Chiropractic Neurology Addresses Symptoms Concussion: Specialized Intervention Speeds Recovery for NHL’s Sidney Crosby
After a traumatic vestibular concussion resulted in year-long symptoms of instability, fogginess, dizziness and light sensitivity, National Hockey League (NHL) standout Sidney Crosby has reported improved cognitive and physical functioning and is progressing remarkably well, thanks to the care of a Doctor of Chiropractic with specialized training in neurology. The Foundation for Chiropractic Progress calls upon all coaches, parents and athletes to learn concussion signs and symptoms and what to do if a concussion occurs. “In professional hockey alone, there are more than 50,000 hits annually, and far too many of these are serious injuries to the head,” says Dr. Ted Carrick, the Chiropractic Neurologist who treats Crosby and other NHL and NFL players. Dr. Carrick is the Distinguished Professor of Neurology at Life University, Marietta, Ga., and points to vestibular concussions as a national epidemic requiring a resolution.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, a concussion is a type of traumatic brain injury (TBI) caused by a bump, blow, or jolt to the head that can change the way your brain normally works. Concussions can also occur from a fall or a blow to the body that causes the head and brain to move quickly back and forth. Health care professionals may describe a concussion as a “mild” brain injury because concussions are usually not life-threatening, but their effects can be serious.
“Concussions can occur in any sport or recreation activity,” says Dr. Carrick, a spokesperson for the Foundation. “Many people who suffer these injuries suffer seemingly irreparable symptoms that affect their daily activities and performance. With experience specific to the neurological system, our specially trained team utilizes an exclusive neurologically-based intervention that oftentimes is successful in the recovery process.”
According to the Foundation, board certified Chiropractic Neurologists are specialists within the chiropractic profession that receive an additional three years of specialty training following a Doctor of Chiropractic degree, to specifically deal with the functional integrity of the brain and nervous system. Treatment methods are brain-based, non-invasive, drug-free physical rehabilitation, using receptor-based stimulation, such as chiropractic adjustments, movement, light, taste and smell, in conjunction with nutritional therapies, exercise and rehabilitation. Collectively, these approaches work to re-establish balance as well as maximal brain and nervous system functionality.
According to Dr. Marc Ellis, a board certified Chiropractic Neurologist on Dr. Carrick’s Life University clinical team who also represents the Foundation, “Concussions and their debilitating effects have been receiving increased attention, particularly with professional athletes sidelined because of the lasting effects of a concussion. The issue has also become a flashpoint in youth sports – especially bicycling, football, playground activities, basketball and soccer.”
According to a recent report by the National Center for Catastrophic Sport Injury Research, more than 500,000 concussions are sustained by the 4.4 million children who play tackle football. Dr. Susan Esposito, another expert from the Life University Neurology Clinic shares, “Our society needs to place greater emphasis on prevention, while continuing to address those who experience concussions resulting from sports injuries, car accidents or other mishaps – especially our youth. This approach will not only have a major impact on professional and amateur athletes, but also the health of all Americans.”
Notes from Dr. Cohen: In recent years, the increased focus on concussions has provided the healthcare community with ever-improving knowledge of how best to manage concussions. Determining the ideal time to return an athlete to play is key to achieving an optimal recovery. As the National Hockey League knows, pre-season physicals and brain function tests are useful tools to aid physicians, coaches, and athletes deciding when a player can return to the field, track, or court. I use SCAT-2 testing, designed by The Zurich Consensus Statement on Concussion in Sport, and endorsed by The International Olympic Committee. The test is a standard element of a pre-season physical performed in my San Francisco office, ProActive Chiropractic. Currently, I’m becoming a Certified Chiropractic Sports Physician, a post-doctoral degree that enables me to better care for athletes and get them back to work and back to play!