The protocols around concussion in sports have really advanced in the past 10 years, especially considering new standards adopted and publicized by the NFL and other professional sports organizations. Following traditional concussion care, athletes can often benefit from chiropractic treatment.
Relieving persistent problems
Even with all the advances in concussion care, we see young athletes continue to experience headaches and other forms of chronic pain afterwards, even after their trainers and medical doctors clear them to return to play.
Improvement comes at the hands of the chiropractor trained in ART – Active Release Techniques® – which all our doctors are certified to deliver.
ART has become the gold standard for sports injuries in our practice. In the early days, chiropractic was focused on spine alignment, with little attention paid to soft tissue. Today, we know that the health of the connective tissue is equally important. ART is focused on that tissue, especially the fascia, a thin layer of connective tissue under the skin that encloses, stabilizes and separates muscles and organs.
Athletes recovering from concussion respond very well to ART therapy. It can improve post-treatment pain and stiffness and really improve both athletic performance and quality of life.
A mild form of brain trauma
Concussion, also known as mild traumatic brain injury, happens when the brain moves rapidly inside the skull, past the capacity for the natural fluids in the skull to absorb the shock. It is common across the board in sports, including team sports, like football, soccer and hockey. Ice skating and horseback riding are also potential trouble areas, as are others you might not expect, like cheerleading. As they hone their throws and human pyramids, when cheerleaders fall they can easily experience concussion – especially considering that they do not wear protective equipment.
Symptoms include pain, nausea, vision impairment and confusion. Not all concussions cause loss of consciousness, so coaches, trainers and team doctors are specially trained to recognize the signs. Treatment typically involves seven to 10 days of rest and limited activity. Once the major symptoms recede, the athlete will be cleared for play.
Chiropractic a key part of treatment planning
Even after careful management and treatment, these unseen injuries can continue to cause headaches, neck pain and other problems. Fortunately, with protocols like ART, we can treat the athlete six or eight times over the course of a few weeks and see real improvement.
We work closely with trainers, coaches, doctors and parents, with excellent and consistently reliable results. It’s one more way chiropractic care can make a significant positive impact on the life of young athletes.