In the U.S. alone, emergency rooms see approximately 180,000 sports-related concussion patients each year with the overall estimate of sports-related concussions between 1.6 to 3.8 million. Many more go unreported, or worse yet, not even recognized.
A concussion is a traumatic brain injury that changes the way the brain functions. A concussion can occur when a traumatic bump, blow, or jolt to the head or to the body results in a rapid whipping movement of the head. The injured person doesn’t have to lose consciousness for a concussion to occur. If your child has had such a blow to the head or body, he or she should be monitored for any change in behavior, thinking, or physical performance and evaluated by a health care provider. Most people who’ve had a concussion will experience a quick and full recovery. For others, the signs and symptoms of a concussion may last for days, weeks or longer.
Some common signs to watch for if you suspect a concussion are appearing dazed, confused or stunned; forgetting instructions; moving clumsily; answering questions slowly; any loss of consciousness; having mood and/or behavior changes; and having trouble remembering events prior to or after the injury. A person with a concussion may complain of having a headache or “pressure” in his or her head, be nauseous or have vomiting, have balance problems or complain of dizziness, have blurred or double vision or may be sensitive to light or noise. He or she may also feel sluggish or groggy and have memory problems.
What can chiropractic do?
As mentioned above, a concussion may occur when there is a traumatic blow to the head, neck or body. This traumatic blow can cause a whiplash-type of injury to the neck. Whiplash is a common term for a sprain/strain injury or tearing to the muscles, tendons and ligaments (referred to as ‘soft tissue’) of the neck. This type of injury is also likely to cause a loss of normal function in the spine. If not properly evaluated and treated, these injuries can have lifelong effects.
There are a variety of chiropractic approaches. Some chiropractic techniques focus on treatment of the cervical spine and use a specific analytical approach to the evaluation and care of the neck. The chiropractor will use examinations to evaluate not only the soft tissue of the neck, but also the alignment of the spine and function of the nervous system. Occasionally, X-rays are needed to rule out more serious injury and assess potential structural changes that may influence care. This evaluation allows the chiropractor to guide the spinal adjustment, as well as reduce the force used to a minimum.
When a traumatic injury occurs to your athlete or child, not only is it important to have them evaluated and treated by a health care professional trained in concussion management, but also one who is trained in the care of the cervical spine, such as a chiropractor.
Palmer Chiropractic Clinics delivers more than 75,000 patient visits in the Quad Cities every year. Learn more at http://www.palmer.edu/clinics/quad-cities/.
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