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ADVERTISING: Advertorial — Concussion are NOT just in your head

by DR. WAYNE M. FICHTER JR./Natural Spine Solutions
| April 14, 2021 1:00 AM

I’ve noticed that we shrug off traumatic brain injuries like they’re simple headaches. I hear all too often, “I just fell and hit my head, no big deal.” Or, “My daughter fell off her bike without a helmet.” What? No big deal!?! I believe people think head injuries are just something we talk about, but really doesn’t exist. You need to know the seriousness of a traumatic brain injury, or TBI. Let me explain it another way — your brain has the consistency of Jello. Go make a bowl of Jello and throw it against the wall; that pretty much sums it up.

Now, more than ever before, the medical world takes TBIs extremely seriously. We now realize they are more dangerous than we ever imagined. The far-reaching effects of TBI’s not only affect the brain, studies show they affect much more. The adverse symptoms of TBIs can include digestive issues, cognitive problems, coordination dysfunction, hormonal disruption (menstrual problems) and mood disorders.

The brain is jarred in a concussion. It accelerates forward, crashing into the skull, then it often bounces back and hits the rear of the skull. Sometimes, it twists atop the brain stem as well.

Contrary to belief, you don’t have to hit your head or get knocked out to get a concussion: It can result from a car accident (whiplash) or even just a blow to the body. Anything that jars your brain.

A TBI is harmful in many ways. It may cause bleeding in the brain; the brain tissue itself may be bruised or torn. These injuries can lead to pressure on the brain, resulting in harmful inflammation.

It can also deprive the brain of oxygen, which could lead to the death of brain cells. And if the brain stem twists it might result in vestibular or endocrine issues. In addition, a TBI can damage or even tear the axon fibers that carry messages between different parts of the brain.

As these newer studies are showing that we not only need to worry about brain specific injuries, but now you may develop a whole different set of symptoms that resulted after the concussion. Some of those include:

• Behavioral problems like sleep disturbances, impulsivity, aggression, even psychosis.

• Physical conditions, such as headaches, seizures, hearing loss, and vision issues, including seeing double, blurriness, eyestrain, light sensitivity and depth-perception dysfunction.

• Hormonal disruption resulting in blood-sugar issues, menstrual problems and emotional problems, such as depression, anxiety or apathy.

• Digestive issues, including constipation, motility problems and increased gut permeability (which can lead to other inflammatory responses, which could lead to an autoimmune condition.).

• Cognitive issues, including problems with attention, memory, language and executive functions, such as organizing, planning, sequencing and monitoring or modifying behavior.

According to Vani Rao, MD, a Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine neuropsychiatrist, in The Traumatized Brain, “Traumatic brain injuries are, in a sense, a silent epidemic, because often, after persons with TBI have been treated in the emergency department or released from the hospital, family members or friends may assume that they are now ‘fixed.’ There may be no physical evidence of injury, so it is easy for others to believe that everything is back to normal. Unfortunately, that is often not the case, especially with more severe injuries.”

As we learn more about the consequence of TBIs it is leading to new treatments. With such a wide range of disconnected symptoms, protocols are often individualized based on the patient.

“Treating head injury requires a multifaceted approach,” explains Functional Neurologist Brandon Brock, DC, of Cerebrum Health Centers in Dallas Fort Worth. “Sometimes it requires medication to control symptoms. Sometimes it requires diet and nutrition to allow appropriate healing. Sometimes it requires the appropriate neurological exercises to give the brain harmony and symmetric function.”

With new studies coming out almost monthly we now have a better understanding of how to treat TBI’s. Treatment starts by challenging the nervous system with different types of sensory inputs to activate the brain, supplemental nutrition plays a very important role along with diet, and exercise.

Never start a rehabilitation program unless under supervised care.

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Dr. Wayne M. Fichter Jr. is a chiropractor at Natural Spine Solutions. The business is located at 3913 Schreiber Way in Coeur d’Alene, 208-966-4425.