Physical treatment for Mild Head Trauma, mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI)
There are subtle neurological changes in the brain after a mild impact to the skull. These subtle brain changes can be corrected by a specialist in functional neurology.
A mild impact to the head can cause concussion syndrome. However, new brain deficits may be so subtle that they get ignored for many years into adulthood.
With mild head trauma, brain injury is not usually seen on a brain scan (MRI or CT scan). Nothing looks broken or swollen, 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 function or perform at the same level as before, like worse coordination, worse athletic performance, imbalance, bump into things, repetitive injuries, dizziness or vertigo, problems with attention, difficulty learning, more difficulty doing things with one side of the body compared to the other side.
"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, dizziness, 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 needing to nap more often than before.
After a mild head impact (post concussion), a change to your immune system function is also a possibility, and has been called "immuno-excitotoxicity." (from the book: The Craniocervical Syndrome and MRI : Smith, F.W. (London), Dworkin, J.S. (Melville, NY)).
Most children who get a concussion have not gone to the ER (emergency room). Mild concussions do not generally cause positive findings on MRI or CT scan. Mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI) is "the invisible injury."
Kids Get Mild Concussions, and So Do Adults
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 when you were standing up, or bump into a glass door or window? Did something from the closet fall on your head? Did you have 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 weird case of "gastro-paresis" that baffles you and all of your GI doctors. 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 any rides at amusement parks). This might even be called a mild balance disorder.
Second Impact Syndrome / Second Concussion Syndrome
Second concussion syndrome or second impact syndrome is when mild head trauma is followed by another head impact, but no cranial work or functional neurology was ever used for the first one: it's one concussion on top of another. CTE (chronic traumatic encephalopathy) is the name of the condition made famous by pro football players who couldn't function anymore, way after multiple hits to the head. We want to prevent CTE, and help with concussion recovery, by rebooting your brain.
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.
A good concussion doctor can help determine if your child has had a mild concussion, and help many aspects of the concussion to resolve. Don't rely on cognitive testing alone. There are many more subtle motor neurological responses that we use in our concussion evaluation to show 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.