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Chiropractic Therapy For Concussions & PTSD

A recent study in chiropractic care focused on the effectiveness of chiropractic methods in treating concussions. Concussions, most commonly experienced by athletes competing in contact sports and military personnel in active service, is the condition when physical force jolts the head to the degree that the brain inside the skull actually wiggles like a jello mold, which causes trauma to the brain matter itself. 

Concussions can be mild or acute, but they are always categorized as a traumatic brain injury, or TBI. Fortunately, for many people who experience them, concussions are only temporary with symptoms lasting 7-10 days. Symptoms of concussions usually reflect a problem with how chemical and electrical processes work in the brain’s neurology, rather than structural damage to the brain itself. Traditional medical care typically advises rest of both body and mind, then some physical therapy if the patient is an athlete, to slowly ease them back into the game. The most common physical symptoms are headache, dizziness, nausea, visual disturbances, tinnitus, and balance disturbance. Emotional and cognitive symptoms like difficulty focusing, fatigue, emotional changes, and irritability are also common. 

A 42 year old Caucasian male was discharged from military service due to Post Traumatic Stress Disorder caused by suffering 12 concussions over the length of his enlistment which lasted 18 years.  His concussions were caused by motor vehicle accidents, shell shock from explosions, a collapsing roof, and a parachuting accident. This large amount of concussions strains the neurology of the brain and rather than recover, eventually emotional and cognitive symptoms began to set in as PTSD, making the patient experience major mood swings and deep depression. 

Chiropractic care for the patient began with an examination for misalignments in the upper spine near the neck by using a number of scanning techniques including thermographic instruments, x-rays, and postural assessment. It was discovered that the patient had imbalance in the posture which caused his head to tilt to the right, his right shoulder to rest lower than the other while standing, and his right leg to be shorter while lying down. 

Treatment involved spinal adjustments followed by thermographic scans to see how the imbalance in the posture was being changed. To adjust the spine, the knee-chest procedure was used which requires the patient to kneel on a small pad on the floor while the head is placed on a padded table while the chiropractor makes a low-force rotation of the neck. Over 8 weeks of treatment, the patient was relieved of his concussion related symptoms enough to begin training for a professional strongman competition without any symptoms.

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Used under Creative Commons Licensing courtesy of Karl-Ludwig Poggemann

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