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The Many Faces of Concussion

Updated: Dec 1, 2023

Concussion is a condition that is often over-looked and often under-treated. The typical wisdom and recommendation is for anyone who has sustained a concussion to lay in a dark room until symptoms subside. But, what if this doesn't fix the problem and you're weeks, months, or maybe even years into your concussion symptoms? For these people, little more support or advice is offered.

Why is Concussion so hard to manage?

Because concussion is inherently a physiological injury of your brain, it requires comprehensive and individualized testing and treatment. No brain injury is ever the same; therefore, you can expect that no treatment can ever be exactly the same. There are different networks and pathways effected by concussion. There are also different lifestyle, environmental, and metabolic factors that contribute to a patient's ability to recover from a concussion. This thought process is contrary to what is typically offered in a standard approach to treatment, as there is no pharmaceutical, surgery, or blanket treatment protocol that can address every single head injury.

Different Sub-Types of Concussion

While no concussion is ever the same, there seems to be consistent presentations and subtypes. The degree of each subtype can vary from patient to patient, and no one is locked into just one subtype. Typically post-concussion patients suffer from a cluster of varying degrees of each subtype. Michael Collins, PhD has neatly classified six subtypes of concussion that we typically see present in patients. So, what are the six subtypes?

  1. Cognitive: Brain Fog, Memory, and Concentration Problems

  2. Migraine: Headache, Nausea, and Light & Noise Sensitivity

  3. Ocular: Visual Focusing, Tracking, and Double Vision

  4. Vestibular: Dizziness, Fogginess, and Balance Problems

  5. Cervicogenic: Whiplash and Neck Pain

  6. Mood: Anxiety, Depression, and Rumination

Addressing the Problem

It's probably becoming a little more clear how difficult it can be to manage concussion through standard interventions, as so many different and widespread symptoms can result from it. It's not uncommon for our patients to simply be diagnosed with anxiety and told it will go away. Unfortunately, that just isn't the case for many people. That is why we accept that concussion/TBI and post-concussion syndrome are multi-faceted conditions that require multi-faceted testing and ultimately a multi-faceted treatment approach.

What Can We Do About It?

The approach of many Functional Neurologists, especially here at Delta Neuro Health, is to treat each patient as an individual and to uncover the specific causes for their symptoms and loss of function. The first step with every patient is an in-depth and comprehensive neurological exam and history. Included in this exam is extensive autonomic/vitals testing, state-of-the art cognitive testing designed by the Cleveland Clinic, oculomotor testing using VOG/VNG technology, balance testing using advanced posturography software, and bedside clinical testing of neurophysiological function. By collecting all of this information, we can paint a richer clinical picture of which networks have been most effected by your head injury, and how they might be related to your symptoms. We also make sure to take the time to actually listen to each patient and come up with a collaborative solution and plan to address the problem.

Fixing the Problem

Once the weak or injured neural networks have been identified and your goals and needs have been heard, we come up with an individualized treatment plan to improve your symptoms and function. As discussed earlier, we take a multi-faceted approach to diagnosis and treatment. So, no matter which subtype(s) of concussion you may fall in, we have the tools and skills to address them all. Our modalities are safe, non-invasive, and holistic in nature. You can expect dynamic cooperation from us, where we don't just 'set and forget' your treatment plan. We adapt and change to your progress to make sure we get you as much improvement as quickly as we can.

Find Out More

If you or a loved one is experiencing the chronic effects of a concussion or head injury, feel free to check out our website: Delta Neuro Health or give us a call at (614)-706-2093.

Other Resources:

lego heads, many faces of concussion, head injury, TBI


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