Can Post Concussion Syndrome Be Cured?
Before knowing treatment of post concussion syndrome, it is important to know what it is basically, how is it caused and how to prevent it in first place so there is no need of finding the cure. However, if you are diagnosed with it, the cure have 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 ear, mood and behavioral changes, increased sensitivity to light and noisy environment, change in blood pressure, 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 few days of getting injured ) . These include:
- Loss of memory
- 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 quickly 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 few days or 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, car accident, falling from a height, playing sport etc The symptoms do not occur right after the injury happens, it can takes 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 brain or malfunction of 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 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 seat belt always, even if you are the one not driving the car, playing sports or riding on bike, you should wear a helmet so that if you fall, your head is saved from any kind of injury and so on . . . .
These symptoms act as a hurdle and disrupt your daily routine work. Thus, it is really important to get it treated as soon as possible or else there are changes of them getting even more worse and begin becoming ever lasting. It is advisable to get the treatment done within the year you got 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 doctor if your head gets injured severely ( you doesn’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 few days.
There is no single treatment for this syndrome. Doctors prescribe different medication to patients according to their different symptoms. For headache which is the most common symptom in most people, pain killers are prescribed by doctors. However pain killers helps to get only temporary relieve the pain and is not the permanent solution.
To improve overall mental health, 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 type of 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 brain. For some people upper cervical care is proved to be effective for pain relief. In order to carry it out, upper cervical chiropractor makes use of x-ray to find where the misalignment is and then bring them to correct positions. There are different chiropractic methods of doing so such as NUCCA , Atlas Orthogonal , Blair technique etc.
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 damage caused by 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 properly, it is good for reducing the symptoms.
Active Rehabilitation ( believed to be the best treatment for this syndrome so far )
Neuroplasticity is a great 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 neuropsychologist, neurosurgeon, neuroradiologist, neuromuscular therapist, neurocognitive therapists, clinical psychologist etc.
Medications for Post-Concussion Syndrome
Medications is not the complete cure for this syndrome. It is prescribed by doctors just to give patients relieve from the symptoms by suppressing it temporarily. It does not treat the root problem.
Treatment targeting specific symptom:
For headache due to post concussion syndrome, patients are given medication such as antihypertensive drug, antidepressants, antiepileptic medication etc which are quite effective for headaches like migraine. Continuous consumption of pain killers can lead to 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 cause, it gets easier to get rid of the illness.
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 psychiatrist or psychologist.
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 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 completely avoided 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 effective for repairing brain from any damage. This increases the amount of oxygen transported to brain, nervous system, skeletal muscles and every body tissue.
If you visit a doctor expecting good treatment of post concussion syndrome, most will just prescribe you to only rest and have some anti-depressants. However, this suppresses the symptoms for temporary basis only. Studies show that resting is not enough for recovery, along with that basic exercises should be done. This helps to maintain balance of brain’s auto-regulation mechanism.
Thus, keeping blood pressure normal. Furthermore, doing meditation is a good idea as well as it is beneficial for specially 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 is seen to be different in every patient.
Consume Healthy Food:
Though healthy food should be eaten always not only when you are suffering from an illness. However, eating healthy during this symptom is really important if you want to see great improvement. Eat food that contains omega-3 fatty acids as it improves function of the brain and boost the recovery. For example: flax seeds, chia seeds, hemp seeds, walnuts, soybeans, spinach, sprouts, kidney beans and much more. Avoid junk food completely that affects your brain.
Post concussion syndrome might be a scary problem to deal with as the symptoms can stay with you for years also. However, there is nothing to be stressed about.
If you will follow the treatments mentioned here, it will surely help in your recovery but it doesn’t mean now there is no need of visiting hospital. It is still important to discuss it with your doctor.
If the symptoms are very severe, visit 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 sort of drugs which will not cure the root problem. Try a good therapy, exercise and consume brain-friendly food which will treat the problem permanently.
- Are there any activity restrictions that I need to follow?
Avoid activities which involve any sort of pressure to your head for example jumping, running etc.
- When will my concussion symptoms go away?
Usually, it take 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 cases require longer 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 work.
- When can I drive again?
When you think your symptoms are not severe to cause accident.
- Is it safe to drink alcohol?
Alcohol should be avoided during this as it can ruin the condition more.
- Is it OK to take my medications that were prescribed before the injury?
We recommend you to consult your doctor who knows all your medical history and will give you more accurate instructions.