Treating Concussions with Our Sports Chiropractor
Here at Lake Marion Chiropractic Center, we believe that the somewhat underutilized method of treating concussions with chiropractic care can be extremely beneficial. Our doctor, Dr. Couillard, is a sports chiropractor in Lakeville who treats concussions in athletes and accident victims alike. The current treatment protocols for concussion management are widely variable, but evidence suggests that managing the condition with the help of a Lakeville chiropractor can help local patients relieve symptoms.
Causes of Concussions
Concussions are injuries that occur when a direct or indirect blow to the head causes the brain to bounce around inside the skull. They are also considered a mild form of traumatic brain injury, or TBI. These concussions can damage brain cells and cause the release of abnormal chemicals.
The most common causes of concussions are sports injuries and auto accidents. However, any time a person gets a blow to the head, they can potentially concuss themselves. Children and teenagers are more likely to suffer concussions than adults, primarily due to sports injuries and everyday accidents.
Concussions are not new to the medical world, but they are receiving more attention thanks to the increasing public awareness of their prevalence in the sports world. Because medical treatment for a concussion is primarily supportive, protocols vary. Concussion management aims to reduce immediate symptoms associated with the concussion, reduce or prevent long-term symptoms associated with the concussion, and prevent long-term damage.
It is not always easy to figure out when a concussion has occurred, as opposed to a different type of TBI. A doctor such as our Lakeville chiropractor should screen suspected concussion patients to ensure that they do not have a more severe form of TBI. However, even when a severe head injury is ruled out, not everyone experiences a concussion the same way. Common symptoms involve both physical and mental aspects:
- Loss of consciousness
- Memory problems
- Noise or light sensitivity
Concussion Management from Our St. Paul Chiropractor
Our St. Paul chiropractor can be involved in all stages of concussion management, but chiropractors can be especially valuable to people who have post-concussion symptoms that last longer than a few days. Our chiropractor in St. Paul knows that some of the symptoms that have traditionally been associated with a concussion may actually result from wrenching the neck, which is an unavoidable consequence of any head injury severe enough to cause a concussion. Treatment of these hidden neck injuries, along with the obvious head injuries, by our St. Paul chiropractor may relieve some of the symptoms associated with a concussion-causing incident.
Dr. Craig Couillard has been a leader in the last several years in concussion management. He is also a member of the Minnesota State High School League Sports Advisory Committee. This committee had substantial input in the concussion law that was passed in Minnesota in 2011.
Dr. Craig Couillard is a nationally respected sports medicine practitioner that has kept up with the concussion evolution and understands the current standard of care. He has taken several training classes in concussion management and has taught courses for the Minnesota Chiropractic Association and Northwestern Health Sciences University regarding concussion evaluation and management. The following are the concussion classes that Dr. Craig Couillard has attended:
- September 2013: Attended Strategic Assessment and Management of Concussions, hosted by Gillette Children's Specialty Healthcare
- June 2012 & 2014: Completed ACBSP (American Chiropractic Board Sports Physicians) course in Concussion Management. ABCSP has a national registry for concussion
- June 2012: Completed ACSM CEC Training, Heads up to Clinicians, Addressing Concussion in Sports among Kids and Teens. This course was in conjunction with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for Concussion
- March 2012: Completed New Advances in Concussion Management, Continuing Education Seminar, Minnesota Chiropractic Association
- January 2012: Attended seminar on Sports Concussion, Principles of Evaluation, Management and Return to Play, Verle Valentine MD, Sanford Orthopedics Sports Medicine
- November 2011: Completed the course Concussion Wise for Physicians, Sports Safety International. This course has a national concussion registry
- October 2011: Completed Concussion in Sports, What you need to know, presented by the National Federation of High Schools
The following is a list of resources on concussion.
- Consensus Statement on Concussion in Sports 3rd International Conference on Concussion in Sport Held in Zurich, November 2008. http://bjsm.bmj.com/content/43/Suppl_1/i76.full
- Concussion in Sports: What you need to know http://www.nfhslearn.com/electiveDetail.aspx?courseID=15000
- Heads Up: Concussion in High School Sports http://www.cdc.gov/concussion/headsup/high_school.html
Each concussion is uniquely different in its overall clinical presentation. Some only have a few symptoms and others have multiple. It is important that a concussed person finds a sports practitioner that has the updated education and experience working in this arena. At our office, we have the experience and knowledge to help families manage these cases. We consult with concussed athletes throughout the Twin Cities area. In addition to the basic medical guidelines, we add other therapies to enhance the overall healing environment. Some of the additional therapies are chiropractic, craniosacral therapy, rehabilitation, massage therapy and clinical nutrition.
There is an updated consensus statement on concussion. It was published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine March 2013. The new SCAT3 and Child SCAT3 are available for practitioners to use when evaluating a concussed athlete. The SCAT3 is used for athletes aged from 13 years and older. The child SCAT3 is used for athletes aged from 5 to 12 years.
If there are questions regarding our approach to concussion recovery, please contact us directly.
Lake Marion Chiropractic Center has been treating concussions and helping patients since 2001. Dr. Couillard serves the public as a chiropractor in St. Paul and Lakeville, MN, and has completed an advanced certification from the American Board of Sports Physicians. He has won numerous awards as a sports chiropractor in Lakeville, where he works with local teams on all kinds of health and performance issues. To make an appointment, call 952-469-8385 today.