A study published on July 27, 2020, in the Journal of Contemporary Chiropractic documented the improvement of a 15-year-old boy suffering from post-concussion syndrome and whiplash who was helped by chiropractic. Post-Concussion Syndrome is an alteration in brain function or other brain pathology caused by an external force. A concussion is a type of traumatic brain injury (TBI) which usually occurs after a blow to the head or whiplash injury and is considered a non-lethal type of brain injury.
The study begins by reporting that “The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that approximately 10 million people are affected annually by traumatic brain injury (TBI), and it is an injury that will surpass many fatal diseases as the primary cause of death and disability in 2020.” In New Zealand, where this study occurred, it is estimated that there are 24,000 cases of concussion each year. The Brain Injury Research Institute estimates that in the United States between 1.6 and 3.8 million sports and recreation-related concussions occur each year.
The symptoms of a concussion could include headaches, cognitive changes such as feeling like you’re in a fog, loss of consciousness, amnesia, neurological deficits, balance impairment, gait unsteadiness, irritability, slowed reaction times, and sleep disturbances.
The history of this case involved a 15-year-old boy who fell forward headfirst into a bed frame and struck the front of his head. This caused hyperextension, or whiplash-like force to his cervical spine along with external injuries to his head from the impact. The boy was admitted to the hospital and released after two days. About a week after the injury, the boy started experiencing concussion related symptoms of headaches, dizziness, behavioral changes and an inability to conduct his activity of daily living.
After a chiropractic examination, specific forms of chiropractic adjustments were started. The boy was also given stretching exercises to perform at home and some nutritional supplements. Over the course of his chiropractic care, the boy showed continual improvement as well as testing improvement in concussion protocol test conducted by his MDs. Within a three month period, the boy reported having felt that he had 98% returned to normal with a disappearance of his concussion symptoms.
In their discussion, the authors reviewed additional research on this subject and reported, “The current research suggests that spinal misalignments can change the way the central nervous system (CNS) processes sensory motor integration. The current research demonstrates improvement in sensory integration following spinal manipulations, indicating there is scope for chiropractic research to investigate these sensory integration functions.” They concluded “This case study demonstrates improvements in post-concussion symptoms and whiplash in a 15-year-old male following chiropractic care.”