RESOURCES > Managing Post-Concussion
While there is no all-encompassing cure for concussion currently, there are a number of promising areas of treatment as well as widely accepted approaches to maintaining brain health. The approaches mentioned below have shown promise and been effective with some individuals in dealing with post-concussion syndrome and/or are general suggestions for positive brain health.
Always follow the advice of your doctor or qualified healthcare professional. This page is not meant to substitute for professional medical advice, but rather meant to provide you with additional resources in the area of concussion treatment.
In addition, always remember it is important to recover completely from a concussion injury before returning to regular activities. For those playing contact sports, participating while still experiencing symptoms can prolong the time it takes to recover, or make things worse.
Proper rest following a concussion injury is extremely important because it allows the brain to heal. Avoiding activities that are taxing, both physically and mentally, allows the body the downtime it needs to recover without further outside stresses.
Psychological or Psychiatric Counseling
Counseling Psychology is a specialty within psychology broadly devoted to helping people improve their well-being. A 2010 study of psychological approaches to treatment of post-concussion syndrome found evidence that Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, a specific technique engaged by counseling psychologists, may be effective in the treatment of PCS. You can view the study HERE.
Meditation has been practiced for thousands of years. It is becoming increasingly recognized in the medical community for a range of healthful benefits, including clearing the mind, reducing stress, decreasing negative emotions, focusing on the present, and producing a deeply relaxed state. It is considered by many as a complementary form of mind-body medicine, and is used to aid in the treatment of many medical conditions. It can be practiced anywhere, and by anyone.
Active Release Techniques (ART)
ART is a movement based massage treatment technique for treating problems in soft tissue (including muscles, tendons, ligaments, fascia and nerves). Concussions often involve injuries to soft tissue in the head and neck area. Expert ART service providers are certified in specific fields, including: Upper Extremity, Lower Extremity, Spine, Nerve Entrapment, Biomechanics, Active Palpation, and Complex Protocols. Find a certified ART provider in your area HERE.
Osteopathy is a field of medicine which emphasizes the interrelation between structure and function of the body, and promotes the notion of treating the body as a whole, focusing not only on symptoms but their root causes. Doctors of Osteopathic Medicine are licensed to practice medicine and generally have additional training in hands-on diagnosis and treatment of the musculoskeletal system.
Neurotherapy (Biofeedback & Neurofeedback)
Neurotherapy is a form of treatment that measures brain waves and/or blood flow, and uses them as biofeedback, to produce signs of brain activity that can be utilized to teach self-regulation.
Medical professionals usually reserve medication as a treatment of last resort. For some individuals, however, it may be helpful in dealing with severe symptoms stemming either directly or indirectly from a concussion injury, where other approaches have proven ineffective. Medication should only be taken under the direction and supervision of a qualified medical doctor.
There is vast literature available on the proven benefits of proper and balanced nutrition on general brain health. Certain foods have been shown to be particularly beneficial to the brain including blueberries (studies suggest they may protect the brain from oxidative stress) and foods containing high concentrations of Omega 3 essential fatty acids (like salmon) which are essential for brain function. Consuming nuts and seeds containing Vitamin E can result in less cognitive decline as we age.
Sources: CDC, Mayo Clinic, WebMD