Concussions

Concussions are the driving factor for my pursuits of knowledge and my passion as a medical professional.

While sitting in my clinical neurology class while getting my Doctorate of Chiropractic (DC), a  case about a concussion patient was being shown and realizing “This is me”. I played football for 13 years and was never diagnosed with a concussion or even have a loss of consciousness. I began taking functional neurology seminars and I started to recognize all of my signs of head trauma I had accumulated from football and life: walking into room 5 or 6 times to actually remember what objected needed to be retrieved, forgetting mid-sentence the topic of conversations, using an external monologue just to remember what task I was performing, forgetting common words like “chair”, and on rare occasions the complete inability to read. I was living in stage 3 dementia and sometimes stage 4. Then using the knowledge that I gained from functional neurology seminars, I treated myself making it possible to complete the DC program. Conversing with fellow football players I realized how common these traits were among us.  My desire to educate and treat neurological deficits like these lead me to pursue a Diplomate in Functional Neurology.

Using functional neurology alone showed great improvements but there were still patients that were “better” but still fluctuated up and down and didn’t stay “better”. I even saw this with myself. This missing link in the treatment lead me to pursue my doctorate of naturopatic  medicine (ND) and study functional medicine.   The tools that I gained from the ND and functional medicine helped me to improve the outcomes of those “almost better” patients and break the plateau of progress.

Acupuncture does not treat concussions directly, but it does mitigate the symptoms caused by head trauma, like pain and insomnia. Adding acupuncture to chiropractic care showed resolution of concussive symptoms where pharmaceutical intervention had been ineffective. The addition of acupuncture to functional neurology and functional medicine has drastically increased the efficacy  of the treatments.

 

Chris Hartman DC, ND, DACNB, MSAc

 

References:

Shah, Saeed. Military deploys acupuncture to treat soldiers’ concussions. McClatchy Newspapers http://www.mcclatchydc.com/2011/02/07/108250/military-deploys-acupunctur….

Zollman FS, Larson EB, Wasek-Throm LK, Cyborski CM, Bode RK. Acupuncture for treatment of insomnia in patients with traumatic brain injury: a pilot intervention study. J Head Trauma Rehabil. 2012 Mar-Apr;27(2):135-42. doi: 10.1097/HTR.0b013e3182051397. PubMed PMID: 21386714.

Gergen, DM. Management of Mild Traumatic Brain Injury Symptoms in a 31-Year-Old Woman Using Cervical Manipulation and Acupuncture: A Case Report. J Chiropr Med. 2015 Sep; 14(3): 220–224. Published online 2015 Nov 6. doi: 10.1016/j.jcm.2015.08.006

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