By Dr. Matthew Bird, Chiropractor

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

A concussion is mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI) and more specifically it 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, also known as the energy crisis.  Symptoms and signs may evolve over a number of minutes to hours and can last for months for some people.

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, such as MRI or CT scan.

Management of concussion symptoms is done on an individual basis by monitoring the individual’s biggest energy drain affecting their body/mood.  This an be:

  • Body pain (headaches, muscle/joint soreness)
  • Cognitive disturbances (reaction time, concentration)
  • Visual/vestibular disruptions (environment)
  • Sleep disruption
  • 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.

In order to achieve success, the management of concussions requires a multifaceted approach involving a “circle of care” between a team of health care practitioners who have the necessary training, which can all be found at WIN Health Solutions.   In addition, the earlier a concussion is addressed, the more expediently it can be resolved.  Research shows that a “wait and see” approach has little benefit, yet proactive strategies yield better the outcomes.

WIN Health Solutions Chiropractors and Physiotherapists recently completed their certifications to become Complete Concussion Management practitioners with Complete Concussion Management Inc. (CCMI).  CCMI is a worldwide network of partnered clinics that provide standardized evidence-based best practices to sport programs, schools, and concussed patients with more expertise, experience and accessibility than any other healthcare service for concussions.

This is a very exciting time for the practitioners at WIN Health Solutions as we are developing protocols to assist sports programs and associations within the Niagara area and help athletes, coaches, trainers and teachers maintain a healthy awareness of the issue of concussions and that it can be managed effectively.  The WIN Health Solutions team will be setting up base line testing programs for teams/associations that are looking to keep their athletes or individuals healthy.

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