In the sporting world concussions are one of the most commonly seen injuries, particularly in impact sports. Concussions can also happen in the general population. They are one of the most important injuries to recognise quickly. Appropriate treatment and rehabilitation are essential, because concussion really is a mild form of traumatic brain injury.
Just one concussion can increase the risk of long term damage to the brain and can increase the risk of getting another concussion. This is why it is so important to recognise them and get treatment. Not only can you injure the brain when you have a concussion, there can also be damage to the spine and the neck musculature and ligaments.
What is Post-Concussion Syndrome?
Post-Concussion syndrome is what can occur after the initial injury and can last in some cases up to six months. Symptoms include: headache, dizziness, fatigue, cognitive difficulties (difficulty remembering things or focusing), and irritability, with some of these symptoms being caused by spasms in the musculature of the head and neck.
One common muscle involved in head and neck injuries is the Rectus Capitis Posterior Minor. It attaches on the first vertebrae of the neck and occiput, and then has connections into the dura mater, one of the layers of covering over the brain. When these structures are injured or not functioning properly, it can cause pulling on the dura mater around the brain leading to increased headaches.
How Can ART ® help?
Active Release Techniques® are used to help diagnose and find the injured area and treat it, with the goals of restoring the normal movement of the muscle and/or joint, thereby speeding up the rate of healing! And in the case of this muscle, helping to decrease headaches.
Along with ART ® we have numerous other techniques we use in the clinic to help you get back quickly to enjoying your activities and your life! Contact us today to see if we can help with your recovery from a concussion!
Dizziness can be a little bit complicated. It can be caused by a number of different reasons, but you probably never thought that your neck could be one of them!? Well Cervicogenic vertigo is exactly that, dizziness that is theorised to be caused from dysfunctional or lack of movement in the neck.
20-58% of people who have had head/neck injuries or whiplash will also experience dizziness
How can my neck contribute to dizziness?
Typically this specific type of dizziness is seen in people after an injury to the head and neck such as concussion or whiplash. But that is not always the case, sometimes it is also seen in people with severe muscle spasm in the neck or loss of movement in the neck.
Proprioception is your body’s ability to perceive where it is in space. Tricky to understand, but basically think about it as your ability to stay on balance. Proprioceptive receptors in the neck can be disrupted through concussion or whiplash injury, thus relaying incorrect information back to the brain about where the body is, causing the sensation of dizziness or the sensation of being pulled to one side, or the room spinning. Along with the dizziness people with this type of vertigo typically have pain and limited range of motion in the head and neck.
What are the symptoms?
Neck pain and/or loss of motion in the neck
Dizziness, sense of the room moving or spinning, or feeling disconnected from your body
The difference between other types of vertigo and this one are that the dizziness type symptoms you experience are made worse by holding specific positions of the head and neck. Moving the head doesn’t usually cause the symptoms to flare up but keeping the head in a certain position for a longer time does.
This type of vertigo or dizziness that is caused from injury to or lack of movement in the neck typically responds well to chiropractic care and physiotherapy. Using manual therapy such as manipulation, mobilisation, and Active Release Techniques (ART®) to release the muscles and improve range of motion has been shown to help in these cases. Also specific exercises for the neck and exercises to improve proprioception can be beneficial as well.
As with any condition it is important to have a thorough examination to figure out the true cause of the problem. Give us a call today to see if we can help with your problem!