Concussions arise from an injury to the tissues or blood vessels in the brain. These can occur when the soft tissues are pressed against the bone of the skull, resulting from an impact or blow to the head experienced during a fall or from sports injury. They can also occur from being forcefully shaken. Mild concussions in childhood are common and often are not a cause for serious health concern. However there are rare cases of childhood concussion that should not be taken lightly and it’s important to know what symptoms need to be looked for.

The general symptoms of concussion are varied, and depend on the severity of the injury and the individual themselves. Possible symptoms include dizziness, loss of consciousness and seizures. The latter two symptoms indicate a severe case of concussion (although a loss of consciousness itself may not be dangerous if short lived [1]). However, symptoms that appear later could also be danger signs. A very common symptom experienced after a concussion is headache [2] that may be mild to moderate in intensity. A blow to your child’s head could also cause changes in their mood [3], such as crankiness and loss of interest in favorite items [4]. The way a child plays or works at school may be affected. After a concussion, a child may forget things or have difficulties in thinking [1], with possible short-term memory loss. Drowsiness and reduced energy are also common.

Concussion may be dangerous, because some of the symptoms are so mild that they are difficult to notice – some children act normal, even if they don’t feel normal. Concussion makes it difficult to detect the symptoms in your child, unless they tell you they’re feeling strange. Ask your child if they have any of the symptoms, and make sure to observe them closely for a few weeks. Your child is at increased risk if they have experienced previous head injury, are taking a blood thinning medicine, childhood concussion dangerssuffer bleeding disorders, are under one year old, have other neurological problems, have difficulty walking or are active in high contact sports.

If your child is harder to wake up than normal, shows worsened symptoms, won’t stop crying, doesn’t eat well, has worsening headaches or symptoms that have lasted longer than six weeks, then contact your doctor or caregiver. If your child shows a change in personality, bleeds out of the ears or nose, has trouble recognizing people, or vomits repeatedly, go to the emergency room. For seizures, unequal pupil size and longer-term unconsciousness, dial 911 [5].

Irrespective of advice you get on the internet or by phone, if you have any doubt in your mind about your child’s health after a head injury, seek the help of a professional, call a chiropractor. You know your child best!

References used:
[1] Cantu RC (2006). “An overview of concussion consensus statements since 2000” (PDF). Neurosurgical Focus 21 (4:E3): 1–6.
[2]Kushner D (1998). “Mild Traumatic brain injury: Toward understanding manifestations and treatment”. Archives of Internal Medicine 158 (15): 1617–1624.
[3] Heegaard W, Biros M (2007). “Traumatic brain injury”. Emergency Medicine Clinics of North America 25 (3): 655–678, viii.
[4] Mayo Clinic Staff (2007). “Concussion”. Mayo Clinic. Retrieved 2008-01-10.
[5] Concussion In Children. Accessed October 2011

Headache is one of the most commonly treated health conditions in our Walnut Creek chiropractic care center. There are lots of types of head pain and their causes vary, but “Muscular Tension Headache” is the most common type. Tension head pain usually originate from long term contraction of the suboccipital muscles. The suboccipital muscles connect the junction between the back of the skull and the bones of the neck. A number of factors are generally involved causing a common head pain, as follows:

  • Inflammation of the muscles and other “trigger points.”
  • Irritation of the joints and compression of the nerves.
  • Dural traction on the spine and brainstem.

Nowadays, more and more individuals are inclined to sit for many hours with contracted postural muscles but with no significant physical exercise. Your muscle use up fuel and produce waste everytime there is contraction. Some of headachethe waste products of this contraction are histamine, bradykinins and lactic acid, which are irritants. If they are not properly taken out of the muscle they can trigger muscular inflammation, pain and build up into localized tender parts generally known as “trigger points.”

Those waste products must normally be watered down and taken out of the muscle tissue by the circulation. This procedure depends on the regular “contract – relax” muscle cyle. When the muscle contracts it generates a force on the fluids in the muscle and drives the blood out transporting away muscular waste products. When the muscle relaxes the force falls and blood surges back in transporting essential nutrients and energy.

Whenever we sit or stand, we are making use of our back and neck muscles necessary to support our body. When these muscles are kept contracted for a long time (several hours spent sitting or standing), the muscles are producing irritative waste products, but not relaxing and burning themselves of the irritants. After a while these irritants will cause the muscles to shed their normal flexibility and resting length starting to be stiffened and shortened. These stiffened and shortened muscles, often supported by trigger points could cause head and neck reflex pain.

If you are curious on how chiropractors can help you treat your head pain, call our Walnut Creek chiropractic office at 925-939-7778.

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