with manual therapy, manipulation and physiotherapy can significantly speed the recovery from a concussive injury. This type of care can be typically provided by a Doctor of Chiropractic, trained in the treatment of concussions.
If you have suffered an injury and are experiencing signs and symptoms of a concussion, call our office at (314) 731-4383 immediately! Delayed treatment can make the recovery time longer and a greater chance of residual problems.
About Dr. Schmaltz
As a 1984 graduate of Life Chiropractic College, Dr. Martin Schmaltz has years of helping those who have been injured in auto accidents. He has extensive training and study in how the injury happens as well as the specific treatments and documentation to help his patients. He has a great working relationship with many attorneys in the St Louis area and is know for his detailed notes and diagnosis of the injured patient.
(2) G. Brolinson, “Management of sport-related concussion: a review,” Clinical Journal of Sport Medicine, vol. 24, no. 1, pp. 89– 90, 2014.
(3) J. Schneider, W. H. Meeuwisse, A. Nettel-Aguirre et al., “Cervicovestibular rehabilitation in sport-related concussion: a randomised controlled trial,” British journal of sports medicine, vol. 48, no. 17, pp. 1294–1298, 2014.