By WIN Contributor: Dr. Matthew Bird, Chiropractor

Since 2010 there has been a dramatic increase in the awareness of concussions associated with sports and within the workplace. This awareness has sparked a significant increase in research on the diagnosis and management of concussions.

Clinically, concussions are termed mild traumatic brain injuries (mTBI), but to compound the problem of understanding what these injuries are, not all mTIB’s are concussions. Wait, what?

Lets define what a concussion is; a brain injury with a complex pathophysiological process affecting the brain, induced by biomechanical forces. This means that a concussion is a result of a direct blow to the head/face/neck or body with an impulsive force transmitted to the head. This force will then lead to a rapid onset of short-lived impairment of neurological function that resolves spontaneously. However, symptoms and signs may evolve over a number of minutes to hours. Due to the fact that acute clinical symptoms largely reflect a “functional” disturbance rather than a “structural” disturbance (neuropathological) there is no abnormality seen on routine neuroimaging studies (ie: MRI).

What do you do if you suspect you have a concussion? WIN Health Solutions Chiropractors and Physiotherapists can help you set up a plan for recovery as early management is key to reducing your symptoms and will prevent the trench effect of lingering symptoms. The good news is that 80-90% of individuals with mTBIs will recover fully with therapy!

Management of concussion symptoms is done on an individual basis by monitoring the individual’s biggest energy drain affecting their body/mood. Whether it is bodily pain (headaches, muscle/joint soreness), cognitive disturbances (reaction time, concentration), visual/vestibular disruptions (environment), sleep disruption or secondary anxiety/depression. The goal of therapy is always to get you back to where you want to be and that is back to your normal life.

For further info regarding the effects and management of concussions come speak to a WIN Health Solutions Niagara practitioner so you may keep your head in the game! Remember early intervention is the key to your recovery.