Post Concussion Syndrome
There’s been a lot of talk about concussions lately. In the NFL, and some of the other sports, a lot of people are having residual issues after having multiple concussions even years down the road.
We understand the mechanism of a concussion. It’s a blow to the head that’s strong enough to where it actually slams the brain into the inside of the skull and oftentimes whiplashes back and hits the other side of the skull. The brain actually becomes bruised.
We know the side effects of concussion, the dilated pupils. Often time, there’s neck pain, headaches. Sometimes there’s dizzy and nausea. Normally with rest and little activity, the brain can heal on its own.
Now what I want to talk to you about is what else is going on. What happens? Now the brain’s healed, so where do these post-concussion symptoms come from? Is it a brain issue? Well, what we have found is most of the time, it’s actually something going on just below the brain.
The head and the brain sit on the top two bones in the neck, the atlas and the axis. Now if there’s a heavy-duty, enough trauma, they can actually bang the brain inside the skull. Then imagine what that’s doing to the bones that sit underneath it.
To give you an idea, the head weighs 10 to 12 pounds. The first bone in the neck, the atlas bone, weighs about three ounces. If it’s enough trauma to slam the brain into the head, do you think it might be enough trauma that it actually could move the head relative to one of the top bones in the neck? Well, through that opening there comes the brain stem, it comes off the brain, down through those top two bones. If one of those bones gets moved or misaligned, it can actually squeeze down on the brain stem.
Now, what’s the significance of that? Well, there’s a lot of significance. The brain stem is like the switchboard operator between the brain and the body. It actually sends the communication from the brain to the heart, liver, lungs, kidneys, your arms, your legs, even up into the head, face, and neck. You see, there are no nerves that come off of the brain. All the nerves come off the brain stem. You have 12 cranial nerves actually that go back up and innervate the head, face, and neck. That’s your vision, your taste, your smell, your hearing, your balance. All of those are controlled through the brain stem.
At the same time, brain to brain communication like thought processes, memory, emotion, even your cognitive awareness, all travels through the brain stem. A misaligned bone at the top of the neck can create symptoms just about anywhere in the body.
We just recently had a couple young kids come in. They both had had concussions, one about four months ago and one about nine months ago. Now these guys were 10 and 12 years old. One of them had missed the last six weeks of school. Both of them had visual issues, hearing problems, balance problems, headaches daily, neck pain, upper back pain, lower back pain, all since they had that concussion.
Now these guys went through the whole concussion protocol. They’d been to the neurologist, the concussion specialist. The kids were still suffering. By the time they came here, they had been through the whole medical route. By the time they came here, and I checked them, and I showed them what was going on, they were like, “How come we’ve never heard of this before? How come we’ve been to all these specialists, and nobody told us it could be actually what’s going on just under the head?”
Well, unfortunately, the medical profession hasn’t quite figured this out yet. They just look at the brain, and they don’t look anywhere else. At the same time, they try to keep everybody within their own family. They only refer back and forth to each other. I want you to know that both of those kids after the very first correction had significant changes in their vision, in their hearing, and the pressure in their head, only after one correction.
The reason I created this blog was because I want you to be aware that if you’ve ever had a family member, or you’ve ever been … had a concussion, and since that concussion, maybe things just didn’t feel just right, maybe there’s something going on a little bit lower.
If you want to look a little further, actually Google the Bears quarterback from the ’80s, Jim McMahon and upper cervical. If you just type in “Jim McMahon upper cervical,” there was a ESPN special 30 on 30. Jim McMahon actually told the story about how he had headaches from playing football so bad he was actually going to commit suicide. Somebody told him about an upper cervical doctor. He went and got checked, and the upper cervical doctor found he had a misalignment at the top of his neck. The very first correction, years of headaches disappeared on the table. He said it felt like somebody flushed a toilet in his head and released all that pressure. His headaches went away, not to come back. Totally changed his life, probably saved his life.
That’s just one case, and it happens every day in our offices. If you live in the Charlotte area, feel free to give our office a call. We attract people from within an hour to, actually, we have them come from different countries. But if you’re in Belmont, Gastonia, Fort Mill, Rock Hill, Gastonia, the University area, just give our office a call. Come in. Let’s at least evaluate you or your child to see if maybe you might have something going on at the top of your neck that is creating these post-concussion syndromes.
If you do, we’ll explain to you what we need to do to try to fix the problem once and for all. If you don’t, well, at least we’ll rule that. We will try to find someone that we think can help you once we get to the root cause of where your symptoms are coming from.
Now if you don’t live in the Charlotte area, do yourself a favor. Go online, Google it. Try to find an upper cervical doctor near you. If you’re having a hard time, call our office. We’ll be happy to do some research and try to find someone next to you.
If you just want to learn a little bit more about our practice and who we are and the upper cervical specialty, check out our website at www.uppercervicalspinecenter.com. I think that’ll answer most of your questions. If you have any other questions, give our office a call. Come on in for a free consultation. Let’s set down, and let’s find out what’s going on with you. Let’s see if we can get you or your child some help that you need.
Please feel free. Please share this video if you know anyone that maybe has had any kind of concussion or post-concussion problems, please share it with them. We’re just trying to reach out and help.
I hope you have a great day, and we’ll see you soon.