Multiple Concussions Means More Recovery

CBS news is reporting that young athletes who have suffered multiple concussions need significantly longer recovery periods than first-time sufferers, according to a new study in the Journal Pediatrics.  About 3.8 million athletes suffer a concussion each year.

“There may be a subgroup of kids, particularly those who play contact sports who are at risk over the course of their adolescence — those are the ones we worry about,” study author Dr. Matthew Eisenberg, an instructor in pediatrics at Harvard Medical School who is also a physician at Boston Children’s Hospital, said to USA Today.

Researchers tracked 280 young people — ages 11 to 22 — for the 12 months after they presented to an emergency room. They were examined by a doctor and given a concussion symptom test, in addition to answering questions about their past medical histories. They were given additional concussions tests three months after the injury, or until all symptoms went away. The researchers found the more concussions a patient had, the longer the recovery.

Concussions can cause headaches, confusion or feeling foggy, dizziness, ringing in the ears, nausea, vomiting, slurred speech and fatigue, the Mayo Clinic points out. Children who have suffered concussions and return to athletic activity before its healed can experience fatal brain swelling — known as second impact syndrome — following another blow to the head, Mayo added. Young people may also be prone to post-concussion syndrome, in which they have persistent concussion symptoms like headaches, irritability and dizziness.

In addition to having a previous concussion, the factors with the strongest association for predicting a need for longer recovery were a high score on the concussion symptoms test, not losing consciousness from the head blow, and being aged 13 or older.

Concussions Are the Hot Topic in Sports

In the world of youth and professional sports concussions have become the hot topic due to concern over the reported risks of depression and the degenerative brain disease chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) in professional athletes who had concussion histories and the subsequent lawsuits that have taken place.  This has led many doctors and parents to be much more cautious when a child suffers a concussion.

“The big question that still needs to be answered is, what are the long-term effects of these concussions?” Eisenberg said to Reuters.

Lingering symptoms such as headaches, vertigo or dizziness, memory problems, and loss of concentration are common for months and even years after a concussion.

The medical approach is to give medications to cover up the different symptoms associated with a post-concussion syndrome.

Head and Neck Trauma Leads to More than Concussions

But, when a child suffers a concussion they will also suffer an upper neck misalignment.

New research is indicating that many of the long-term consequences associated with concussions are not due to brain death but rather persistent restriction of nerve and blood flow to and from the brain from the misalignment.

The gentle correction of this misalignment improves and restores normal nerve and blood flow to and from the brain, and symptoms frequently improve naturally.

Do you have a young athlete who is experiencing strange symptoms since a concussion?

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Dr. Tymothy Flory, Dr. James Weiss and Dr. Jameson Wong of Atlas Spinal Care in Upland, California are Upper Cervical Specialists trained by the National Upper Cervical Chiropractic Association (NUCCA). Their upper cervical clinic also serves Claremont, La Verne, San Dimas, Glendora and surrounding areas. They are uniquely trained to correct problems in the upper cervical spine (upper neck). This vital area is intimately connected to the central nervous system and problems in this area have been shown to be an underlying cause of a variety of different health problems, including migraines and other headaches, fibromyalgia, vertigo, whiplash and auto injuries. More information can be found on their website at http://www.atlasspinalcare.com/