The Nov. 3, 2014, issue of the Journal of Pediatric, Maternal & Family Health published a case study of a young woman who had suffered a concussion being helped with chiropractic care. According to the U.S. National Library of Medicine, “A concussion may occur when the head hits an object, or a moving object strikes the head. A concussion is a minor or less severe type of brain injury, which may also be also called a traumatic brain injury. A concussion can affect how the brain works for awhile. It may lead to a bad headache, changes in alertness, or loss of consciousness.”
The study authors point out that much of the discussion about concussions has involved sports with football being singled out. They report that, currently, more than 3,000 professional football players are suing the NFL for not properly educating them on the risk of brain injury while playing football. Children who play sports are also at risk as the study points out that estimates suggest that 5,000 American children are injured or die from sports related concussions per year.
In this study, the concussion was not caused by a sports injury. This is the case of a 15-year-old girl who was struck on the head by a falling van rear door. She was taken to the hospital where she was diagnosed with a concussion. Twenty-eight days after her injury, she was brought to the chiropractor suffering from pain on the back portion of her head, headaches, and difficulty concentrating.
Prior to her injury, the young girl played high school hockey. As a precaution related to her sport, she was given a pre-injury ImPACT (Immediate Post-Concussion Assessment and Cognitive Testing) concussion test, which could be used to access her norm should she suffer a concussion playing hockey. As it turned out, this test prior to her injury would help access her progress after her injury.
An extensive chiropractic and neurological examination was performed which included palpation, range of motion, nerve tests, surface EMG, and thermography. X-rays taken at the hospital after the accident showed a slight reversal of the normal forward neck curve. From these findings, it was determined that subluxations were present in multiple areas of her spine.
Specific chiropractic adjustments were begun to correct her subluxations. After her first adjustment, the patient reported immediate relief. She continued to report improvement by her fourth chiropractic visit. After her ninth visit to the chiropractor, the patient had another ImPACT test performed which showed that she had improved so much that her score was higher than the score she had received prior to her injury. By her thirteenth visit, the girl reported that she had not had any more headaches and that her difficulty concentrating had completely resolved.
In their conclusion the authors wrote, “This case report reviews the benefits of chiropractic care in the management of a patient with concussion. By correcting the patient’s spinal subluxations with specific chiropractic adjustments her symptoms were alleviated. The patient’s cognitive function was tested and shown to be at a level higher than before her injury.”