Why Persistent Post-Concussion Symptoms May Be Related To Neck Spinal Problems

Chiropractic Care for Concussion Symptoms

In my 37 years of chiropractic practice, I have seen many patients with interesting cases. I recall treating a teenager named Jake, whose parents brought him to my office in the springtime. Jake had been playing fall football while in middle school and suffered a sports related concussion. The injury required him to miss the rest of the football season. Jake had seen excellent neurologists for his concussion and had physical therapy which alleviated 75% of his symptoms. However, when he came to my office, he was still having headaches, concentration difficulties, sleep problems and neck and upper back pain.

It is important to realize that if there is sufficient trauma to cause a brain concussion there more than enough force to cause injury to the upper area of one’s neck. This article will discuss concussion, related symptoms and treatment for persistent post-concussion problems.

Mild traumatic brain injury (TBI), also known as concussion, is caused by a blow to the head or other impulse force to the body transmitted to the head (like whiplash). 1.7 million TBI’s occur per year the United States. 300,000 of these are sports related.

85% suffering from concussion will have symptoms that resolve in 7 to 10 days. However, the remainder may suffer persistent symptoms. If this continues for more than four weeks those affected are considered to have a chronic problem known as post-concussion syndrome.

Symptoms may include headache, dizziness, visual problems like blurriness and double vision, fatigue, concentration difficulty, confusion, sleep problems and even cardiovascular symptoms. Many also suffer from neck and upper back pain.

It is important for anyone having a TBI to see a neurologist who specializes in this condition. Physical therapy may help a great deal if there are balance problems. It is also important that anyone suffering lingering effects of a concussion see a chiropractor for a possible injury of the upper spinal area.

The neck area of the spine is also referred to as of the cervical spine. If there is an injury to the cervical spine that results in misalignment or improper movement of those spinal bones, called vertebrae, the spinal joints and nerves may be adversely affected. If this is the case the same symptoms that one suffers from a mild brain injury can be present. In other words, a problem occurring in the upper cervical spine can mimic the same symptoms that occur when a mild TBI is experienced.

This is what happened to my patient Jake. He had malalignment and improper motion of the vertebrae of his upper cervical spine. This affected the spinal joints and nerves of this area which in turn, caused him to have symptoms noted earlier.

As a chiropractor I have extensive training and experience in evaluating upper cervical spine injuries. The chiropractic profession has safe, effective methods to treat these injuries. The most common form of treatment is to utilize gentle chiropractic adjustments to realign and restore normal movement to problems of the upper cervical spine.

I’m happy to report that with conservative chiropractic care Jake’s remaining problems resolved and he was able to continue playing football the next fall.

Visit here to learn more about  pain relief. See this site for information about a pain relief chiropractor near me.


Happy Birthday Chiropractic!

Today is the 126th anniversary of the founding of the chiropractic profession. On September 18, 1895 Daniel David Palmer is credited with giving the first chiropractic adjustment in Davenport Iowa. Dr. Palmer believed that pinched and irritated nerves caused by spinal misalignment’s caused pain and dis-ease.

No other healthcare profession had ever conceived this idea. Dr. Palmer started a very successful chiropractic clinic and later founded the first school for training chiropractors. Since then the chiropractic profession has helped millions of people to get relief of pain.

Happy Birthday and Founders Day from the Pittsburgh North Hills chiropractic office of Dr. James J Schofield!

How Best To Handle Our Spinal Neck And Back Pain Problem

Back & Neck Pain Relief

I began my Monday morning like any other day in my chiropractic practice of 37 years. I had a number of patients scheduled and was looking forward to being of help. As soon as we entered the office the phone rang. It was a new patient, Beth, who was having burning pain in her neck and shoulder blade area which had started over the weekend. Another current patient, Joe, had an appointment scheduled to manage his ongoing, chronic neck and back pain. This article will discuss how natural, safe chiropractic care can be of help to those suffering from acute and chronic neck and back spine pain. It will also introduce current scientific research describing how chiropractic treatment can be of societal benefit and improve outcomes and cost effectiveness of the healthcare system in general.

When I met with Beth I talked with her about her condition, performed a physical evaluation and took x-rays of her neck. We discovered that she had some misalignments and improperly moving spinal vertebrae that was causing her pain. I knew that with chiropractic spinal manipulation she would be at least 50% better in a few days and in a couple weeks, it would be like it never had occurred.

Joe has been a patient of mine for many years. He developed neck and lower back discomfort from a combination of years of hard physical work and being in two significant automobile accidents. Before originally coming to me he had tried a number of treatments including spinal injections and painkiller and muscle relaxer medications, neither of which really helped him. Since Joe has chronic ligament weakness and disc degeneration of his spine, he receives regular, periodic gentle chiropractic care which helps him manage his pain with minimal use of pain medications.

Chiropractic is the third largest healing profession in the United States behind medicine and dentistry. Chiropractor’s main focus is treating spinal neck and lower back discomfort through the use of chiropractic spinal manipulations – – also termed chiropractic adjustments. These procedures are aimed at correcting misalignments and improper movement of the spinal and pelvic joints. Chiropractors do not perform spinal injections or surgery and do not prescribe medications. This makes the chiropractic the largest natural healing profession in the world.

A recent scientific paper in Translational Research, authored by three orthopedic surgeons from Duke University, notes that back and neck pain accounted for $134 billion of US healthcare spending in 2016. This was the highest healthcare spending of any of the 154 medical conditions included in the study. They go on to say that, for decades, conventional medical treatment has been to prescribe medications, including opioids, or perform injections or surgery for spine pain. This approach has had limited effectiveness helping patients with pain and loss of daily activities and has been very expensive.

The scientific literature proposes a different approach of delivery of spinal pain care utilizing first contact, non-pharmaceutical, conservative, natural care from providers like chiropractors, acupuncturist and physical therapists.

In a case of acute spinal pain, like Beth experienced, this would significantly reduce the chance of opioid dependency had she utilized standard treatment from a primary care provider.

With my patient Joe’s chronic spine pain the research study recommends moving towards a model of management as we would with other types of human ailments like high blood pressure and diabetes. His is a condition that cannot be cured but can be managed.

Chiropractors are uniquely suited to fulfill the role of first contact spinal pain providers. When a patient visits a chiropractor a history is taken, a physical evaluation is performed and, if necessary, x-rays can be obtained. The chiropractor then has the education to make a diagnosis and to perform skilled, safe spinal manipulation.

This approach would increase effectiveness of reducing or eliminating patient’s acute or chronic spinal pain. It would also help these individuals with their activities of daily living like sleeping, performing their occupation more effectively, interacting socially with their families and friends and improving overall enjoyment of life. Societal cost of problems with opioid dependency would be reduced. Patients with improved or eliminated spinal pain would certainly be more employable and able to care for their family, which would reduce the expense and strain on our society’s welfare safety net.

It would be prudent to utilize chiropractic healthcare specialists who provide autonomy, expertise and skill to help patients, society and the nation with the plague of spinal back and neck pain.

Visit here to learn more about  pain relief. See this site for information about a pain relief chiropractor near me.

To Sleep Better Do This…

Sleep Better

In my 37 years of chiropractic practice, I can’t tell you how many people have told me that, for no specific reason, they sleep poorly. This is unfortunate because adequate sleep is extremely important for our health. There are natural, safe ways to improve one’s sleep. This article will discuss a helpful method to obtain proper sleep and be fully rested.

For many of us, we are inside of our homes, schools and places of work in the morning, and we don’t get outside, in natural sunlight, until the afternoon. The concept of morning sunlight exposure may be foreign to us. I’d like to propose that we explore the possibility of obtaining outside sunlight exposure before noon.

If possible, try getting outside for 15-30 minutes earlier in the day or at least before noon. Keep in mind that while indoor light is helpful for vision it is not the same as full spectrum outdoor sunlight.

When outdoor sunlight enters the human eyeball, it activates receptors that sends stimulating nerve input to the brain. The brain then sends signals to all the individual trillions of body cells by a process called photobiomodulation.

Photobiomodulation essentially tells the body what time of the day it is. Human beings are diurnal creatures. Diurnal means that we would normally sleep at night when it’s dark and be up and about doing our business during daylight. However, we must use the light of the sun and the darkness of the night to direct proper diurnal rhythms. If we don’t establish these normal rhythms, we are less likely to obtain proper, natural, restorative sleep.

By getting outdoors earlier in the day we develop better cycles of being active during daylight hours and having a better outcome for sleeping well at nighttime. Even on a cloudy day, outdoor light delivers adequate full spectrum stimulation to our brain, provided we get that sunlight exposure earlier in the day.

It’s not very difficult to arrange our schedules to commit to a lifestyle of getting some morning sunlight. For instance, a person at home might do some outdoor yardwork earlier in the day rather than in the afternoon. A person living in a condo or an apartment need only take a walk for exercise before noon. Younger children living at home would certainly get a better nights sleep if they were encouraged to play outside earlier in the day versus later.

Those who work inside buildings could arrange to park their car or take their mass  transit a little bit earlier in the day and walk outside for 15 to 20 minutes to get their early morning sunlight exposure.

School-age children getting outside for recess in the morning will be in good shape to get their early sunlight. Older children, who don’t have recess, might simply walk to school if it’s close enough or go to the bus stop a bit earlier for their outdoor daylight benefit.

It may take several weeks of practicing what I’m suggesting here to establish a normal diurnal rhythm and get into a normal pattern of sleeping well. When the benefits of getting a good night’s sleep are obtained it will have far reaching effects on improving many aspects of our health and lives.

Visit here to learn more about  pain relief. See this site for information about a pain relief chiropractor near me.