Post-Concussion Syndrome

Treat Post-Concussion Syndrome Naturally

Are you suffering from PCS, post-concussion syndrome? It can be confusing, primarily because there can be no rhyme or reason for the severity of your symptoms based on the level of injury you’ve suffered in the past. The symptoms of PCS can persist for months or even years, but the longer it’s left untreated, the longer it lasts, subjecting you to endless maladies that affect your wellbeing on a fundamental, day-to-day basis. With the right natural treatment, after finding the root cause of your symptoms, you can get on a path towards healing with less suffering.

What Are Symptoms Of Post-Concussion Syndrome (PCS)?

There are a number of common, painful symptoms that can be the result of PCS. Many of these symptoms can be confused with other ailments making diagnosis difficult. These symptoms can range from emotional, physical and/or cognitive symptoms. But it’s always worth checking this list of potential symptoms to help narrow down if you are suffering from PCS. These symptoms would arise or severely worsen sometime after having a head injury.

  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Fatigue
  • Insomnia
  • Light/Noise Sensitivity
  • Headaches & Migraines
  • Confusion
  • Difficulty Concentrating
  • Brain Fog
  • Poor focus and attention
  • Chronic pain

Common Causes of Post-Concussion Syndrome

Research has shown that there are a few underlying causes of post-concussion syndrome symptoms that become chronic and disabling, continually interrupting your daily life. These PCS neurological causes come with complicated names such as Neurovascular coupling dysfunction, Autonomic Nervous System dysfunction, vestibular dysfunction and visual system problems. Our clinic understands these causes and is committed to natural ways of treating and correcting them, not just treating the symptoms. A good understanding of these causes is imperative to the right treatment plan and returning your life to good health and relief of suffering.

Neurovascular Coupling Dysfunction (NVC)

NVC is the relationship between the transfer of oxygen and other necessary nutrients through your blood vessels. When you experience head trauma, your immune system signals inflammation where the injury happens in an effort to heal the affected area. In doing so, your blood vessels and brain cells in that area of the brain can experience damage from this inflammation. This NVC damage restricts the flow of oxygen to the injured parts of your brain. Therefore, cognitive functions and processes that are normally handled by that part of the brain are unable to be fulfilled. This can lead to your brain utilizing suboptimal pathways and signaling, which can cause many of the symptoms of PCS.

Autonomic Nervous System Dysfunction 

The Autonomic Nervous System controls all the involuntary, or automatic, processes within your body. Think breathing, heart beating, digestion, etc.; all of these are the result of the Autonomic Nervous System’s regulation. Concussions often disrupt the processes of the Autonomic Nervous System, causing numerous symptoms of PCS like heartbeat irregularity, sleep disruption, mood fluctuations, gastrointestinal irregularities, tension and much more.

Vestibular System Dysfunction

Your vestibular system resides within your inner ears and parts of your brain which helps with balance, spatial awareness, and clear vision. Concussions can also disrupt this signaling between your brain, ears, eyes and more, resulting in numerous symptoms, more than just staying balanced on your feet! In addition to the well-known balance issues, you can have other problems with distance perception or motion sensitivity issues, including eye strain, vertigo or even nausea.

Visual System Problems

Concussions can often alter your vision and create more vision problems. This is not to say your 20/20 vision is technically worse than it was before, but concussions can alter the relationship between your eyes and your brain. These vision problems can include blurry vision and focusing, difficulty tracking things you are seeing, underactive peripheral vision and more, even though your eye exams are completely normal.

How Can I Treat Post-Concussion Syndrome

As with the rest of our practice, Pain & Brain is interested in identifying and treating the root cause of your issues, not just the symptoms. Thankfully, for PCS, there are a number of natural remedies our clinic can use in your treatment of Post-Concussion Syndrome and finally getting you on the path to health. Our clinic specializes in nutraceutical treatment of post-concussion syndrome, as well as diet adjustment, cognitive exercises and especially acupuncture.

Neural growth and repair is integral in helping your body overcome post-concussion syndrome and relieve the symptoms associated with it. BDNF (Brain Derived Neurotrophic Factor), produced by your brain, increases neuronal growth and the promotion of new brain cells. The first step in treating PCS is comprehensive lab work. Bloods tests can detect underlying nutritional deficiencies that make you vulnerable to PCS by reducing BDNF production. Blood tests will detect metabolic issues that slow the healing of your PCS, such as insulin resistance, metabolic syndrome and autoimmune conditions. A number of natural remedies such as acupuncture, fish oils and flavonoids are all ways to aid in the acceleration of BDNF production, helping your neural function improve. These methods also have some additional benefits beyond just BDNF production, as acupuncture and diffusing essential oils can help relieve migraine and light-headedness, while flavonoids have many antioxidants that help reduce inflammation. Other options to help reduce swelling and inflammation are saffron and turmeric, both natural botanicals.

These supplemental and nutraceutical treatment options all may sound simple, but it is important to consult a clinic that is experienced in this type of treatment, so that you don’t take steps in the wrong direction or waste time on the road to recovery. Consulting with Pain & Brain and Dr. Fors is integral to developing a plan that will pay dividends for your health.

More natural non-supplement options besides acupuncture include vagal stimulation and balance training as well as light aerobic exercise. Using creatine to aid in this exercise is good in moderation to help fuel the body and brain, with consultation from your doctor and guidance from your clinic’s treatment plan. But exercise is vital to help reduce symptoms of PCS, because more blood flow with exercise means more oxygen to the brain, helping your brain to process information faster and more efficiently. Stress reduction and resting your mind, albeit a seemingly simple task, is extremely important. Remember to take breaks from intense mental activity and relax your brain and cognitive functions.

 

Author Dr. Greg Fors

About Dr. Greg Fors

Dr. Greg Fors, D.C. is a Board-certified Neurologist (IBCN), certified in Applied Herbal Sciences (NWHSU) and acupuncture. As the director of the virtual Pain and Brain Healing Center, he specializes in a functional medicine approach to fibromyalgia, fatigue, brain fog, digestive disorders, depression and anxiety. He is a sought after international lecturer for various post-graduate departments and state associations. Dr. Fors is the author of the highly acclaimed book, “Why We Hurt” available through booksellers everywhere.