Often concussions also include an injury to the neck due to the nature of how most head injuries occur. As a result this can exacerbate concussion symptoms and even lengthen the recovery time for a head injury if not properly identified and managed. This is especially true in the pediatric population.
A research study published in July 2018 in the Journal of Head Trauma Rehabilitation evaluated the association of neck injury and concussion in a pediatric population. What they discovered was that those with a neck injury were 4x more likely to have a delayed recovery compared to those without a neck injury. Patients with a neck injury also tended to have a worse symptom burden during the acute phase of a concussion which is also predictive of a longer recovery .
Thus if you or a loved one has had a concussion that does not seem to heal then perhaps the issue is related to dysfunction in your neck and not necessarily your brain and you may need to be evaluated for it by a practitioner who works with cervical spine injuries. In the meantime some basic things we can all do to help us have healthier cervical spine function is the following:
- Basic Range of motion exercises: Take your head and neck thru a normal range of motion by looking left then right, up then down, and lateral flexion ( try to lay your ear on your shoulder). Perform 10 reps in every directions 3-5 times per day.
- Neck rolls: You can roll your neck thru circles clockwise and counterclockwise 10 times to each direction
- Take frequent breaks from sitting at a desk or working on a computer.
Our office specializes in treatment of musculoskeletal complaints, especially those involving the cervical spine. If you think you may be affected and would like to be evaluated please call our office at 214-295-9671
By: Dr. William Cummins – Nov 2018