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Proven Concussion Treatments: HBOT, Adjustments, Acupuncture, & Antioxidants - By Dr. Rob

Concussion-ClinicMany people who are involved in motor vehicle collisions also suffer from concussions.  It is hard to know how often this happens because many times, if the injuries are mild, they are never seen by physicians.  In many cases even when the patient is seen at the ER, the concussions are not correctly diagnosed.  This is not the fault of the physician though; some of the injuries to the brain are so small that they cannot be seen by even our most sophisticated imaging modalities which make an accurate diagnosis more difficult.  Patients are often unsure if they lost consciousness but it is always important to determine if there was any alteration of consciousness, like feeling dazed, disoriented or confused.

Most commonly during an accident the  injuries are the result of blunt head injury, like contact with the steering wheel or door post at impact. Many times during a whiplash type injury there can be shearing forces to the brain and this can disrupt the connections of the neurons.  This occurs when the outside of the brain moves at a different pace than the inside.  Side impact collisions are more likely to produce these types of injuries.  Movement of the brain inside the skull will increase the pressure inside of the skull, which gives the brain less space.  Depending on where the injury occurs to the brain you can see different symptoms.  Some areas will affect your planning, anticipation, and judgment while others will have a greater effect on social conditions, like impulsiveness, disinhibition and misinterpretation of the moods of others.

As stated above the types of symptoms a person will have after an injury like this are dependent on where the injury occurred.  Many common symptoms that people have are things like:  light-headedness, vertigo/dizziness, neck pain, headache, sensitivity to light and/or sound, ringing in the ears, impaired memory, easily distracted, impaired comprehension, forgetfulness, impaired logical thought, difficulty with new or abstract thought , sleep disturbances, fatigue, apathy, outbursts of anger, mood swings, depression, loss of libido, personality change, and intolerance to alcohol.  A significant number of people who suffered from a mild traumatic brain injury will also present with neck and shoulder pain and lower back pain.

Everyone’s injuries are a little different so their treatment will also be different.  These are some of the things we do in the office to help with these conditions:

  • During the injury there is associated free radical production so taking antioxidants can be beneficial. The damage done by free radicals in the body is known as oxidation. Oxidation is the same process that browns an apple or rusts metal. Rampaging free radicals react with compounds in the body and oxidize them. When antioxidant levels in the body are lower than that of free radicals due to poor nutrition, or they are being used to battle other incoming toxins, oxidation wreaks havoc in the body, damaging cells, breaking down tissue, mutating DNA and overloading the immune system.  
  • With any sort of traumatic brain injury the use of the hyperbaric chamber can be helpful.  We are able to get more oxygen to the tissues and accelerate healing this way.  The only drawback of this therapy is that it requires many sessions to see changes so people can get discouraged.  You have to stick with this, it does not change overnight. 
  • Acupuncture has been beneficial for some of our patients. Acupuncture stimulates and balances the flow of Qi and blood in the body and to the brain through the insertion of very fine sterile needles into the skin at very specific points on the body. Different acupuncture points have different indications, so points for treatment are chosen based on each patient’s specific Post Concussion needs.
  • As always we want to address biomechanical changes in the spine as well by manual adjustments .  We need to get the spinal joints and musculature operating optimally to put less strain in the area.

– Dr. Rob

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