Concussions have been a hot topic in the media to date, as more and more cases of student athletes, especially, suffering from concussions, are brought to our attention. A concussion diagnose may be common, however, treatment may vary according to an individual's unique symptoms. All concussions require immediate attention and follow-up by a trusted health care professional.
According to a recent report by Blue Cross Blue Shield, “Concussion diagnoses increased 43 percent from 2010 through 2015 in the U.S.” Youths between the ages of 10 and 19 were especially affected, as concussion diagnoses increased by 71 percent in that age bracket. For this group, the report says, “the fall is peak concussion season, during which time a dramatic spike in diagnoses occurs for males.”
But athletes aren't the only people who can get a concussion.
As Northport Wellness Center founder Dr. Alan Sherr points out, "Concussions do not discriminate. Anyone—male or female, from babies to the elderly—can get a concussion. While playing extreme sports or ones that involve high impact or collision, such as football, may put individuals at a higher risk for traumatic brain injury, you do not need to be an athlete to be at risk for a concussion."
So whether you are tackled by a linebacker, slip and fall down the stairs, or get into a car accident, the possibility of suffering from a concussion exists. If you or a loved one are suffer from a concussion, it needs to be addressed immediately.
Don’t ignore the signs.
If you think that you have symptoms of a concussion, seek medical attention as soon as possible. Don't put it off or you risk worsening your condition.
Warning signs of a concussion include:
- Memory loss
- Temporary decrease in gross/fine-motor function
"All symptoms should be taken seriously and warrant immediate attention and treatment to promote a most efficient healing and recovery," says Dr. Sherr.
Rest, and rest some more.
Taking care of yourself is key to recovering from a concussion. You want to speed up the recovery process rather than prolong it unnecessarily. This means getting lots of rest.
The more you take time for yourself—eating right, getting a lot of sleep and following a comprehensive concussion recovery plan—the better you’ll feel.
Have a health care professional develop a recovery plan that meets your individual needs.
As with any other medical condition or injury, every person’s situation is different, which is why a facility that offers a comprehensive concussion recovery program that can be tailored to meet your individual needs is so important. Treatment can include physical therapy, chiropractic, and other services that can put you on the right path to recovery.
"Individuals suffering from a concussion may experience symptoms unique to their injury," says Dr. Sherr, "and therefore must be treated with a customized recovery plan that could include treatment varying from chiropractic adjustments and acupuncture to stem cell therapy and hyperbaric oxygen therapy."
For some people, considering neurofeedback or hyperbaric oxygen therapy may not readily come to mind when they think about concussion treatment but these services can play a significant role in helping someone who has suffered from a traumatic brain injury.
Neurofeedback may also "help patients who are struggling to regain their normal brain function," Dr. Sherr explains. This type of brain training program aims to alleviate a person’s symptoms in a safe and non-invasive way. During a session, a licensed professional places sensors on the surface of your scalp to monitor your brain patterns and assess what needs to be done to correct any irregular brain-wave activity.
Hyperbaric oxygen therapy provides pure oxygen to a patient in a controlled environment to enhance the body’s natural healing process. Dr. Sherr and his son Dr. Scott Sherr established Hyperbaric Medical Solutions to focus solely on this kind of medical treatment.
Be proactive after you’ve recovered.
"At the Northport Wellness Center, we believe in living a life free from pain and certainly without fear," says Dr. Sherr. "We do not recommend avoiding beloved sports and activities that may put you at risk for injury. However, we do encourage our patients and friends to be cautious where possible, wearing bike helmets, for example, and not being reckless."
Taking care of your body on the inside and out is the key to accomplishing not only recovery and healing from a concussion but to achieving optimal health, as well, Dr. Sherr says.