If You Have Hit Your Head and Want to Feel Better Fast, We Can Help.
Our doctors at Leigh Brain & Spine can perform the proper concussion testing needed in order to create a successful treatment plan for a better way of life.
What is a Concussion? A True Story.
If you have recently hit your head and don’t feel like your old self, you may be suffering from post-concussion syndrome. Let me share an example with you on how the effects of a concussion can sneak up on you.
Jim came into see us at Leigh Brain & Spine in the Fall of his freshman year. He was horsing around with some friends and slipped backwards and hit his head on the ground. When it happened knew he was hurt a little, but he wasn’t prepared for what would happen to him next.
As the semester ramped up he had a really hard time concentrating in class. His grades started to suffer. He was moody much of the time. Also, he would snap at his parents and his girlfriend, who were growing less patient with him each day. When he started blowing off homework because it would give him headache he knew something bigger was going on. This was not like him at all. Finally, they came in to see the Drs. Leigh.
How Can a Concussion Be Healed?
Dr. Cosmas Leigh and his team performed a qEEG Brain Map and could clearly see the areas of Jim’s brain that were affected by the concussion. These areas were not functioning properly. They were “knocked off-line” if you will. Jim’s brain was using too much extra slow processing speed as well. This is the brain pattern that is proven by Science to be associated with concussions.
Dr. Trish Leigh talked with Jim and his family and shared information with them that helped them communicate with Jim’s school so that his performance, or really lack thereof, would not penalize him in the long run. Dr. Trish Leigh also gave Jim and his family many tips and strategies to help Jim unction in the meantime while his brain performance was being improved through Neurofeedback Brain Training.
Neurofeedback therapy was used to teach Jim’s brain to use more of the optimal speed for thinking, socialization, and productivity. Within a month Jim was beginning to feel like himself again and his parents could see the difference in his brain’s performance on the graphs that Dr. Cosmas Leigh shared with them at Jim’s visits.
The best part is that Jim’s brain began to improve its performance immediately and with the techniques he learned he was able to keep the improvements going himself outside of the clinic.
How Does a Concussion Change Behavior?
Do you or your loved one struggle with a thinking, behavior, and mood following an injury to the head? Head injuries and concussions can cause long-term problems for people. This can involve changes to their personality, difficulty being productive and engaging with the people they love. At Leigh Brain & Spine the doctors use cutting-edge neuroscience and technology to serve people with the concussions and head injuries that stem from a variety of causes including:
Have you or your child recently hit your head and now are suffering from thinking, physical, and emotional challenges? Did you know that advanced neuroscientific brain-based treatment exists to bring your brain back on line after sustaining a head injury?
How Do I Know if I have a Concussion?
If you suffer from the below symptoms after hitting your head, you may be suffering from a concussion.
- Headaches: Consistent low-grade headache or one that comes and goes with different levels of intensity from a low throbbing headache to a major piercing headache may mean you have a concussion.
- Decreased Cognitive Function: This might be difficulty concentrating or paying attention, problems remembering things, scattered thinking, not staying organized and on top of things, or not being able to make decisions. This means thinking abilities have been impaired.
- Coordination Problems: If you begin to drop things, trip often, feel dizzy or like you are spinning, and difficulty moving with ease means that your coordination is suffering.
- Emotional Outbursts: It is common after concussion for sufferers to have emotional highs and lows and have difficulty keeping their emotions in check. This may include mood swings, getting easily upset or irritated, depression or lack of motivation, or being anxious or agitated.
- Disrupted Sleep Patterns: Either sleeping much more than usual or not being able to sleep or sometimes a combination of both. Sleep can become challenging for those who suffer with a concussion.
90% of diagnosed concussions do NOT lead to a loss of consciousness.
Even More Concussion Symptoms:
- Sensitivity to light
- Slow reaction time
- Blurred Vision
- Slurred Speech
- Changes in Personality
- Behavior Changes
What Do I Do if I Think I Have a Concussion?
Visit Your Doctor:
First step is to see a doctor you trust to have it evaluated. If you visit your primary care doctor and he or she says you have a concussion, it is time to see a brain functioning specialist to have your concussion evaluated.
Have a qEEG Brain Map performed:
You should have the concussion evaluated by a brain functioning specialist using qEEG Brain Mapping to determine which areas of your brain are impacted and the degree of concussion that you have.
If you have a concussion, and once you know where and how much it is affecting you, it is time to treat it so that you can recover quickly and easily. Treatment consists of Neurofeedback training which is proven by science to heal brain cells and improve the use of electrical energy in the brain.
Rest is key. Back in the day experts used to think it was just physical rest that needed to happen. Now we know that even more importantly is cognitive rest. Do not over use your brain by thinking or you can harm it. This might mean a reduced school load, taking it easy at work, or making some accommodations to take breaks throughout your day.
Moderate Electronic Use:
Electronics speed up the brain artificially. This is stimulating to a healthy brain but can be overwhelming and dangerous to a hurt brain. Rule of thumb is to rest your brain for double the amount of time that you use electronics. So, if you are on your phone or computer for 30 minutes, stay off electronics for 1 hour.
No Alcohol or Marijuana:
If you drink alcohol or smoke marijuana you can put your brain at even more risk for damage. Alcohol and marijuana slow brain functioning, which makes people feel good and “chill”. If your brain is knocked slow and low from a concussion, booze and pot can make it dastardly low. This can increase the amount and degree of your symptoms and make your recovery longer and harder.
What Causes a Concussion?
Concussions can be caused by one major bow to the head or by the accumulation of many minor impacts over time. This is an important thing to understand. Many people think that they have not been hit “hard enough” for it to be a “real” concussion. That is not true. Many times the final blow is “the straw that broke the camel’s back” after many smaller hits over time.
When Do Concussion Symptoms Show Up?
Some symptoms show up right away but others take a while to become evident. This makes concussion even more dangerous because many times people are not really aware that what they are experiencing is because of their head injury. Emotional and psychological changes and problems top this list. When people have personality changes or become moody and irritable a month or two or even longer after they hit their head, no one is tracing it back to the injury. Unfortunately, this is why many times people don’t seek out treatment then, because they just don’t understand they two are related.
Million Americans are living with traumatic brain injury-related disabilities. Many of them don’t even know it is from a concussion.
Injuries are the 4th leading cause of death in the United States but what is more alarming is the sheer number of people living with head injury related problems. It is alarming and increasing each year. The leading cause traumatic brain injury (TBI) are falls, with 43% of all injuries, including those to babies and infants, toddlers, young children, teenagers, and the elderly. TBIs can range from mild to severe. Mild TBIs (mTBI) are referred to as concussions.
What Does a Concussion Do To My Brain?
Many people think a concussion is just physical damage to your brain, like a bruise. It is much more than that. Because your brain is an organ, arguably the most important one when it is hurt its functioning is impacted too. Kind of like if you crash your car and it gets wrecked. After you take it to the body shop and have the exterior repaired, you notice that is never runs the same again. Something is off. When you hit your head and suffer from a concussion two damaging things happen to your brain.
Two Things Happen to a Concussed Brain
Power in the Brain is Lowered
- The electrical energy (yes our brains are electro-magnetic) in your brain is knocked low, kind of like a battery that was at full charge and now is at half charge. If that has ever happened to you in the controller on your TV then you know when your battery is half charged sometimes your TV turns on and sometimes it doesn’t. Sometimes you can turn the channel and other times it won’t work. When your brain has been hit and it is at half charge, this is what happens to you. Sometimes you feel well and in a good mood, and other times you can’t get out of bed. Sometimes you are able to concentrate and focus, remember and think and other times you can’t.
The Brain Slows Down in Processing Speed
- Processing speed becomes slower. When your brain speed is running too slow, it is difficult to think, memory problems happen, coordination is off, you might be sensitive to light or noise, and sleeping is a problem (too much or too little). So your brain tries to ramp up its speed to get things done. This is a self-compensatory strategy of the brain. When the brain self-compensates with too much fast speed you might get headaches, and feel drained and exhausted from trying to think. Think of it like this, if you were driving around town with your brake on, you would have to push the gas pedal more to get anywhere. That is what your brain automatically does. But, in doing so your brain can become more damaged. Again, think about your car. If you drove around with the brake on and the gas pedal pushed harder, it would destroy your brakes, and engine.
How Do I Know if My Brain Has Been Injured From a Concussion?
You can look and see. It is that simple. qEEG Brain Mapping shows the doctor, who will show you, if your brain performance has been impaired by concussion. If you suspected that you broke your leg, you would go to the doctor to have an x-ray to see if there was indeed a break and if so, where and how bad it was. Not all doctors perform qEEG Brain Maps. Only specialized practitioners who are Board Certified have the ability and expertise to do so.
Should I just rest and wait after hitting my head to recover from concussion?
Once you saw a break on the x-ray, if you had hurt your leg, would you rest and wait? No, absolutely not! You would have the doctor fix it for you. You would not go home and wait for it to heal. In many cases, waiting for your brain to recover is not enough and can cause even more permanent damage. If you suffer from a very mild concussion, which you would be able to see on your qEEG Brain Map, your brain can be helped to heal faster and better, getting you back on track quicker and preventing bigger problems. In many cases, your brain will not heal by itself, it will need treatment to heal. Treatment is easier and more effective closer to the date of injury.
How Can Concussions Be Treated?
There are a variety of ways to treat concussions, like traditional therapies such as speech therapy, OT, PT, etc. to address specific needs if you are struggling. However, the most advanced and powerful ways to treat concussions tap into the power of neuroscience and technology using what is called neuroplasticity, brain changeability. Neurofeedback Brain Training is among the leading therapies in this realm.
What is Neuroplasticity?
Neuroplasticity is the brain’s ability to reorganize itself and form new neural connections. Cells can heal when pushed to do so with the right technology. Thus, your brain can work better so you feel and perform better. Check out the Science to see how it works.
Are There Different Types of Concussions?
Concussions are graded as mild, moderate, or severe depending upon the level of severity.
Mild (Grade 1): Symptoms last for 15 minutes and there is no loss of consciousness. This does not mean the brain is fine. You should have your brain checked by a professional to make sure it is back to its initial performance level.
Moderate (Grade 2): Symptoms last longer than 15 minutes and there is still not loss of consciousness. Symptoms can negatively impact your life. You should have your brain checked by a professional. If the qEEG Brain Map shows loss of function treatment should be undergone to bring the brain back up to its initial levels.
Severe (Grade 3): Loss of consciousness and probable long term effects and symptoms. It is highly advisable to have your brain functioning checked by a specialized doctor to see which areas are most injured and what would be needed to improve function of the injured areas.