Hockey players are at risk for concussions, despite wearing protective gear. When they occur, some individuals recover fairly quickly, while for others, symptoms linger. Unfortunately, ongoing symptoms can be so persistent, they interfere with the athlete’s ability to return to play at all. Without proper care and support, post-concussion syndrome can alter people’s lives permanently.

Post Concussion Syndrome

It’s estimated that about 20% of those who suffer a concussion experience post-concussion syndrome. This means they experience symptoms beyond a six-week period of time after their injury. Of particular interest to hockey players and other athletes is what else seems to be true of post-concussion syndrome: it is not the severity of the injury that determines who is most likely to experience long-terms effects of concussion. Rather, it is how many concussions the individual experiences over time. The more concussions you have, the more likely you are too face long-term consequences. This is especially true if the brain doesn’t adequately recover between injuries.

Long-term Effects of Concussion

Concussion can result in long-term physical, cognitive and emotional effects. Physical symptoms may include headaches, dizziness or vertigo, fatigue, and sensitivity to noise and light, among others. Memory loss, trouble concentrating, and brain fog or slowed thinking are some potential cognitive symptoms. Emotionally, post-concussion syndrome can involve anxiety or depression. Sleep disturbances are fairly common, and may exacerbate other symptoms.

What’s Wrong with the ‘Wait and See’ Approach

One of the most frustrating aspects of post-concussion syndrome is the persistence of symptoms, and the ‘wait and see’ approach care typically involves. When a hockey player suffers a mild traumatic brain injury, he or she may be told to take pain medication as needed, and rest up to promote healing. As symptoms linger, additional medications may be recommended to try to help the person feel better. Unfortunately, this rarely works as a reliable long-term solution. Side-effects and potential health risks associated with pharmaceuticals may present a problem, even if it does seem like medications are helping.

Effective, Natural Care for Concussions

Fortunately, there is another option for hockey players and other athletes who are at risk of concussion, or multiple concussions in particular, due to sports play. Functional neurology is an alternative type of health care that focuses on comprehensive evaluation of concussions, including testing that can determine exactly what is going on with brain function and the brain-body connection after an injury.

Brain Based Therapies for Concussion Recovery

A functional neurologist takes advantage of Brain Based Therapies, or BBT, to help improve function. The goal is to find out exactly how the individual may best be helped by evaluating function in specific areas of the brain and how they are communicating with each other and the body as a whole. Then, it healing and recovery can be brought about in very specific ways. Brain Based Therapies do not involve any guesswork, and the result of this type of care is recovery that is natural, swift, and as complete as possible.