5 Ways to Manage a Concussion
Concussions, appear to be happening more often than ever. I can think of 6 kids (of friends and family) who have had one in the last year alone and I’m sure you can think of a few as well!
The word concussion has become such a common word, that I wonder if people forget just how serious they are…but they are in fact brain injuries and must be taken very seriously! It is important to get the right diagnosis immediately!
Maybe you can relate?
My niece, unfortunately didn’t get the right treatment quickly enough, and as a result, missed her entire 7th grade after a double concussion. She was unable to play sports without headaches…2 years later. Imagine how much that would impact a 12 year old?
The first hit happened innocently.
She was tossed off a tube being pulled behind a boat and then 2 weeks later she was knocked in the head during a basketball game. Both were seemingly inconsequential on their own. After the first hit, she experienced minor headaches. After the second, because there wasn’t enough time to heal, the cells had not returned to their normal shape, and so the result was worse. What followed were headaches, excessive sleep, lethargy and depression.
Concussions can happen anywhere.
Any blow to the head, can cause enough injury and may lead to headaches, or concentration, memory, judgment, balance and coordination issues.
Though recovery is possible, concussions injure your brain to some extent, and if they are not given time and rest and heal properly – long term threats to brain health are possible.
Below are suggestions on how to speed healing from me, a Holistic Nutritionist and Dave, a Manual Osteopath.
Rest is the most important step. DO NOT push it. Listen to your doctor and do not exert yourself or your brain in any way. Rest is the most important treatment after a concussion because it helps the brain to heal. This means no TV, screens, exercise, or sometimes light.
2.Get your Omega 3 fish oils.
Give your brain what it needs to heal. While the general recommendation is to take one to two grams daily of high-potency fish oil, Dr. Steelsmith states that “it is a good idea for people who have suffered head injuries to take up to four grams as quickly as possible after the injury and to continue taking four grams once daily for up to seven days afterward.” This advice is based on a recent animal study from West Virginia University School of Medicine reported in the Journal of Neurosurgery, which demonstrated that taking high-potency fish oil that contained large amounts of the omega-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA can assist in healing concussion.
This will help decrease brain inflammation and can decrease the fogginess, memory loss and headaches that are often associated with concussions.
3. Load up on antioxidants and healthy protein.
Eat a healthy diet with abundant protein and foods high in antioxidants like blueberries. These will help strengthen blood vessel walls, including in the brain. You can supplement the fruit’s antioxidants by taking up to 3000 mg a day of vitamin C, which can also help reduce the oxidative stress in the brain that occurs with head trauma.
4. Visit your Osteopath
When you have trauma to your head, always remember, your head is connected to your neck which is connected to your brain through the brain stem. Can you see the connection? Furthermore, the vagus nerve exits the base of the skull. The Vagus nerve is important in managing your nervous or parasympathetic system. All healing happens when the parasympathetic system is dominant over the sympathetic system. All of these systems need to be balanced. Bio-mechanics play a big part in health therefore, paying a visit is beneficial to ensure all angels are being addressed.
5. Try therapeutic grade essential oils.
Frankincense essential oil (boswellia errata) by DoTerra. This powerful essential oil aids in oxygenation of the blood to the brain and addresses inflammation.
In studies performed at Vienna and Berlin Universities, researchers discovered that sesquiterpenes, found in essential oils (Vetiver, Patchouli, Cedarwood, Sandalwood and Frankincense), can increase levels of oxygen in the brain by up to 28 percent (Nasel, 1992).
When the brain receives and absorbs more oxygen, the brain will heal faster.
How to use frankincense oil to recover from a concussion:
- Immediately after a concussion, add a few drops to the bridge of the nose, behind the ears, on the back of the neck, to reflex points such as the inside of the wrists, between the toes and on the bottoms of feet.
- Diffuse frankincense oil in a steam vaporizer while laying quiet in a dark room. The diffusion of the oil creates a warm and healing scent that assists in mind healing and preserving the brain’s ability to retain and utilize information.
- Add 3-5 few drops to an unscented carrier oil (such as almond or jojoba) or lotion and rub on any desired part of the body.
- For a quick brain boost in the weeks following a concussion, place a few drops on palms or a handkerchief, rub together, hold to nose and mouth, and breathe in deeply.
- Add 10 drops to a warm bath or shower, both morning and night.
5. Think Prevention. Taking fish oils daily can help reduce the impact according to a study done by the Journal of Traditional and Complementary Medicine.
Visit Balance Point Health Centre for a Game Plan for any athletic endeavour or to ensure you are doing everything in your power to protect your noggin!
Does your childhood have anything to do with your body today?
We think so…
Linda Ljucovic, Registered Holistic Nutritionist and Dave Ellis, Manual Osteopath, Oakville