I will never forget something that happened when I first began my chiropractic practice over 30 years ago.
It began when a young man named Arthur entered my office. Arthur was the very first patient I treated who came to me as a result of injuries he suffered from an auto accident. Four months earlier he had been knocked unconscious due to a traumatic automobile collision. He was taken by ambulance to an emergency room where he regained consciousness and was soon well enough to be released. Following this he began to have symptoms typical of accident trauma, developing neck pain, back pain and headaches.
However, what I remember most about Arthur was that he said: “I don’t feel like I’m firing on all cylinders.” I wasn’t sure what he meant until he explained further. He was finishing his PhD and would soon be starting medical school at Johns Hopkins. Obviously, he was brilliant but following the accident he didn’t feel that he could mentally concentrate, study or focus normally. That helped me understand why he wasn’t “firing on all cylinders.”
Arthur had suffered a concussion. 85% of concussions will be better in 7 to 10 days. If symptoms persist, as in the case of the remaining 15% (and Arthur) it is called Post Concussion Syndrome.
Interestingly however, studies reveal damage to the neck also occurs during a head injury, playing a major role in Post Concussion Syndrome.
I’ve come across this many times in practice. The good news for Arthur was that after having chiropractic treatment he was back “firing on all cylinders” and performing normally.
Let’s investigate this further.
Many symptoms of both concussion and upper neck injuries such as whiplash are similar. Those injured may have headaches, lightheadedness, nausea, concentration problems and fatigue.
It has been determined in research studies that damage to the neck also occurs during a head injury. In fact studies reveal that it is practically impossible to have a concussion without also injuring the neck. Some researchers are linking both the brain injury and the neck injury and terming it “Cervicogenic Post Concussion Syndrome.” Cervicogenic means “from the neck.”
When undergoing treatment for this type of problem it is not only important to treat the concussion through ongoing brain rest but it is also vital to have possible injury of the upper neck evaluated properly so that this potentially important anatomical area is not missed.
Chiropractors are healthcare specialists that are trained to examine and treat upper neck problems that occur from trauma that one would find in sports and in accidents like whiplash.
Published studies show that chiropractic management of patients with Cervicogenic Post Concussion Syndrome result in rapid and sustained improvement of signs and symptoms, allowing the patient to return to full recovery.
All patients suffering from Cervicogenic Post Concussion Syndrome should be evaluated by a chiropractor for cervical spine evaluation and treatment.