Concussions are mild traumatic brain injuries, and as such, they should always be taken seriously, even though they may not be life threatening. Sometimes it’s obvious a concussion has occurred as the result of a head injury, but not always. Symptoms can be very subtle, so they may not be noticed right away. Sometimes there are no indications at all that a concussion has occurred. An individual who blacks out at the time of injury and is clearly experiencing signs of a concussion such as vomiting, confusion, or slurred speech is likely to be taken to the ER for immediate care. But regardless of symptoms or how severe a concussion seems to be, when the brain bounces around inside the skull, at the very least, some cells are damaged, chemicals are released, and stress within the brain may result in a loss of functionality.
To facilitate the fullest, swiftest recovery, appropriate concussion care from a qualified medical care professional is the best course of action. First, seek out emergency medical care as needed; then seek out an evaluation and therapeutic support from a functional neurologist. A proper evaluation and therapy are needed because without comprehensive care, concussion symptoms may worsen. This can include headaches, anxiety, dizziness, depression and difficulty sleeping.
Ongoing or worsening concussion symptoms require care that addresses functional problems. Typically, such symptoms occur not because of structural damage, but because of problems with connections within the brain. Functional neurologists can provide customized care that takes advantage of neuroplasticity—the brain’s ability to develop new connections. Therapy can trigger the formation of new connections in very specific ways, and the results are measurable.
When brain injuries and the resulting damage are improperly managed, it can dramatically impact quality of life. Some individuals suffer for months and even years after an injury simply because they do not realize why they are having symptoms. In other cases, medications are used to try to alleviate symptoms. Sometimes they work temporarily; sometimes they don’t work at all. There’s always the risk of side-effects, too, when it comes to drug therapy.
Functional neurology takes advantage of brain-based therapies to facilitate recovery, and there are no health risks or potential side-effects associated with this type of care. It is possible to rehabilitate the brain and restore function without medication, and best of all, symptom relief is designed to be long-term.
Although functional neurologists are often successful in helping patients recover from the effects of a concussion weeks, months or years after the injury, it’s best to seek care as soon as possible. It is possible for damaged areas of the brain to increase over time. The fastest way to get back to normal is to begin working on restoring function right away.