How a Toronto Chiropractor Helped A Client Suffering From Post-Concussion Syndrome
Have you or do you know anyone who has experienced a concussion and is suffering from the effects of it with no solution in sight? You've been to your family doctor and a number of medical specialists but they've all said "you're normal." If your answer is yes, then this blog should provide you with a new and exciting option.
The effects of a concussion can be devastating and debilitating. I strive to help clients recover and heal from concussions so they can either get back to training or simply get back to their normal daily functioning. Keep reading to learn about how I helped one client overcome the effects of a concussion he suffered a couple of years ago.
The Challenge: Two years of post-concussion syndrome
A patient was referred to me for care of a 2 year old traumatic brain injury. He was hit by a car as a pedestrian and was sent flying to the pavement which resulted in a cracked skull. He came in to see me two years after the initial injury with these symptoms that had not gone away. He could not focus, concentrate, read or exercise (low intensity bike riding and/or lifting light weights) for more than five minutes. He could not watch TV or live a normal life without suffering from severe headaches. He was also sensitive to light and sound and suffered from Tinnitus, which is a constant high pitched ringing in the ear. These symptoms caused a huge disruption in his daily life and he was miserable.
The Solution: A holistic approach to healing and strengthening.
I assessed him by checking his neurological function: balance, coordination, eye movements, visual acuity, blind spot mapping, reflexes, throat movements, hearing and exercise tolerance.
After only nine sessions over a period of a few weeks, my patient was able to read for forty-five minutes and ride on a stationary bike at 70% of his max heart rate for more than ten minutes (which is a good return to exercise benchmark following a concussion), without suffering a headache. The ringing in his ears was significantly reduced to the point where he stopped hearing it by the ninth session. These results were truly remarkable.
How did I help his Tinnitus? One theory behind trauma induced tinnitus is that the brain loses a specific sound wave frequency that it can no longer process, so the patient begins to hear a constant high pitched ring that the brain is missing. I used a tuning fork, an acupuncture needle, and a smartphone app that fed his brain the exact frequency of the ring.
How did I help his reading ability? A large part of helping someone get their life back after an injury like this is to improve the eye-brain connection. The assessment revealed that his eyes did not move well in one particular direction and it induced head pressure. Experts have shown that strengthening eye muscles can help the brain heal. Eye movement exercises can also help photophobia a.k.a. light sensitivity. The eyes are the window to the brain, and there are entire medical textbooks that discuss the neurology of eye movements. This concussion protocol is largely based on these medical principles.
This specialized chiropractic technique is called Functional Chiropractic Neurology, which was developed by Dr. Fred Carrick. He was the chiropractor who fixed NHL superstar Sidney Crosby's near career-ending concussion in 2011. I have been applying his treatment protocols since 2012 and have helped many people suffering from stubborn, life-altering chronic post-concussion syndromes. They generally occur following sports injuries, slip and falls, and motor vehicle accidents.
The biggest challenge while treating post-concussion syndrome is that the brain is sensitive and doesn't always cooperate. Some treatments can make the symptoms worse temporarily and you can experience increased headaches, fatigue, etc. but when that happens, the game plan changes to something else. Treatments are normally comfortable and the patient will notice an immediate improvement in symptoms. After that, treatments in the office then become the patient's homework exercises to induce good neuroplastic changes, which means re-wiring of the brain.
While this patient made great progress in just nine treatment sessions, results vary from patient to patient. The good news here is that we learn very quickly if the patient's brain will respond well to a specific exercise therapy or not. It is also important to keep in mind that while there are many ways to fix a brain, healing rates are unpredictable.
The Bottom Line
There is an enormous population of concussion suffers out there not getting the help they need. It is important for the medical community to start working with chiropractors who practice this style of therapy. The more Medicine and Chiropractic Neurology work together, the better it will be for everyone suffering from chronic post concussion symptoms.
About My Practice
My patients have included professionals from NHL, MLB, NBA, Canadian National Squash, University of Virginia Track and Field team as well as common people who may have suffered injuries resulting in the need of high-quality chiropractic care. I use a unique treatment system for the primary goal of reducing pain and dysfunction while increasing strength and improving athletic performance. If you’re looking for relief or just have a question, get in touch with me aka the Toronto Chiropractor by clicking here. To learn more about how I can help you, please click here. Or to read what my patients are saying about me, please click here.