Last week we examined the differences between PTSD and TBI and the challenges that patients and doctors are facing in diagnosing and treating the two conditions, when many times they are experienced together. In part two of our this piece, we bring you the details of a very special study in which Dr Ted Carrick’s treatments are changing the face of PTSD treatment, leading to decreased suffering for patients, family and society.
Dr. Carrick’s breakthrough study examined the effectiveness of a novel brain and VR, or Vestibular Rehabilitation, therapy as treatment for PTSD in patients who had suffered combat-related traumatic brain injuries. VR, an exercise-based program designed to promote central nervous system compensation for inner ear deficits, is one option that has proven to be very effective in the treatment of traumatic brain injury. This treatment has been used effectively to treat conditions like vertigo, reduced inner ear function, Meniere’s disease and traumatic brain injury. As VR is already an established important treatment for traumatic brain injury, Dr Carrick and his associates sought not only to examine the effectiveness with PTSD and TBI patients, but also to open the discussion that PTSD, which is currently considered a mental disorder, should be treated as a physical injury instead.
The study centered around 98 male combat veterans who had suffered a TBI with PTSD between the ages of 20 and 66. Each vet was treated with a customized treatment plan that met their specific needs, in relation to treatment for strategies central to stabilizing their gaze, among other visual needs. For example, one patients may have trouble holding their gaze to the right, while another may experience difficulty holding their left gaze. Each patients received three treatments per day for two weeks and rested between treatments.
Of the patients studied, 75% of them were classified in the two most severe classes of PTSD, 17 were considered moderate and two were in the minimal category. After one week of treatment, only 48 patients remained in the two most severe categories of treatment, which represents a 36% improvement. Similar results were found in the other categories. The study’s findings shows that it is indeed beneficial to treat PTSD patients with a physical treatment plan, such as VR, and that positive effects with these types of non-drug and non-invasive therapies, can be seen in as little as two weeks. In addition to the quick and effective nature of the treatment itself, patients who seek to use VR as a PTSD treatment also experience a significant savings when it comes to cost, time and disability. Perhaps the most positive outcome for these patients can be seen in not having the stigma of psychiatric diagnosis and rather realizing they are facing a physical problem that can be treated in new and less invasive ways.
While Dr. Carrick’s study focused on combat veterans, it is important to note that anyone, at any age, can experience PTSD. Some people experience PTSD after the unexpected loss of a loved one or if someone they are close to is harmed. PTSD has many symptoms including:
- Flashbacks, bad dreams and frightening thoughts
- Avoiding friends, family and events that remind them of the experience
- Lack of emotion or feelings of strong guilt, depression or worry
- Being easily startled, having difficulty sleeping and feeling tense or on edge
If you or a loved one are experiencing the effects of PTSD, you are not alone and there are more alternatives today than ever before that lead to safe and effective treatments without drugs. Chiropractic Neurologists such as Dr. Ted Carrick and his students and colleagues, offer an option to treat PTSD based on the physiological aspects of PTSD and use the latest functional neurology techniques to target the needs of the patient through specific brain and central nervous system impairments and restore function to that area.
Dr. Marc Ellis at the Georgia Chiropractic Neurology Center has worked closely with Dr. Carrick, his students and patients. With his command of the treatment options that are available today without turning to drug therapies and surgery, Dr. Ellis is committed to working along side Dr. Carrick and bringing his patients the most successful care plans available today. His ongoing work in the field of Chiropractic Neurology enables him to address the underlying causes of the conditions of his patients and has yielded dramatic results in chronic cases. With a complete understanding of the intricate relationship between the brain and pain, many doctors locally, nationally and internationally have referred difficult patients for treatment with exceptional results. For more information, or to set up an appointment for a consultation, please call (770) 664-4288.
To read Dr. Carrick’s study and finding in its entirety, please click here.