Healing Post-Concussion Syndrome
"In February 2014, my 10-pound dog head butted me in the bridge of my nose. I felt a little funny the next day and assumed I had vertigo. I was unaware I had sustained a concussion.”
According to WebMD, “a concussion is a type of traumatic brain injury that is caused by a blow to the head or body, a fall, or another injury that jars or shakes the brain inside the skull…there may be no visible signs of a brain injury. You don’t have to pass out to have a concussion.”
Our brain is a very soft organ. It is surrounded by cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) inside our skull. The CSF not only cushions and protects our brain, it plays an important role in maintaining healthy circulation through the brain and spinal cord, delivers nutrients to both areas, plus extracts and eliminates waste.
When a person suffers an impact to the head or the body, the brain can bounce around inside the skull. It is this secondary impact, that often causes inflammation of the brain. Once the brain is enflamed, it no longer functions efficiently and symptoms ensue.
“I stayed home from work that week and rested, but I was not “unplugged.” The symptoms of post-concussion syndrome appeared three weeks later.”
According to a recent study, the incidents of concussions in children has surged 70% between the years 2010-2015. This increase may be due to more awareness about brain injury, proper screening of young athletes, and better diagnosis.
What are the Symptoms of a Concussion?
The signs and symptoms experienced after a concussion are often referred to as Post-Concussion Syndrome. These symptoms are a result of inflammation and physical changes to the brain and surrounding tissue resulting from the impact.
“I became sound sensitive, light sensitive, nauseated, dizzy, had headaches, was easily fatigued and could not stay awake for more than two hours at a time. Everything was a huge effort—even simple things like walking, showering or feeding myself.”
Symptoms of a concussion can show up immediately after injury or days to weeks later. The most common physical symptoms are nausea and vomiting, headaches, dizziness, balance issues, blurry vision, extreme sensitivity to light and sound, and being easily fatigued. Concussions can also cause emotional symptoms such as feeling emotionally off balance, prone to anxiety or depression and poor sleep. There are cognitive symptoms such as problems with memory, fuzzy thinking, and poor concentration.
Sometimes however, it is possible to have sustained a concussion and have no symptoms at all after the injury.
It is important to note that the negative effects of a concussion are cumulative. If you previously had a head trauma, healing time may be longer. Especially after a head injury, car accident or a fall, even if you think it was a minor incident, it is important to see a doctor to be evaluated. Typically, medical professionals recommend rest, avoiding stress and electronic stimulation, such as TV, cell phones, computers. Some may even advise against reading.
More Than Rest May Be Needed to Heal
CranioSacral Therapy (CST) may be useful in the healing process. This gentle, hands-on treatment modality corrects restrictions within the central nervous system, brain, spine, and body.
The underlying principal of CST is that there are subtle motions in the skull, the tissues of the brain and surrounding fluid that, when inhibited, can adversely affect all other systems of the body. Restrictions in the skull bones, meninges and other membranes within the brain after a head trauma can limit the free flow of cerebral spinal fluid, blood and neural connectivity. By releasing the restrictions in the skull and body tissues, (which are also affected by the impact), your body is able to relax, self-correct, and heal.
While CST facilitates proper fluid movement and drainage, it is not a quick fix. Healing requires consistent appointments for 6-8 weeks. For many who have experienced concussion, the commitment is well worth it to get one’s life back.
Hilary Bilkis, MS, LMT, is a CST practitioner, and owner of Awakening Wellness, 14 Pine St., Suite 8, Morristown. The personal story of her struggle to recover from concussion flows throughout this article. For more information on CST and concussions visit Upledger.org – The Ricky Williams Concussion Program. To contact Hilary, call 973-479-2229 or visit Awakenings4Wellness.com.
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