Headaches, Neck Pain, and Concussion

Feb 8, 2017Blog Post


Headaches, Neck Pain, and Concussion

Have you ever “banged” your head from falling? For those playing backyard football, soccer, hockey, or baseball as kids or adults, it’s really quite common. So, how can we tell when the “bang” is dangerous vs. not? And, how does a concussion occur?

What is a concussion?

A concussion is a  “traumatic brain injury” (TBI) where the brain is “jarred” and literally bruises as a result of some sort of trauma (a “bang”).

What causes a concussion?

Causation is usually from some sort of trauma either by being hit by a moving object (like a ball), from hitting the head during a fall, and even without a direct strike if the head is violently moved back and forth (such as in a “whiplash” injury resulting from a car accident). When there is no direct strike of the head and in the absence of being “knocked out, “ the person may not be aware that they have a concussion.

What are the symptoms associated with a concussion?

Immediate symptoms usually include a headache and a reduced level of alertness or consciousness. A concussion temporarily interferes with the way the brain works and as a result (depending on the specific location and degree of the “brain bruise”) speech, balance, coordination, and sleep patterns. Other symptoms may include nausea and/or vomiting. Most people describe the experience as an abrupt injury where a bright flash of light occurs in the visual field that blocks the vision temporarily. Many do not actually become unconscious but may say they “blacked out” for a second or two. When unconsciousness does occur, the length of time they are “out” may be a way of determining severity. Symptoms can vary from mild to severe and the following are EMERGENCY symptoms where immediate health care provision is necessary:

  • Significant changes in alertness and consciousness
  • Convulsions or seizures
  • Muscle weakness on one or both sides
  • Persistent confusion
  • Persistent unconsciousness (coma)
  • Repeated vomiting
  • Unequal pupils
  • Unusual eye movements
  • Walking problems

Neck injury is often associated with a head injury, which is why the injured person is stabilized on a board before being transported. Symptoms during recovery include being withdrawn, easily upset, confused, having a hard time with tasks, that require memory and/or concentrating, having mild headaches, and sensitivity to noise.

What tests are commonly performed on the post0concussive patient and, what is the treatment?

A physical exam can include a careful evaluation of the cranial nerves such as pupil size and eye movement, as well as assessment of one’s thinking ability, coordination, and reflexes. Special tests may include an EEG (brain wave test), especially when seizures are involved. A head CT scan or head MRI may often be necessary. Treatment may require a hospital stay if severe signs are present. A “wait & watch” approach is often practiced but prompt gentle chiropractic approaches often facilities healing and should strongly be considered. Refraining from rigorous sports is strongly advised.

We realize that you have a choice in where you choose your healthcare services. If you, a friend, or a family member requires care for headaches, we sincerely appreciate the trust and confidence shown by choosing our services and look forward in serving you and your family present and, in the future.

Recent Posts

Four Signs that You Might Have Tech Neck

Four Signs that You Might Have Tech Neck

Do you ever catch yourself lost in the captivating world of technology, only to be abruptly reminded of a throbbing pain in your neck and a sense of discomfort that lingers throughout the day? It's a familiar story for many of us. In our quest for digital connection...

read more