The goal of this article is to discuss what you can do to relieve concussion symptoms. These are not DIY options, but options and opinions from trusted health care providers like ourselves to help reduce your symptoms. If what you have been waiting for is a simple step to get better; you are in for a surprise because to heal from a concussion takes work!
Concussions bring on multiple symptoms that someone may be suffering from in different severities. Headaches, balance issues, constant fatigue, sensitivity to light are just to name a few. These symptoms may come and go quickly or they may be there for months to years. However there are steps you can take to limit their intensities and to reduce them all together.
Rest– this is key for all concussion. Mental and physical rest helps to decrease the intensity of the symptoms and reduce the load on the brain from the outside world. Being in a dim room with decreased interactions with people and electronics will help! Make sure you do this for a couple days to 1-2 weeks after your injury.
Vestibular/Occular Rehab– it is very common for concussion sufferers to have an altered sense of balance and reduced visual function. There is no change in prescription however the function of the eyes have reduced. Eye movements cause pain in the eyes and will bring on head pressure/ headaches. Walking and all movements may be altered due to the vestibular system bringing on more symptoms of unsteadiness and dizziness. These 2 issues need to be addressed by a professional to help reduce the load and intensity of the symptoms. Specific eye exercises for accommodation and convergence and generalized movements need to be completed. Balance training, gait training and moving the eyes and body together is also a way to help rehab these dysfunctional systems.
Cardiovascular training– there is a link between the autonomic nervous system which is the connection that controls the heart and brain together. As you train one the other starts to decrease its intensity of symptoms and can be pushed with high exertion before pressure builds. These cardio tests are done guided by a health professional to keep pushing the body to reduce the symptoms and rate of perceived exertion. This way the heart rate can become more inline with what is normal for the individual and not increase out of control due to the brain involvement and symptoms.
Concussions are severe and are a tedious injury to heal from. The old ways of just staying in a dark room and waiting for your symptoms to decrease are gone. There are new ways to manage this and we are here to help.
Email us or book directly into our appointment calendar to get assessed for your concussion and be guided through a process that bring your health back!
Written by: Dr. Giuseppe Caruana DC
Consensus Statement on Concussion in Sport: The 4th International Conference on Concussion in Sport, Zurich, November 2012. Paul MacCrory, PhD, William Meeuwisse, MD, PhD