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Our latest newspaper article on Post-concussion syndrome

What role does the neck play in concussion injury?

Research shows that the average concussion injury involves 95g of force to the head. It can take as little as 4g of force to cause an injury to the upper cervical spine.

This means it is virtually impossible to have a concussion injury without also injuring the structures at the top of the neck. The latest medical research acknowledges that the neck plays a significant role in post-concussion symptoms.

The symptoms of an uncomplicated mild concussion will usually resolve within the first two weeks post-injury. However, some people will experience symptoms for a lot longer. It is vital to get the neck assessed as it can be the cause of lingering symptoms.

The neck can be mistakenly thought of as one structure; however, the upper cervical spine is completely different from 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, as the brainstem lies within the upper cervical spine.

Children, teenagers and females are more susceptible to concussion injuries due to the muscles of the neck being smaller and weaker in these groups. This means that the acceleration of the head is greater during impact, increasing the risk of damage to the brain and structures in the neck.

If you have sustained a concussion injury and have ongoing symptoms, you need to get your neck checked by a practitioner with specialised knowledge and post-graduate 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. 

The team at The Headache Clinic have undergone extensive training in the upper cervical spine and work exclusively in this area. Their practitioners have extensive knowledge and experience in treating post-concussion syndrome. The Headache Clinic use a targeted approach to assess and treat the upper cervical and ensure strength and stability in the neck is restored to decrease the risk of re-injury.

Concussion is a complicated injury that needs to be taken seriously. The effects can be lifelong if they are not managed correctly by professionals experienced in treating concussion injuries.

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Tips to help your Headache & Migraine

  • Lying flat on your back with no pillow and either a hot or cold pack in the hollow of the neck
  • Go for a walk in the fresh air - walk tall with good posture
  • If sitting at your computer correct your posture by lifting your chest up and pulling your head in so it is sitting on top of your body (pretending that the screen smells really bad!)
  • When travelling try taking off your jumper and putting it into the arch in the lower back so it is easier to maintain a correct sitting position
  • Lie on your side on the couch instead of sitting in comfortable seats with slouched posture. Keep your head in a neutral position by placing a cushion under your head when lying on your side.
  • Don't lie in bed on your back with pillows under your head



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