What if I told you that there was a way to predict whether you might be more likely to have symptoms when you hit your head than the person sitting next to you? It’s true. If we were to line up 10 people at random and ask them a few questions, it would be simple to determine who was more likely to have a concussion. Intrigued? Read on…..
First predictor of traumatic brain injury or TBI (concussion) makes a great deal of sense:
1. Playing recreational sports. If you or your child are going to engage in contact sports, you or your child will have a concussion at some point. And you certainly will have a higher chance of having a concussion than someone who doesn’t play contact sports. Make the decision to play with full understanding of the risks and a plan for how you will manage injury when it does happen.
2. Inflammation. This is a very common problem fed by the human condition. Stress. Poor nutrition – the typical sugary, high carb, processed food diet is a common cause for inflammation. Toxic relationships. Money concerns. Work you dislike. Health challenges like diabetes, high blood pressure, food allergies (many of these are caused by inflammation.) These things all fuel inflammation in the body. Inflammation gives rise to neurons which are excitable. This overstimulation of the brain tissues makes you far more likely to have symptoms if you bump your head!
3. Gender. It is well documented that girls playing the same sports as boys their age are more likely to have a concussion that produces symptoms. The female body is diverse anatomically and the muscles of the neck are less protective in the case of head injury than those of their male counterparts. Additionally, a head injury sustained during the second half of the menstrual cycle, can cause a crash of high progesterone levels which can make symptoms of a concussion feel much, much worse. Females are also prone to physical damage to the pituitary gland during a tbi event causing hormonal imbalances which can last decades.
4. Brain function imbalance. This can be from birth as the birth process is meant to toggle a number of primitive reflexes that are necessary for our early development. With the rise of C- section births, this critical process can get missed. When the brain develops without these switches activated, imbalances can occur. Previous concussions, chemical exposures, poor nutrition, and other things can cause a functional brain imbalance which can make you more likely to suffer a concussion. Your Chiropractic Neurologist can help correct these imbalances of the nerve system.
Knowledge is power. If you or your child are going to play contact sports, please be real about the risks. Look at the list above and see what you can do to moderate the risk by making some diet and lifestyle changes. Get a brain assessment before you begin play to correct the functional concerns (lowering your risk for concussion) and to have a personalized baseline test that you can return to yearly to keep your brain in tip top health!