Tuesday, August 23, 2011
Football, Concussions And Upper Cervical Care
Concussions During Football Season
By Dr. Adam Tanase
Despite vast improvements in protection equipment, athletes of all skill levels are still experiencing frequent concussions.
While modern medicine has a firm grasp on the dangers of this type of injury, much of the general public remains in the dark. A surprising number of students, parents, coaches and players don’t think concussions are a big deal. In fact, countless patients have told me (often with a smile on their face) that they’ve suffered a concussion.
It’s tempting to assume that if brain surgery wasn’t required, then the injury had no effect on them, so it must be okay to play in next week’s game.
According to the Mayo Clinic,
“Concussions range in significance from minor to major, but they all share one common factor — they temporarily interfere with the way your brain works. They can affect memory, judgment, reflexes, speech, balance and coordination.
Usually caused by a blow to the head, concussions don’t always involve a loss of consciousness. In fact, most people who have concussions never black out. Some people have had concussions and not even realized it.
Concussions are common, particularly if you play a contact sport such as football. But every concussion, no matter how mild, injures your brain. This injury needs time and rest to heal properly. Luckily, most concussions are mild and people usually recover fully.”
I’d like to append this description by saying that concussions have two things in common. The second being trauma to the neck.
After receiving the proper neurological exam from a medical practitioner, I believe that concussion sufferers should then receive a follow-up evaluation from an upper cervical doctor. Forces of this magnitude can absolutely cause damage to the spine and it’s supportive muscles, ligaments and soft tissues. Therefore the head and neck should both be properly evaluated.
Unfortunately, a high percentage of people (even some medical providers) aren’t aware that this experience can be the precipitating event for spinal degeneration and health problems which surface months or years down the road. So the earlier you address this damage, the easier it is to correct. In many cases you can limit (and often prevent) subsequent damage by handling it sooner rather than later.
(Editor's note: Remember the objective of upper cervical care is to correct head neck misalignment that is interfering with proper brain to body communication. When this is corrected the body functions at a higher level and can often correct other problems more efficiently on its own. Please do not confuse upper cervical care as a treatment for concussion or any other condition, disease or symptom.)