Why We Should Keep the Conversation About Concussions Going

Concussions have received a lot of press lately. Scroll through your news feed almost any day and a story about concussions is likely to pop up. Just in the past couple of months, some notable news about concussions includes: new concussion protocols for student athletes at Oregon State University, myths and facts around concussions, Cyclist Kelly Catlin’s family donating her brain for concussion research and even chatter around whether concussions played a role in famed New England Patriot Gronk’s decision to retire at age 29.

As the rate of students joining various athletic programs continues to rise, so too does the rate of concussions. The most common form of TBI (traumatic brain injury), concussions numbered over 2 million last year alone. And according to the CDC, fewer than 1 in 20 concussion sufferers will get the necessary care to effectively handle the concussion. At Oregon State University, student-athletes are responsible for reporting their own symptoms after an injury or suspected concussion. Since concussions affect every person in a different way, assessing the symptoms and making the necessary call is often not easy. Oregon State has rolled out new protocols including home care, strict guidelines regarding return to play and the requirement of all coaches, volunteer coaches, trainers, physicians, sports administrators, strength coaches and athletic directors to undergo annual concussion education.

When much beloved, New England Patriots tight-end Rob Gronkowski announced his retirement last weekend at just 29 years old, people started talking. While fans were saddened by the news, some doctors and researchers studying CTE (chronic traumatic encephalopathy) and the lasting impact of concussions had a different take. ““I was relieved,” said Anna McKee, a School of Medicine professor of neurology and pathology and director of BU’s CTE Center. Anna has been studying the impact of concussions on the brain for over a decade. Her lab, which has grown to nearly 30 people, has almost 700 brains to study, donated by those who have died or their families. Their work on CTE has led to profound discussions about the lasting impact of concussions on the brain and has found that CTE is associated with dementia, mood changes, and aggression and that it particularly afflicts many athletes and soldiers.

Another athlete, cyclist Kelly Catlin, who was affectionately known as “warrior princess” by her father was achieving levels of achieving greatness, both in her sport and academically when she tragically took her own life in her Stanford University residence at the age of 23. Friends and family have been very vocal about both her fierce competitive nature and concern about whether several crashes and a recent concussion could be related to her mental and physical decline prior to her death. Now her family, friends and teammates are reflecting on changes in Kelly’s personality and physical symptoms that began following the concussion. In an effort to help others, they have taken the step to donate Kelly’s brain for concussion research.

With so much information out there, it can be difficult to discern and understand the most important information. With continued research and more attention paid to prevention and treatment of concussions, staying informed and keeping the conversation around concussions going is a vital piece of the puzzle.

Understanding the risks around, and symptoms of concussions is an important first step. Where treatment is concerned, finding a doctor who understands the delicate nature of brain injuries and provides an all-encompassing approach to returning their patients to the optimal state of health is imperative. Treatment plans based on Chiropractic neurology are a perfect fit. Experts in the brain-body connection and the treatment that utilize the brain’s ability to adapt and change, creating new pathways for neurons and their networks, Chiropractic Neurologists provide individualized care focused on the specific needs of each patient. While recovery can be unpredictable and challenging, this specialized form of non-invasive and drug-free care offers the patient safe and fast-acting alternatives to more traditional methods, ultimately restoring optimal health.

Have you or a loved one suffered a concussion and are seeking better treatment options? Chiropractic Neurology may be the right treatment plan for you. To learn more about how we can help, please contact the team at the Georgia Chiropractic Neurology Center today.

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