Mild Head Injuries - Long Term Health Consequences.
Mild Traumatic Brain Injuries (mTBI's or sometimes called concussions) are an often missed part of a patient's medical history. Things that people may not think twice about, such as walking into a door, that time they fell backwards on their roller-blades when they were 12 (personal example), that time a car hit you from behind but it seemed like no immediate damage or injury... There are countless ways that people hit their head or injur their brain. Unfortunately, our culture has largely ignored these types of injuries or considers them something you need to simply "walk off" and have no lasting impact. The truth is, these injuries can have continued effects on the health of your entire body (and on those around you).
March is brain awareness month and this week is brain injury awareness week. Now is the perfect time of year to bring great attention to this public health epidemic!
Are you wondering if a head injury from your past might be the cause of your symptoms today?
Studies on the incidence of mTBI indicate there are approximately 600 per 100,000 people, per year, globally (42 million people worldwide). This is extremely common! (1)
Research has shown that there is a high incidence of chronic complaints (Post Concussion Syndrome - PCS) among those with as few as a single mTBI. There have been measurable impairments in various cognitive domains including executive function, learning/memory, attention, processing speed, and language function long after the initial injury. (2)
Those at the highest risk for mTBI include those who participate in: American football, boxing, ice hockey, mixed martial arts, and soccer, military service, and victims of domestic violence. However, recurring mTBI's can happen to anyone.
Symptoms of mTBI or PCS:
sensitivity to noise and light
Does this sound like you? Do you have a history of an injury to the head, including whiplash injuries?
If so, then it is likely that your symptoms are a result of this past injury. Your doctor may likely diagnose you with post concussion syndrome. If you are not sure, see an expert who understands head injury for a full evaluation.
How can one resolve chronic symptoms of head injury?
By far, the best tool I have seen for restoring brain function after head injury is the Low Energy Neurofeedback System (LENS). This neurofeedback device analyzes brainwaves and mirrors them back to the brain, in its own language, so that it can identify how to self correct. This treatment alone is capable of producing fast and profound changes in this population.
Photonic Stimulation is another amazing tool for restoring brain health. Light photons in the far infrared spectrum, when delivered with enough power and at the right frequency, will penetrate into cellular mitochondira and stimulate their activity. The end result is an antioxidant cascade that protects cellular health, repairs damaged cells, and promotes the growth of new cells.
Craniosacral Therapy is often essential as it can help re-align the bones of the skull that have shifted with the head injury. It also improves blood flow and circulation of cerebral spinal fluid throughout the brain, leading to much quicker resolution of symptoms.
Dietary changes are essential to restoring gut problems that have persisted since injury and plays a major role in modulating inflammation and ultimately healing the brain. Patient's with chronic symptoms of head injury will not heal without addressing their gut function.
Deep breathing techniques to increase oxygenation of blood and decrease CO2 levels in the body can be an excellent practice for improving brain function without spending any money.
Orthomolecular medicine is the use of high dose nutrient therapies to correct errors in biochemistry. For example, those who are depressed, unmotivated, lack energy, have a weak memory, and struggle with addiction since head injury are likely deficient in factors used to create dopamine, adrenaline, or opiods necessary for normal brain function. Supplementing with amino acids such as D,L - Phenylalanine and the necessary co-factors for producing these neurotransmitters can be very effective at alleviating symptoms.
Homeopathic remedies are another excellent tool for stimulating the body's self-regulating mechanisms. There are many appropriate remedies to use based on the specifics of a person's symptoms. I do not recommend pursuing homeopathy on your own, rather, find a practitioner who uses homeopathy to identify the best remedy for you.
Herbal medicine is an easy to employ method for improving brain health. Ginkgo biloba is well research for improving blood flow to the brain. Curcumin can help bring down inflammation for those still experiencing brain inflammation. Other herbs can be used to increase lymphatic drainage to assist in cerebral blood flow.
The list goes on! There are many methods that can be used in the recovering of mTBI. I highly recommend working with someone who is an expert in head injury to assist you in putting together a comprehensive treatment plant. Treating your symptoms holistically will always be the fastest and most complete route to a full recovery.
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(1) Cassidy JD, Carroll LJ, Peloso PM, Borg J, von Holst H, Holm L, Kraus J, Coronado VG, WHO Collaborating Centre Task Force on Mild Traumatic Brain Injury."Incidence, risk factors and prevention of mild traumatic brain injury: results of the WHO Collaborating Centre Task Force on Mild Traumatic Brain Injury."
(2) Kerry McInnes, Christopher L. Friesen, Diane E. MacKenzie, David A. Westwood, Shaun G. Boe"Mild Traumatic Brain Injury (mTBI) and chronic cognitive impairment: A scoping review."