Let’s get back to the brain basics
When we break it down to its simplest structure, the brain is comprised of white matter and grey matter. Each of these has a different density and as such, will move and therefore slowdown or stop, at a different speed. These two densities are made up of brain cells called neurons. Let’s imagine a neuron is like a tube that helps to transmit messages all around the brain- this tube has special ‘gates’ in its walls which allow different chemicals to pass in and out through various processes. In a concussion, these neurons get stretched as a result of the forces applied to the head in what is known as an acceleration-deceleration process.
The stretching of these neurons causes bigger gaps for the different chemicals to pass in and out- suddenly, what was a normal and mediated process is now an explosion of activity in the brain. In effect, this can cause an electrical storm of energy expenditure in the brain which, as we have seen in sports and many different accidents, can cause any number of symptoms- a stumble post impact, dizziness, headaches, nausea, disorientation, the list goes on and on.
So, how long am I out for doc?
The metabolic changes which occur in the brain after a concussion- a stretching of the neurons, an electrical storm and all of the symptoms that come along with that- take much longer to recover than we typically expect. Symptomatically, many of us may feel absolutely fine after 5-7 days- some of us can even feel 100% after just 2 days. 2 DAYS!!
Research tells us that although we might feel fine, the metabolic processes in our brain can take around 28-30 days to fully recover. So, even if we may feel fine after 2 days, the brain requires another 4 weeks to return to its normal state of activity. 4 WEEKS!! What we observe in professional sports as well as day-to-day life is often, unfortunately, not remotely close to that time period. This is where essential care and guidance comes in… Tell me more you say?
So how do I know if or when I’m ready to spread my concussion wings?
At HeadWise Concussion Care, we utilise a rigorous, specific and sensitive testing process to ascertain the ‘why’ behind your concussion. As there are many different possibilities as to what causes our symptoms and why we continue to experience these past a few days, it is important to get a clear and concise diagnosis, treatment and management plan to better prepare and guide your journey. Education and reassurance are key factors in helping you to understand what is best for you, your body and mind. Basically, we can help you understand the why and when!
Research continues to advocate that better treatment outcomes are achieved when you can seek care as quickly as possible after your concussion. The cliché still stands- the sooner the better!
Sure there’s care after a concussion, but what about before?
At HeadWise, we offer a baseline testing program which provides a clear picture of where your ‘normal’ may exist before a whiplash or concussion injury. Baseline testing is great for everyone and anyone, regardless if you’re a sports person or not. That being said, if you find yourself in a job, a sporting context or a dangerous environment that may put you at risk of sustaining a head injury, then baseline testing can be a massive leg up in your journey to recovery.
A measured baseline enables us to tailor the exact methods of treatment required to bring you back to your ‘normal’. Everyone is different- my normal may be drastically different from yours! BUT, if we both have our unique baseline results as a reference point, then we will know exactly where we want to get back to. And hey, if you don’t have a baseline with us before your injury, then that’s ok too- we’ll still guide you through the process and establish a new set of baseline results with which we can work from.
So maybe you’re a professional athlete, a social soccer guru or even a weekend garden-master- here’s what HeadWise will bring for you:
Our care offers a research based, best practice approach to help you with your unique concussion experience. Each concussion is different, like the prints on your finger or a flake of snow- whether it’s your 1st, 5th or 50th concussion, we are here to help you make the best informed decisions to take the best care of yourself. To beat your concussion, book with us and begin your journey to wellness.
Be wise about your head. Contact us at HeadWise now.