Post Concussion Syndrome

When someone gets a concussion, the brain is literally damaged. Many symptoms of a concussion include not being able to think straight, sensitivity to light and sound, nausea, depression, and lack of sleep, among other symptoms. The average time for the brain to heal after a concussion is 10 days. However, these symptoms can linger for years. This is called Post-Concussion Syndrome. Those who suffer from this debilitating condition usually seek medical care for answers, but rarely get the help they need. Drugs are prescribed to try to take care of the symptoms, rarely having much effect. Even if someone does get some relief through the medications, the problem persists because the CAUSE has not been addressed. Chiropractic care has worked wonders for those with Post-Concussion Syndrome, and as a chiropractor, I have helped many of these people get back on their feet.

Chiropractors adjust, or correct, the spine, so how can a chiropractor help the brain? It all starts with how the brain cleans itself. Recent research has proven that the brain has its own cleaning system, called the glymphatic system. This system is like a highway for waste in the brain, comprised of tiny vessels that carry the bad cells and gunk out of the brain and into the lymph nodes of the neck to eventually be disposed of. The main transport of this waste from the brain to the lymph nodes of the neck is via the jugular vein. Veins carry blood away from organs to the heart to be reoxygenated, passing lymph nodes along the way for cleaning. If this process is functioning correctly, the brain stays healthy. What does this have to do with Post-Concussion Syndrome?

When someone gets a concussion, there is a good chance that the top bone in the neck, or the atlas, gets misaligned. Typically, the concussion symptoms go away within a couple weeks – the brain heals, even though the atlas is still misaligned. However, sometimes the atlas is misaligned to the point where the jugular vein is compressed, since the jugulars pass right in front of the atlas on both sides of the neck. The jugular vein being compressed creates a huge problem for the brain, as the glymphatic system now cannot function properly. The waste cannot move through its main transport, so it backs up in the brain. The brain is now literally sitting in its own cesspool of waste, and therefore, cannot heal properly. This leads to the Post-Concussion symptoms that may last for years.

So, what can a chiropractor do? By taking very specific chiropractic X-rays, the chiropractor can detect the misalignment at the atlas. By correcting this misalignment, the atlas goes back to its normal position, thus taking pressure off the jugular vein and allowing the brain to finally heal.