A guide to dealing with post concussion syndrome

Post Concussion Syndrome

Post Concussion Syndrome – Head injuries are becoming increasingly common, with approximately 1.7 million Americans reporting a traumatic brain injury due to a head injury. These can affect the way you live, as they slow down thought processes. From homework to sports, each activity may become a struggle, which is why it’s imperative to get any head injury checked, as it might develop into a more severe problem.

What Is Post Concussion Syndrome?

Post Concussion Syndrome (PCS), also known as Persistent Post Concussive Syndrome, is mainly associated with a prior head injury. It occurs when symptoms of a concussion last longer than the expected recovery time. Symptoms may vary from person to person, but the most common ones include headaches, brain fog, vision problems, memory problems, and fatigue. These can develop from any contact to your head, including a fall, simply hitting your head against a door, and the most common, car accidents. It’s encouraged that all victims of car accidents must take all precautions and get checked for internal injuries.

Diagnosis and Treatment

Currently, there is no single approach or deterministic test for post concussion syndrome treatment. You’ll be advised to get a brain scan to check for any abnormalities or defects; however, it will not detect PCS. Doctors have different approaches to diagnosing it, mostly involving various neurological and physical tests. Often, doctors will use gentle eye and body movement exercises to gauge the patient’s neurological activity.

Combinations of multiple restorative exercises and multidisciplinary therapy are used to treat patients suffering from post-concussion syndrome. These exercises increase the essential neurotransmitters and proteins in your brain. This stimulates blood flow that aids in healing the brain. The treatment sharpens your cognitive ability, which allows your brain to perform challenging functions over time.

Medicines can be prescribed to patients, but most patients have reported that they are minimally effective and have intense side effects similar to those of antidepressants. Doctors are hesitant to go for this approach as well, as continuous use of these medicines puts a strain on the liver, leading to even more complications.

Coping With PCS

PCS is a difficult condition to diagnose and treat as most people – even some doctors – are unaware of it. To any patients that have been suffering from long-term symptoms of a concussion, rest and patience are critical as diagnosis and healing may be slow and non-linear. While it may take time, PCS is known to get better, even if the recovery takes weeks or months. The healing process may have its ups and downs if your cognitive functions lag slightly; however, that is not a bad indicator of your progress.

Stress is a significant trigger after any head-related injury, so meditation and mindfulness are greatly recommended to patients. Calming activities like yoga have been scientifically proven to aid in the recovery of brain injury patients as they calm the brain, improving both physical and mental health. Patients with PCS are also comparatively more sensitive to environmental stimuli, easily getting triggered by small sounds and sights. Keeping tools like earplugs or sunglasses on hand help to reduce the anxiety caused by your surroundings. 

Endnote

Dealing with any head injury, especially if it results in PCS, is a lengthy, exhausting, and even expensive procedure. It’s always safer to get a head injury checked for internal damage, no matter how small it might be. In case of any hit to the head, we recommend getting yourself checked by a doctor as soon as possible and making sure to rest and participate in activities that invigorate your brain and help it heal.

Other articles from mtltimes.ca – totimes.ca – otttimes.ca

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