The Concussion & Whiplash Connection

Posted on October 4, 2016. Filed under: Acupuncture Information, Children, Chiropractic, Health, injury, rebuild, Pain | Tags: , , , , , , , |

football-playerBy Dr. Greg Steiner
CA Acupuncture & Chiropractic Clinic

 

Head injuries can happen in a variety of ways and are more prevalent in activities that involve a lot of physical movement.  Playing an aggressive sport like football, soccer, wrestling, or any such type; one is bound to get knocked or bounced around a bit.  Following a hard hit to the head is a possible concussion.  A person can bounce back normally from a low-grade concussion but there are warning signs to look for and keep in mind:

Nausea and vomiting
Headache
Blurred vision
Dizziness
Lethargic and slow to move
Unable to concentrate or remember
Balancing or coordination problems
Slurred speech
Ringing in the ears

With these symptoms there is some varying degree of concussion experienced and should be looked over by a physician to be on the safe side. Simply put, the impact on the head causes the brain to bang against the inside of the skull and create swelling or trauma.  The extra pressure can lead to cognitive impairment and some of the symptoms seen.  Something else that is often overlooked is the neck trauma.  If a person gets concussed, they often get whiplashed.  Sometimes with a hit, the head snaps which jerks the neck back and forth.  Maybe there’s a fall, so there could be a twist in there too.  So, the secondary damage is what happens within the neck area.

Recently I had a patient who took quite a hard fall and had symptoms of a grade 1 concussion but also had a quite painful neck afterwards.  Often the neck or back issue isn’t felt until after the concussion settles down.  Even if the concussion problem heals, there can still be a problem in the neck which could last for several days or even months.   With whiplash, such as in an auto accident, if the person is young and healthy, there could be damage up to a point but if you deal with a slightly older individual, who has an arthritic neck and their joints don’t fit or align properly, their tissues and muscles are less elastic and they are likely to be damaged far more seriously.

Chiropractic care and acupuncture can be very helpful.  It is important to gently work and mobilize the neck and examine for proper function and proper movement very carefully.  The upper back should also be checked because a certain amount of neck pain often originates from the upper back.  All the muscles and tissues are connected to one another so we work with the upper back to make sure the spine, joints, and muscles are working properly because they are the base that the neck sits upon.  The acupuncture can help with relaxation of the injured muscles helping reduce inflammation and being able to help with decreasing pain as well.

Accidents happen, it’s a part of life, but getting the proper treatment and care is an important step which shouldn’t be missed.

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Kids Backpacks – Preventing Injury & Pain

Posted on August 6, 2012. Filed under: Chiropractic, Pain | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , |

bigstock-Happy-school-kids-giving-thumb-42775159~by Dr. Gregory Steiner

The beginning of the new school year brings excitement and enthusiasm.  With that, the inevitable purchases for school supplies including those brand new back packs!  Unfortunately, overloaded, heavy and improperly worn kid’s backpacks have accounted for several thousand visits to the doctor and ER room each year.  Most of these visits can easily be avoided.  Kids should not be in pain when carrying their school books to classes each day.   The following tips serve as a great guideline in prevention for improper use of school back packs.  Use these proactive solutions to help prevent injuries:

  • Make sure the backpack is a good fit for the child.  Bigger bags encourage over filling.  Many back packs are now equipped with wheels, provided the handle extends long enough to allow the child to stand upright while pulling it.
  • Shoulder straps should be adjustable, wide and padded.
  • Never carry the pack on just one side of the shoulder.  It produces an uneven distribution of weight on one side forcing the child to lean, which can result in a pinching of the shoulder muscle causing it to not function properly and creating uncomfortable pain on one side.  Always use both shoulder straps.
  • Make sure the shoulder straps are tight enough so the pack hangs slightly below the shoulders with no more than 4 inches hanging below the waist.
  • Use waist and chest straps – it improves how the bag is positioned on the body and encourages the bag to be worn over both shoulders.
  • Doctors suggest that no one carry more than 15% of their weight in the backpack.  If a child weighs 70 lbs, they should not be carrying more than 10 ½  lbs in their pack.  No one should carry more than 25 lbs in a backpack.
  • Pack the heavier items at the bottom.  The goal here is to transfer the weight to the hips.  A backpack with compartments helps keep the load in place.

Inform kids on the importance of keeping a light backpack and to store their unnecessary items in their locker or desk.  Other options would be to keep a second set of the heavy text books at home if possible.  Don’t be afraid to discuss the issue with the teachers if the backpacks are too heavy with all the books the children are required to take home.

The downside of improper back pack use and too much weight are many.  With heavy backpacks, kids begin to lean forward and thereby throw off their natural state of balance.  Eventually, they may experience an alteration in the curve of the middle and lower back as well as increase muscle strain and irritating the spinal joints resulting in a rounding of the shoulders.  Be sure to ask your child how comfortable they feel with their loaded back packs and take notice to see if their shoulders are equally level and whether they are hunching forward.  If you’ve taken the above precautions but your child complains of pain or doesn’t stand correctly when at ease (with or without a back pack) a doctor should be consulted.

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