Concussion and Whiplash Injuries
Concussion injuries to the brain are almost always accompanied by a whiplash injury to the neck. If a blow to the head is bad enough to cause a brain injury, it is usually also bad enough to injure the neck muscles. Our experience suggests that this accompanying injury to the neck muscles can play a major role in perpetuating symptoms from concussion injuries.
The brain constantly keeps track of the position of the head in space by putting together information coming from the eyes, the ears (vestibular system), and the neck. If the neck muscles are injured, this can cause the receptors in the neck muscles and joints to send confusing spatial information to the brain, scrambling the information coming from the eyes and ears. It seems that the brain’s struggle to process this confusing spatial information can exacerbate and perpetuate post-concussion symptoms such as brain fog, dizziness, fatigue, sensitivity to lights or sounds, and general decrease in cognitive function.
The neck injury can also contribute to headaches. The small suboccipital muscles at the back of the neck attach directly to the dura, the membrane that surrounds and protects the brain. The dura is highly sensitive. If the suboccipital muscles become injured and start to pull excessively on the dura, this can cause terrible headaches.
When a concussion happens, the injury to the neck muscles is often not simply—or even primarily—an injury to the muscle tissue, such as a muscle tear. More profoundly, our experience suggests that the injury can change the neurological settings that govern the action of the muscles—a change that can persist indefinitely. This is how the neck injury can contribute to long-lasting post-concussion symptoms.
We have a very effective approach to resetting the neck muscles. Chiropractic combined with energy kinesiology techniques enable us to trace the unique constellation of an injury, muscle by muscle, and correct the settings for each muscle so that it works properly. This careful, methodical work to restore the neck to proper functioning can lead to dramatic recovery from persistent and debilitating post-concussion symptoms.