A concussion is a traumatic brain injury from a blow to the head or a violent shaking of the head and body. Concussions can have a variety of symptoms, including headaches, dizziness, confusion, and sensitivity to light and noise. While a concussion can be a serious injury, chiropractic care can be an effective treatment option for healing concussions.
There are several common causes of concussions, including:
- Sports injuries: common in contact sports such as football, soccer, hockey, and basketball
- Motor vehicle accidents: car accidents can cause head injuries that result in concussions
- Falls: especially in older adults and children
- Physical assault: domestic violence and assault and battery can cause concussions
- Explosive blasts: such as those experienced by military personnel or in accidents involving explosives.
- Shaken baby syndrome: infants and young children can suffer concussions from shaking or abusive head trauma
It’s important to note that any impact to the head or body that causes the brain to move inside the skull can result in a concussion, regardless of the cause.
We’ll explore how chiropractic care can help heal concussions by affecting the cranial nerves through chiropractic adjustments.
Wait, what the heck are cranial nerves?
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Understanding the Cranial Nerves
The cranial nerves are a set of 12 pairs of nerves that originate from the brainstem and extend throughout the head and neck. The cranial nerves control a variety of functions in the head and neck, including vision, hearing, taste, smell, and facial movements.
The cranial nerves also regulate many of the body’s essential functions, such as heart rate, breathing, and digestion. Because of their involvement in these vital functions, any damage or interference with the cranial nerves can significantly impact the body’s overall health and wellness.
Ok, now that we know what the cranial nerves do, what do they have to do with a concussion? And what does chiropractic have to do with it?
How Chiropractic Adjustments Affect the Cranial Nerves
Chiropractic adjustments can be an effective treatment option for healing concussions because of their effect on the cranial nerves. When a concussion occurs, the brain can shift or move inside the skull, causing damage to the cranial nerves and interfering with their normal function.
Chiropractic adjustments can help realign the skull and spine, relieving pressure on the cranial nerves and promoting healing. By restoring proper alignment, chiropractic adjustments can also help improve blood flow to the brain, further aiding the healing process.
Chiropractic adjustments also stimulate the nervous system, which helps activate the body’s natural healing processes. This can reduce inflammation and swelling, common concussion symptoms.
Ok, I get the cranial nerves now, but what about the spinal nerves? Can they help influence better function after a concussion?
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How Chiropractic Adjustments Affect the Spinal Nerves
Concussions can cause a variety of symptoms, including headache, dizziness, nausea, and sensitivity to light and noise. These symptoms are thought to be related to changes in brain function and may also be related to changes in the autonomic nervous system, which regulates heart rate, blood pressure, and breathing.
The autonomic nervous system comprises two branches, the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems, which work together to regulate bodily functions. The sympathetic nervous system is responsible for the “fight or flight” response, while the parasympathetic nervous system is responsible for the “rest and digest” response.
In some cases of concussion, changes in autonomic nervous system function may result in an imbalance between the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems. This can lead to symptoms such as increased heart rate, blood pressure, and breathing, as well as changes in body temperature and sweating.
Spinal nerves play a role in the autonomic nervous system, as they carry signals from the spinal cord to the organs and tissues controlled by the autonomic nervous system. Therefore, changes in autonomic function following a concussion may also affect spinal nerve function.
While spinal nerves do not directly help with concussions, they may be involved in the complex network of physiological changes that occur following a concussion. Properly diagnosing and managing concussion-related symptoms are essential to help prevent long-term complications and promote recovery.
The Benefits of Chiropractic Care for Concussions in Manahawkin, NJ
Chiropractic care can offer a variety of benefits for healing concussions. By affecting the cranial nerves through chiropractic adjustments, chiropractic care can help promote healing and reduce symptoms associated with concussions.
Post-concussion syndrome (PCS) is a condition that can occur after a person has suffered a concussion. PCS can cause various symptoms, including headaches, dizziness, fatigue, irritability, and difficulty concentrating.
While there is no single treatment for PCS, chiropractic care can effectively manage and reduce symptoms.
Some of the benefits of chiropractic care for concussions include:
- Reduced pain and inflammation – Chiropractic adjustments can help reduce pain and inflammation associated with concussions. By realigning the skull and spine, adjustments relieve pressure on the cranial nerves and reduce inflammation in the brain.
- Improved cognitive function – Concussions can cause cognitive symptoms, such as difficulty concentrating and memory loss. Chiropractic care can help improve cognitive function by stimulating the nervous system and promoting healing.
- Faster recovery time – Chiropractic care can help accelerate the healing process by improving blood flow to the brain and activating the body’s natural healing processes. This can lead to a faster recovery time and reduced symptoms.
- Non-invasive treatment option – Chiropractic care is a non-invasive treatment option for concussions. It does not involve surgery or medication and is a natural approach to healing.
Some other ways a chiropractor may be able to help with post-concussion syndrome are:
- Soft tissue therapy – massage or trigger point therapy can help reduce muscle tension and improve blood flow to the brain. This can help relieve headaches and other symptoms of PCS.
- Nutritional counseling – nutrient deficiencies or imbalances may contribute to PCS symptoms. A chiropractor can provide guidance on a healthy diet and recommend supplements to support the body’s healing process.
- Lifestyle modifications – including recommendations for exercise, stress reduction techniques, and ergonomic adjustments to work or home environments.
- Collaborative care – in some cases, a chiropractor may work with other healthcare providers, such as a neurologist or physical therapist, to provide comprehensive care for PCS. These partnerships ensure the patient receives the most effective treatment for their individual needs.
It’s important to note that the treatment approach for PCS may vary depending on the individual’s specific symptoms and needs. A chiropractor can work with the patient to develop a personalized treatment plan that addresses their unique needs and goals.
If you are experiencing symptoms of post-concussion syndrome, consider seeking chiropractic care as a natural and non-invasive approach to managing your symptoms and promoting healing.
Chiropractic care can be an effective treatment option for healing concussions. By affecting the cranial nerves through chiropractic adjustments, chiropractic care can promote healing and reduce symptoms associated with concussions. If you have suffered a concussion, consider seeking chiropractic care as a natural and non-invasive treatment option for your recovery.