An Overview of Post-Concussion Syndrome and 3 Ways to Treat it Effectively
Traumatic brain injury or TBI refers to an acute event that leads to either minor or major injuries to the brain. No two, brain injuries are the same. Some can lead to minor effects without symptoms while severe cases of TBIs can have a dramatic impact on a person’s life. Every year, over a million of people suffer from TBIs due to accidental fall or trip, taking part in sports or other recreational activities, and being involved in a road accident. TBI contributes a substantial number of cases of permanent disability and deaths.
Concussion is among the most common but less serious types of TBIs. This condition results from a violent blow or blunt force applied to the head causing a sudden disruption in the Reticular Activating System (RAS) in the brain. Located in the middle of the brain, the RAS helps regulate the sense of consciousness and awareness. It is also plays a role in helping you focus on details while ignoring unimportant information. These tasks include waking up on time, falling asleep, instantly focusing on items that interest you, etc.
In head injury that results in concussion, your brain is jolted or moved out of its normal position in a short period of time. This leads to a disruption in the electrical activities of your brain cells, particularly the RAS. Some of the common symptoms of concussion include pain, loss of memory, mental confusion, and a short period of unconsciousness. However, some people may experience none of it.
When symptoms don’t resolve
Usually, symptoms of concussion settle within hours, days, weeks, or at most months. However, some may also experience unique symptoms depending on the part of the brain that got affected. For example, a person may report blurred vision if the part of the brain that directly processes visual information gets affected.
But while the brain has an awesome ability to recover, some sufferers develop a complication known as Post-Concussion Syndrome. In this condition, the symptoms of the brain injury persist for longer than usual. The symptoms can only get worse over time that can adversely affect your life. Chronic pain has known to be a result of post-concussion syndrome.
Looking at post-concussion syndrome
After an injury, the ‘volume knobs’ inside the brain are turned up resulting in symptoms like dizziness. Additional sensory and pain signals can get past the brain, which would normally filter it out. Once the brain is recovered, these ‘volume knobs’ are slowly turned down and the ‘brain filters’ resume work. But that’s not the case in post-concussion syndrome. It’s the other way around. The ‘volume knobs’ are further increased and become more active over time.
Some are afraid that the symptoms could be a sign of a form of brain damage. But the truth is that these symptoms don’t often reflect major complications in the brain. In fact, it is the worrying part that can worsen your condition. These functional neurological symptoms such as chronic pain, dizziness, fatigue, sleep disturbance, anxiety, headache, and poor concentration can have a profound impact on one’s daily fare. As such, it is important to find a way to effectively manage post-concussion syndrome.
Treating post-concussion syndrome
Managing post-concussion syndrome requires several aspects.
- First, you have to understand the right diagnosis. Some may dwell in the idea that they have far more serious brain damage due to the injury, which would likely hinder the recovery. By understanding that the symptoms are reversible, you are able to rehabilitate faster.
- Second, treat the symptoms with conventional treatment. For instance, if you are experiencing headache or pain, take medications for headache. If you have psychological symptoms, such as anxiety, nightmares or depression, you can work with your doctor for specific treatments. You may be evaluated for possible post-traumatic stress disorder.
- Thirdly, with the approval of your doctor, you can attempt adjunctive therapies such as medical acupuncture. This procedure is known to help sufferers by tapping directly into the brain’s autonomic nervous system (ANS). When applied to trigger points, it sends concentrated, low frequency DC micro-current stimulation for optimal pain relief. It also helps release scar tissue and adhesions. Overall, it’s a simple, non-invasive and effective treatment for post-concussion syndrome pain.
In this the patient receives DC-EA treatments, which are applied bilaterally to previously identified acupuncture-trigger points, which are along the cranial surgical scars. Two Dolphin Neurostim devices, at a low frequency, introduce concentrated micro current stimulation at 30-second intervals. One side is set to a negative pole while the second device is set to positive-negative pole to push a negatively charged current through the scar tissue.
After the treatment the patient reports a zero pain level with a light touch to the top of the head, and six months later the headaches and the tremors are completely cured.