There are subtle changes in the skull and brain after a mild impact to the skull; a mild concussion. A specialist in functional neurology can correct them.

Functional Neurology for Mild Concussion

A mild impact to the head can cause concussion syndrome; a mild traumatic brain injury (mtbi). However, new brain deficits may be so subtle that they get ignored for many years into adulthood. We use a physical treatment for mild head trauma.

It is uncommon to identify “brain injury” with a brain scan (MRI or CT scan) after mild head trauma. Nothing looks broken or swollen to the radiologist, but there definitely is a change in the brain’s functional neurology. A sports-related concussion usually leads to an inability of the child’s brain to perform at the same level as before. Symptoms could manifest such as: worse coordination, worse athletic performance, imbalance, bumping into things, repetitive injuries, dizziness or vertigo. Also possible are problems with attention, learning, and difficulty doing things with one side of the body compared to the other.

“Mild TBI results in a constellation of physical, cognitive, vision, emotional, and sleep-related disturbances”
(Autonomic Dysfunction after Mild Traumatic Brain Injury Brain Sci. 2017 Aug)

Other symptoms of mild concussion may include disorientation, trouble focusing, confusion, slower reaction times, difficulty remembering things, headaches, stomach ache, nausea, motion sickness (eg. riding in a car makes your child feel sick), avoidance of amusement park rides, sensitivity to light, feel worse or tired after reading, can’t read in a car, feel worse when watching TV or using a computer, can’t keep one eye open when the other is closed, can’t roll the eyes, or even feeling more tired than usual, or napping more often than before.

Your immune system function may also change after a mild head impact (post concussion); known as “immuno-excitotoxicity.” (from the book: The Craniocervical Syndrome and MRI : Smith, F.W. (London), Dworkin, J.S. (Melville, NY)). In other words, you could become sensitive to things that you weren’t sensitive to before.

Kids Get Mild Concussions, and So Do Adults

Most children who get a concussion have not gone to the ER (emergency room)(1). As stated above, mild concussions do not generally cause positive findings on MRI or CT scan. Mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI) is “the invisible injury.”

Do you have a history of mild head trauma? Can’t remember? Most people just ignore the minor blows they’ve had to the head. Did you hit your head on something while you were standing up, or bump into a glass door or window? Did something from the closet fall on your head? Have you had a nose job (rhinoplasty)? Did you have an auto collision and not hit your head (shaken brain)?

Over time, functional post concussion changes can seemingly be far-removed from your brain: such as a mysterious case of constipation, or a case of “gastro-paresis” that baffles all of your GI doctors (2). Traumatic brain injury (TBI) can lead to chronic inflammation of your gastrointestinal system, weakness on one side of your body, feeling overwhelmed, depression and feeling stuck, eyesight getting worse, or steady, unexplained weight gain. A mild brain concussion can lead to avoidance of certain activities or behaviors involving motion, coordination, or balance (eg. you never go on rides at amusement parks). We might even call this a mild balance disorder.

Second Impact Syndrome / Second Concussion Syndrome

Second concussion syndrome or second impact syndrome is when another mild head impact follows the original one. It’s one concussion on top of another. Without resolving some of the effects though cranial work, or functional neurology treatment, the damage is cumulative.  CTE (chronic traumatic encephalopathy) is the condition of pro football players who couldn’t function years after multiple hits to the head. We want to prevent CTE, and help with concussion recovery, by helping your brain to reboot.

The risk of doing nothing is long-term brain deficit. Grades go down with multiple concussions. The likelihood of going to college goes down with multiple concussions. SAT scores go down with multiple concussions, but there is help available (3).

A good concussion doctor can determine if your child has signs of mild concussion, and help certain aspects to resolve. Don’t rely on cognitive testing alone. There are subtle signs that we observe in our concussion evaluation showing the subtle nuances of concussion and brain malfunction.

Don’t let them tell you to just wait and do nothing. You child can be better!

We can help. Today.

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