Post Concussion Syndrome
Research shows that the average concussion injury involves 95g of force to the head. It can take as little as 4g of force cause an injury to the upper cervical spine. To put this into perspective a dragster racing car that can accelerate from 0 - 160 kilometres per hour in 0.86 seconds will yield a g-force of 5.4g.
This means it is virtually impossible to have a concussion injury and there not be some effect on the structures of the upper cervical spine (top of the neck). The latest medical research is acknowledging that the neck plays a significant role in concussion and can contribute to ongoing symptoms after a concussion injury.
The neck can be mistakenly thought of as one structure, however the upper cervical spine is completely different to the rest of the spine - both in structure and function. This area is particularly vulnerable during a concussion injury and has a major influence on brain function.
Children, teenagers and females are more susceptible to concussion injuries. The muscles of the neck are smaller and weaker in these groups which means that the acceleration of the head is greater during impact, causing greater damage to the brain and structures in the neck.
The symptoms of an uncomplicated mild concussion will usually resolve within the first 2 weeks post-injury. However, some people will experience symptoms for a lot longer.
If you have sustained a concussion injury and have ongoing symptoms ensure that you get your neck checked by a practitioner with specialised knowledge and postgraduate training in the upper cervical spine. This is a delicate area and needs to be carefully examined to ensure that injury and dysfunction are diagnosed correctly and treated by a skilled practitioner.
At The Headache Clinic, we are seeing a growing number of post-concussion patients. This is an injury that is complicated and needs to be taken seriously. The effects can be life-long if these injuries are not managed correctly and by professionals who are experienced in treating concussion injuries.