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Chiropractic Care for Brain Injuries

Published Date: 
October 12, 2022
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A man is being treated by a chiropractor to ease symptoms of a brain injury.

Brain injuries are one of the most common injuries people suffer from trauma to the head. Fortunately, there are many ways chiropractors can help treat brain injuries.

How Can Chiropractic Care Help You with a Brain Injury?

A blow or trauma to the head can cause traumatic brain injury. TBI occurs to a varying degree and causes a decrease in brain function. Concussions are the most common traumatic brain injuries. You may need treatment for brain injury if the symptoms, such as headaches and vertigo, persist. Chiropractic care leverages spinal adjustments to help with symptoms of brain injury. Learn more about how chiropractors come to your aid for brain injury.

What Is a Concussion?

A concussion is a traumatic brain injury that occurs when a strike or blow to the head violently shakes your brain. Concussions usually occur after accidents, impacts in contact sports, and falls. The forceful movement of the head causes deterioration in brain function, which manifests as physical or cognitive symptoms. Each concussion case is unique, and symptoms may wear off after days, weeks, or months.

Psychological or Mental Symptoms

Psychological symptoms usually don’t manifest from the onset. It’s commonly believed that you have to be unconscious after a concussion injury, but this is not always the case. Other mental symptoms to watch out for include:

  • Inability to concentrate
  • Inattentiveness
  • Forgetfulness
  • Feelings of depression
  • Difficulty in multitasking
  • Personality changes
  • Irritability 

Physical Symptoms

A headache is a telltale sign of a concussion, but it is not the only sign. Others are:

  • Sensitivity to light and noise
  • Nausea
  • Dizziness 
  • Blurry vision
  • Tinnitus
  • Unconsciousness 
A chiropractor is treating a woman for traumatic brain injury symptoms.

Should I Get My Neck Checked Following a Concussion?

Neck pain is common after a concussion or whiplash injury. The pain may be sharp or dull; it might manifest immediately after the concussion or develop after several months. 

It is imperative to get checked out, because a concussion can disorient the vestibular system, which causes neck pain. Spinal damage, usually herniated discs, also causes neck pain. The symptoms usually subside after a few days of rest. If the symptoms persist, then you may have post-concussion syndrome (PCS). 

Getting your neck checked following a concussion allows for early detection of neck pain, which is imperative to a speedy recovery.

Auto Accidents or Motor Vehicle Collisions

Whiplash in a car accident flings the head forward and backward, which causes herniated discs, brain injury, and concussions. Car accidents cause 28% of traumatic brain injuries. 

A motor vehicle collision can cause a concussion injury on either the same side of the impact or on the opposite side. Concussions can occur from even low-speed collisions and rear-enders.

Physical Violence 

Assault and falls cause many concussions in the U.S. Physical violence, hefty blows, and attacks by blunt objects cause trauma to the head. This can be mild (resulting in mild TBI or concussion), moderate, or severe (causing internal bleeding in the head).

Sports Injuries 

Sports injuries are one of the leading causes of concussions, especially in football. Over 3.8 million concussions that occur annually in the U.S are through sports and related activities. 

Falls and high-impact tackles or knocks to the head during contact sports cause concussions. Players usually describe "seeing stars," which is the state of confusion in concussion cases.

Explosive Blasts

Explosive blasts, such as a grenade exploding or a gunshot to the head, violently shake your brain, which causes brain injury. It is no surprise why war veterans are at greater risk of developing brain injury.

A chiropractor is administering treatment for brain injury symptoms.

Diagnosis of Traumatic Brain Injury

If you book yourself into a chiropractic center for concussion care, the chiropractor will take your medical history. What follows is a physical examination of your neck and head. They will also perform a neurological exam to test your coordination, eye reaction to light, and reflexes. 

Imaging tests further reveal any structural deformities, but CT and MRI scans are not always needed. Concussions, in particular, are microscopical, and imaging tests won't reveal them. The physical tests usually point out the likely cause of the brain injury.

An accurate diagnosis is vital to guarantee you an effective concussion treatment plan. Some doctors may recommend muscle relaxants and pain-relieving drugs. The pain-relieving drugs provide respite from pain but do not treat the underlying cause.

Chiropractic Adjustments for Brain Injury

You may ask about the relationship between chiropractic adjustments and brain injuries. Trauma to the head or upper body region causes brain injury and spinal damage. Herniated discs pressing on the nerves impinge on nerve function, manifesting as headaches or loss of focus. 

Chiropractic adjustments involve upper cervical spine adjustments to realign the spine. Spine realignment promotes blood flow to injured regions to promote self-healing, relieves pressure from pinched nerves, alleviates headaches, and offers multiple spine-related benefits. The adjustments involve slow movements using hands or instruments to realign the spine.

Second impact syndrome aggravates brain injury. Chiropractic adjustment and physical therapy help stabilize your spine, but it’s crucial to protect yourself from subsequent concussions. Wear protective gear if you engage in high-impact sports. Also,consulting with a sports medicine doctor before and after practice will help you avoid some level of brain injury. 

Conclusion 

Varying intensity of trauma causes brain injury. You may write off brain injury symptoms, especially if they wear off after a few weeks. But you should seek medical intervention if you suspect you have a concussion. Chiropractic care for brain injury reduces concussion symptoms while improving your general body wellness. If you struggle with concussion symptoms or PCS, chiropractic care is for you.

Dr. Darren Faherty D.C.

In 2004, Dr. Darren Faherty graduated with a Bachelors of Science degree in Biology from UWEC - University of Wisconsin Eau Claire. Dr. Darren continued education at the highly esteemed University of Western States (formerly Western States Chiropractic College) where he obtained his chiropractic degree in 2007. He has been helping people recover from injuries and return to their normal lifestyles ever since.

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