What is a Concussion?

A concussion is a mild Traumatic Brain Injury (mTBI). The American Congress of Rehabilitation Medicine (1993) defines mTBI as an “acute brain injury resulting from mechanical energy to the head from external physical forces” (American Congress of Rehabilitation Medicine, 1993).

Concussions are associated with physical trauma such as a contact sports injury, a fall, an assault, or car accident. The resulting blow to the head can cause the brain to bounce or twist within the skull, resulting in stretched and damaged brain cells (CDC, 2019).

What is Post-Concussion Syndrome?

Post-concussion syndrome is lingering symptoms for weeks or months following a concussion, commonly up to 6 months but occasionally beyond.

Post-concussion syndrome is diagnosed by having 3 of the following symptoms after an injury to the head: headache, dizziness, vertigo, fatigue, memory problems, difficulty concentrating, insomnia, irritability, depression, anxiety, personality changes, sensitivity to noise and light (Bowman, 2019).

Signs of a Concussion

  • Jolt, bump, blow, or trauma to the head
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Confused after the injury
  • “Blacked out” or can’t remember events prior to the injury
  • Mood and behavior changes
  • Poor balance
  • Slow reaction time

How Can a Concussion Impact Your Health?

  • Headaches
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Balance problems or dizziness
  • Double or blurry vision
  • Bothered by light or noise
  • Fatigue
  • Concentration or memory problems
  • Ringing of the ears

First Steps following Concussion:

Concussions may be an emergency. In rare cases a hematoma or bleeding of the brain may occur. Computerized tomography (CT) scans are specialized imaging to rule out red flags.

If you think you have had a concussion, consult a specialist right away for a neurological examination. Try to recall the mechanism of injury and how you felt during and after the injury. Did you lose consciousness, feel dizziness, or experience nausea? If the concussion was sports-related, cease playing sports until receiving medical clearance to return to sport.

Next best step: Photobiomodulation- Bioflex Laser

Photobiomodulation is the absorption of energy by way of red and infrared wavelengths of light to injured cells, which stimulates healing and restores normal cell function and structure. While it is effective for almost all injuries, it has particular advantages for brain injuries, especially relating to the resolution of inflammation, lymph drainage and sleep.

All injuries provoke the inflammatory process, we notice this biochemical activity as swelling and heat. Within the brain, these signs are not obvious. There is little room for swelling, so the effect of pressure on adjacent tissues can be more pronounced, and cause any or all of the symptoms listed above.

Photobiomodulation, or low intensity laser, settles inflammation 40% or faster than the natural body process, therefore the experience is a more rapid decrease in pain and other symptoms.

A major function of lymph is to clear cellular waste, which increases in volume after an injury. Lymph drainage within the brain is most active during sleep. The sleep center within the brain is in close quarters with many sensitive brain structures; whether directly involved in trauma, or through association, it is affected when they are affected. When sleep patterns are disrupted, so too is elimination of cell waste product. When cell waste is not cleared, it can add to the congestion within the brain, causing more pressure and more symptoms. Beyond improved lymph drainage, sleep is a well-known and important ingredient in the healing process (in too many ways to count).

For all the above reasons, photobiomodulation is particularly useful in the treatment of concussion and post-concussion syndrome: it settles inflammation, improves lymph drainage and facilitates sleep.

For further information on the conditions we treat and services we offer, or to book an appointment please call 709-753-0155, email: info@avalonlaserhealth.ca

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