Concussions

We are committed to helping patients recover from Concussions and Post-Concussion Syndrome. Contact us today for an evaluation and discussion of your care needs!
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Health Quest Chiropractic & Physical Therapy

Concussions are a type of traumatic brain injury that, while serious, can often be resolved with proper treatment. However, in some cases, even with treatment patients may develop what is known as Post-Concussion Syndrome. In these cases, patients will need to seek specialist therapeutic care to work beyond their trauma, and make progress down their road to recovery.

Fortunately, there are care options available to patients in this situation. Health Quest’s team can provide a range of therapies designed to address the various symptoms of Post-Concussion Syndrome. Using a wide variety of modalities, and by making sure patients are comfortable with their therapy program every step of the way, our staff will help patients regain health and normalcy, overcoming this serious condition.

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FAQs on Concussions:

What is a Concussion?

Concussions are a type of traumatic brain injury — or TBI — caused by one of two primary causes:

  • a bump, blow, or jolt to the head
  • a hit to the body that causes the head (and brain) to move rapidly back and forth

No matter the exact cause, in these scenarios the brain can bounce around or twist in the skull. The movements begin creating chemical changes in the brain, and sometimes stretch and damage brain cells and tissue as well. The results may be classified as a concussion.

It’s a common misconception that a concussion results from being hit so hard that you are “knocked out.” A hit does not need to lead to unconsciousness to cause a concussion.

Additionally, all concussions are serious and should therefore be taken seriously, including those classified as mild. Learn more about concussions on the CDC Website.

What are the Signs and Symptoms of a Concussion?

Evidence of a concussion can go beyond a physical presentation, and may persist in virtually all aspects of a patient’s mental function. With that in mind, common signs and symptoms of this health issue include:

  • Physical: 
    • Headache
    • Dizziness
    • Balance problems
    • Sensitivity to noise/light
    • Nausea/vomiting
    • Blurry vision
    • Fatigue
    • General body aches
  • Cognitive: 
    • Difficulty thinking clearly
    • Feeling slowed down
    • Difficulty concentrating
    • Trouble remembering new information
  • Emotional/Mood: 
    • Irritability
    • Anxiety
    • Mood swings
  • Sleep: 
    • Sleeping more or less than usual
    • Trouble falling asleep or staying asleep

What Are the Treatment Options for a Concussion?

Treatment for a concussion is often multi-layered, as different treatments may be needed to address different symptoms and triggers in each patient. The following are some standard protocols that patients may be prescribed as needed:

  • Physical Rest: No physical exertion or participation in sports activities until symptoms are resolved.
  • Brain Rest: Limited TV, reading, phone use, video games, and school work/school days.
  • Medication: Symptom relief with Tylenol (i.e. Acetaminophen) for body aches and headaches, or Triptan class of drugs for migraine headaches.

What if Treatment Does Not Yield Improvement?

Roughly 20% to 30% of people who sustain a concussion are not successful in eliminating all of their symptoms within a month using standard medical protocols. When this happens, patients are diagnosed with Post-Concussion Syndrome. Warning signs that Post-Concussion Syndrome may be present include the persistent presence of any concussive symptoms listed above (i.e. presenting for longer than a month’s time), and/or the worsening of these symptoms at any time.

How Can Health Quest Help?

Our team can assist patients who are not responding to standard concussion protocols and care. All Health Quest treatments for Post-Concussion Syndrome are non-drug based, non-surgical, and safe to be used in conjunction with the majority of concurrent medical therapies. They can include any necessary combination of the following:

  • Vestibular Rehabilitation Therapy (VRT) & Ocular Rehabilitation Therapy: These therapies and often used to treat balance disorders and vision issues, respectively. When used to treat concussions, they can help address persistent symptoms of dizziness, headache, poor balance/coordination, and visual dysfunction.
  • Non-Invasive Neuromodulation: This research-based, peer-reviewed treatment uses vagus nerve stimulation, among others, to calm overactive nerves and stimulate underactive nerves. The treatment can strengthen/modulate neural pathways associated with head pain and balance/dizziness.
  • Motion Guidance: This type of therapy can strengthen proprioception - the perception or awareness of the position and movement of the body.
  • Physical Therapy/Manual Therapy: Hands-on therapies can help decrease spasms, improve a patient’s range of motion, and increase stability, which further supports physical concussion recovery.
  • Nutraceutical Interventions: These treatments decrease persistent neuroinflammation in the brain with natural supplements such as Omega-3 fatty acids, curcumin, and resveratrol.

What Else Should I Know about Care with Health Quest?

Diagnosis and prescribed treatment programs at Health Quest are performed by Dr. Sean Grady, DC with PT privileges, CFMP, DACNB. Dr. Grady holds the prestigious Diplomate from the American Chiropractic Neurology Board (DACNB), certifying him as a Functional Neurologist and allowing him to provide - in simple terms - brain rehab for those suffering from a variety of neurological conditions. These conditions include headache/migraine, vertigo/dizziness, stroke, neuropathy, concussion and Mild Traumatic Brain Injury.

Dr. Grady is also certified as a whiplash and soft tissue injury specialist through the Whiplash Injury Biomechanics and Traumatology program at the Spine Research Institute of San Diego. He is pursuing dual Fellowship certification in both Concussion/MTBI and Vestibular Rehabilitation from the American College of Functional Neurology. He is the only certified Functional Neurologist in a 40-mile radius of the Baltimore metropolitan area.

Typically, a Functional Neurologist serves in the same consulting manner as a Medical Neurologist. The difference is that the therapies or applications of a Functional Neurologist do not include drugs or surgery. The treatments are brain-based and follow the principles of neuroplasticity (the notion that the nervous system can change according to the stimulation it is exposed to).

As mentioned above, although the Functional Neurology model does not employ medication or surgery, Dr. Grady will work with other medical providers and specialists to ensure a cooperative and integrative approach to every patient’s health goals.

Ready to schedule an appointment? Our Health Quest team is ready to meet you and help you address your needs and concerns regarding concussion care. Schedule an appointment online or call 410-356-9939 to set up your visit!

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