Can Post Concussion Syndrome Be Cured?
Before knowing the treatment of post-concussion syndrome, it is essential to understand what it is, how it is caused and how to prevent it in the first place, so there is no need to find the cure. However, if you are diagnosed with it, the treatment has been discussed in detail below.
Post-concussion syndrome is a mental condition which includes symptoms such as dizziness, headache (usually mild but sometimes migraine), fatigue, blurry vision, irritability, insomnia, anxiety, vertigo, restlessness, loss of memory, low concentration level, ringing sound in the ear, mood and behavioral changes, increased sensitivity to light and noisy environment, changes in blood pressure, the pressure inside the head, slurring speech, slight change of taste buds and smelling sense, etc. which can be continued for either weeks or even months.
There are two types of symptoms of post-concussion syndrome: –
– Late symptoms ( that are noticed after a few days of getting injured ). These include:
- Loss of memory
- The decrease in concentration level
- Sensitivity to noise
– Early symptoms ( that are noticed immediately after getting injury ). These include:
They do occur quickly, and there is no guarantee that they will go away soon as well. They can turn out to be long-lasting.
Aged people and women are more likely to be diagnosed with this syndrome. People having this syndrome do not have all these symptoms; they can vary from person to person. Moreover, there is not even any test to confirm that a person has it.
Many people suffer from these symptoms for a few days or a few months. In some cases, it can even persist for more than a year.
Causes of Post Concussion Syndrome:
– It is caused due to head injury due to violence, a car accident, falling from a height, playing a sport, etc. The symptoms do not occur right after the injury happens; it can take several days as well as weeks to notice symptoms in an injured person.
– It happens when a person’s head or body is moved violently.
– Due to neck injury
According to expert opinion, this is caused by structural damage to the brain or malfunction of the nervous system.
Some of its symptoms can be due to psychological reasons as well, like people suffering from anxiety, depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, etc.
Research suggests that some people are more prone to the post-concussion syndrome as compared to others as they might have suffered from anxiety, depression, post-traumatic stress disorder due to loneliness, unsuccessful relationships, losing special ones, facing failure, and much more in their past life.
It is crucial to follow these instructions in order to prevent post-concussion syndrome:
As the syndrome is caused due to head injury, which can take place because of various reasons like car accident so to avoid it, it is highly recommended to wear a seat belt always, even if you are the one not driving the car, playing sports or riding on a bike, you should wear a helmet so that if you fall, your head is saved from any injury and so on.
These symptoms act as a hurdle and disrupt your daily routine work. Thus, it is essential to get it treated as soon as possible, or else there are chances of them getting even worse and begin becoming everlasting. It is advisable to get the treatment done within the year you got an injury. It is a misconception that there is no permanent treatment for this. However, even after years of getting injured, people are still getting cured.
Pay a visit to the doctor if your head gets injured severely ( you don’t need to lose consciousness ). If you experience injury during sports, do not continue playing it; instead, rush to the doctor to prevent any severe damage due to it.
These symptoms can be very frustrating and can prevent you from doing your daily routine tasks effectively. Thus, it should be treated immediately. Patience is needed during the treatment as it doesn’t get cured in a few days.
There is no single treatment for this syndrome. Doctors prescribe a different medication to patients according to their other symptoms. For headaches, which is the most common symptom in most people, pain killers are prescribed by doctors. However, pain killers help to get only temporarily relieve the pain and is not a permanent solution.
To improve overall mental health, a neurologist or psychiatrist is consulted. For people suffering from depression or anxiety, antidepressants, anti-anxiety medication, and psychotherapy is suggested. Furthermore, the symptoms can go away if the patient rests a lot and try to get rid of any stress. To minimize stress, one can perform yoga, meditation, spend time in nature, and much more.
Upper Cervical Care:
Post-concussion syndrome can occur due to misalignment of the upper cervical neck, which is around the stem of the brain. For some people, upper cervical care is proved to be useful for pain relief. In order to carry it out, and upper cervical chiropractor makes use of an x-ray to find where the misalignment is and then bring them to the correct positions. There are different chiropractic methods of doing so, such as NUCCA, Atlas Orthogonal, Blair technique, etc.
The main two types of treatment done to get rid of post-concussion syndrome are:
1- Active Rehabilitation
Active Rehabilitation is more preferred as it helps to cure the damage caused by a concussion in a better way than any medication. This treatment requires various professional specializations due to which it is not widely available, and if it is by chance available because of its prohibitive cost, it is rarely done. Although medication does not treat the problem correctly, it is suitable for reducing the symptoms.
Active Rehabilitation ( believed to be the best treatment for this syndrome so far )
Neuroplasticity is an excellent process for recovering brain problems. The symptoms in patients can be improved if the active Rehabilitation is successfully done.
Psychotherapy is carried out, which controls the brain in a way that it returns to normal optimal neural pathways. This requires a bunch of professionals such as neuropsychologists, neurosurgeons, neuroradiologists, neuromuscular therapists, neurocognitive therapists, clinical psychologists, etc.
Medications for Post-Concussion Syndrome
Medications are not a complete cure for this syndrome. It is prescribed by doctors to give patients relief from the symptoms by suppressing it temporarily. It does not treat the root problem.
Treatment targeting specific symptom:
For headaches due to post-concussion syndrome, patients are given medication such as antihypertensive drugs, antidepressants, antiepileptic medicines, etc., which are quite useful for headaches like a migraine. Continuous consumption of pain killers can lead to a persistent headache so avoid using them more than advised. To know which medication is more suitable for your case, kindly consult your healthcare professional.
Anxiety and Depression:
In order to cure any illness, It is crucial to know the cause of it. Once you are familiar with the reason, it gets easier to get rid of the disease.
If you are suffering from anxiety or depression, suggested treatments are medication and psychotherapy. Medication helps to fight against them, and for that, usually, antidepressants and anti-anxiety medications are prescribed. Psychotherapy is another effective method done by psychiatrists or psychologists.
Memory and other mental problems:
Cognitive issues due to post-concussion syndrome do not have a specific proper medication for it. It just requires rest and patience as it itself goes away in a few weeks or months after the injury mostly. There are some cognitive therapies involving Rehabilitation, training for strength, and much more.
Due to this syndrome, some might require speech or occupational therapy. Stress should be avoided entirely as it can make the condition more worse by increasing cognitive symptoms, so it is highly recommended to get educated about how to manage stress. Moreover, relaxation therapy is helpful too.
Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy
Researchers have found that hyperbaric oxygen therapy is actually useful for repairing the brain from any damage. This increases the amount of oxygen transported to the brain, nervous system, skeletal muscles, and every body tissue.
If you visit a doctor expecting right treatment of post-concussion syndrome, most will prescribe you to only rest and have some antidepressants. However, this suppresses the symptoms for a temporary basis only. Studies show that resting is not enough for recovery, along with that, basic exercises should be done. This helps to maintain the balance of the brain’s auto-regulation mechanism.
Thus, keeping blood pressure regular. Furthermore, doing meditation is a good idea as well as it is beneficial for specialist mental health. If you have eye-related symptoms like blurry vision, give eye exercises a try for example: looking right and left, up and down, moving eyes clockwise and then anti-clockwise without moving your head, rubbing your hands together to produce heat, and then keep on eyes for about five minutes ( Palming ), etc. The results of exercise are seen to be different in every patient.
Consume Healthy Food:
Though healthy food should always be eaten not only when you are suffering from an illness, however, eating healthy during this symptom is really important if you want to see significant improvement. Eat food that contains omega-3 fatty acids as it improves the function of the brain and boosts the recovery. For example, flax seeds, chia seeds, hemp seeds, walnuts, soybeans, spinach, sprouts, kidney beans, and much more. Avoid junk food ultimately that affects your brain.
Post-concussion syndrome might be a difficult problem to deal with, as the symptoms can stay with you for years also. However, there is nothing to be stressed about.
If you follow the treatments mentioned here, it will surely help in your recovery, but it doesn’t mean now there is no need to visit the hospital. It is still important to discuss it with your doctor.
If the symptoms are very severe, visit the doctor immediately without wasting a second.
It takes time for recovery, so one of the requirements during treatment is patience. Whatever your doctor advises you, do it as per his instructions for quick recovery as it is certainly worth the results.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) :
- Are there any treatments available, and which do you recommend?
Most of the treatments are mentioned above. Our recommendation would be not to take any drugs that will not cure the root problem. Try a promising therapy, exercise, and consume brain-friendly food, which will treat the pain permanently.
- Are there any activity restrictions that I need to follow?
Avoid activities that involve any pressure to your head, for example, jumping, running, etc.
- When will my concussion symptoms go away?
Usually, it takes about two to nine weeks. It can even take more time than this, so if it is taking long in your case, do not panic or worry about it. Some instances require more extended medication and therefore is totally normal.
- When can I return to work?
If your symptoms are mild, you can go to work but try to have as much rest as you can, along with labor.
- When can I drive again?
When you think your symptoms are not severe to cause an accident.
- Is it safe to drink alcohol?
- We recommend you to consult your doctor who knows all your medical history and will give you more accurate instructions.