According to the Mayo Clinic, a Concussion is a mild traumatic brain injury, usually occurring after a blow to the head. Loss of consciousness isn’t required for a diagnosis of concussion or post-concussion syndrome. In fact, the risk of post-concussion syndrome doesn’t appear to be associated with the severity of the initial injury.
In most people, post-concussion syndrome symptoms occur within the first seven to 10 days and go away within three months, though they can persist for a year or more. Post-concussion syndrome (PCS) is a complex disorder in which a combination of post-concussion symptoms — such as migraines and dizziness — last for weeks, months or sometimes even years after the injury that caused the concussion.
Kids who are playing football, soccer, hockey, basketball, lacrosse, martial arts, and more are regularly suffering head and neck trauma and concussions.
Contact sports athletes and kids with a history of auto accidents, falls, and skateboarding injuries, etc. involving head and neck trauma may not only be struggling with physical symptoms as a result of post-concussion syndrome, but also emotional and behavioral symptoms. These types of injuries do not only affect the brain, but also the brain stem and the spinal cord. A misalignment in the upper neck can lead to a tractioning of the brainstem and spinal cord resulting in ongoing physical and emotional problems.
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Since the 1930’s upper cervical chiropractors have been researching the connection between head and neck injuries and a variety of different problems. When the head and neck suffers trauma the upper neck is frequently the most injured. When the upper neck is injured there is a tearing loose of the connective tissue that holds the spine in place. This allows the spine to break down and lock into a stressed position. When these upper neck bones are misaligned, it can lead to a variety of different problems. This condition has been called the Atlas subluxation complex syndrome.
In the past few years, using upright MRI technology and specialized software the medical community is now beginning to understand how a misalignment in the upper neck can lead to changes in the brain and change the way the brain and the body are communicating. Medical doctors are referring to this condition as the Cranio-Cervical Syndrome. The cranio-cervical syndrome and the Atlas subluxation complex syndrome are essentially the same thing just described by different groups of people.
This new technology is showing damage associated with past traumas to the cervical spine (neck) and misalignments in the upper neck that are leading to a total or partial cerebral spinal fluid flow obstruction. These obstructions of cerebrospinal fluid flow are leading to changes in the brain, including CSF leaks and increased intracranial pressure.
A symposium was held in April of 2013 in New York City to discuss the impact of these new findings. The primary purpose of the symposium was to raise awareness of this syndrome in the medical community. They also identified the need to notify the thousands of current and former athletes within the “Contact Sports” community afflicted by this syndrome. Symposium organizers stated “that there now exists genuine hope going forward for their symptom-free (or dramatic symptom reduction) future lives.”
In order to address this syndrome the patient must be evaluated thoroughly in the upper cervical spine (upper neck) by an upper cervical specialist. If an upper neck misalignment is found, the misalignment can be corrected with upper cervical, a specialized procedure that is safe, gentle and extremely effective. The research is showing that once the misalignment in the upper neck is corrected, functioning within the brain will begin to change immediately.
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