In my 34 years of chiropractic practice I have seen a number of cases of children and adolescents who have suffered a concussion and have been helped by chiropractic treatment. This article will discuss causes of concussion, ensuing symptoms and impairments and possible treatment. It will also reveal findings of a recent research study regarding concussion and youngsters.
Just as in adults, juveniles and teens can suffer from concussion. We all know that kids are very active physically and can suffer injuries by falling, striking their head or being in an auto accident. Certain sports have higher incidence of causing concussions. It is common knowledge that younger people playing sports like football and hockey are susceptible to concussion injuries. But it might surprise some to know that cheerleaders have a moderate chance to undergo an injury causing a concussion. Likewise, competitive divers and soccer players who head the ball have received concussive-type conditions.
The prevalence of mild traumatic brain injury, also known as concussion, in the United States is estimated at 3.8 million per year. 85% of people undergoing a concussion will have symptoms that resolve within 7 to 10 days. The remaining 15%, however will exhibit persisting symptoms lasting weeks, months or even years after their injury. Those suffering, ongoing symptoms persisting longer than 4 to 12 weeks are considered to have a chronic problem known as post-concussion syndrome.
Common symptoms of post-concussion syndrome include headaches, dizziness, nausea, fatigue, visual and hearing disturbances, concentration problems and emotional irregularities. Many healthcare practitioners attribute these symptoms purely to the brain injury. However, a growing number of healthcare professionals are realizing that these same symptoms can come from injuries to the upper neck area also called the upper cervical spine.
A recent research article published in the International Journal of Sports Physical Therapy, April 2019 found that examination of children and adolescents with a history of concussion also had a high prevalence of cervical spine impairments.