21st July 2023
So you might be wondering why I’ve been a little quiet recently.
Well, let me fill you in.
I knocked my head on the corner of the kitchen cupboard and ended up with a concussion…sounds like a lame story right? But it just shows how easy these things can happen. Fast forward 4 months and I still have symptoms, albeit much more manageable and less intense now. Thank goodness!
Oh wait, I forgot to mention this is my second concussion in 3.5years too which makes the recovery a little more tricky.
It’s definitely been a bit of a journey but a huge learning experience for me at the same time. With 2 concussions under my belt I’ve decided it was the Universe's way of telling me I need to help other people going through similar so I’lll now be factoring concussion recovery guidance into my coaching which is something I feel grateful for as I know how hard it can be to get answers or have someone point you in the right direction. A lot of the time, concussion patients fall through the gaps in the healthcare system and are left to their own devices with minimal guidance on what they should be doing to get better.
I’ve been working alongside a concussion specialist in the US throughout my recovery and it’s incredible how much of an overlap there is in concussion recovery management and health coaching - who would’ve thought!
What is a concussion & why do some people recover quicker than others?
In simple terms, a concussion is caused by an acceleration of the brain inside the skull resulting in damage to the cells which then causes symptoms within the body including dizziness, spaciness, nausea, fatigue,, sensitivity to light & noise, sensitivity to screens, mood changes, visual issues, cognitive impairment, headaches, just to name a few….the list is pretty long & they can have a significant impact on your normal life.
Research has shown it takes 70-120G of force to get a concussion. It only takes 4.5G of force to get whiplash so there will be an element of whiplash with every concussion too & the symptoms are almost identical.
For most people, around 70%, concussion symptoms will resolve within 14-30 days as the body heals & the cells start to produce their normal levels of energy again as ATP production returns to normal. However, for the remainder, up to 30%, of concussion patients, symptoms hang around for much longer; months or sometimes even years. This is known as Post Concussion Symptoms (PCS).
How do we minimise & mitigate PCS?
There are many factors to investigate that could be resulting in your ongoing symptoms;
Blood flow restrictions
Cervical neck dysfunction / Whiplash
Autonomic nervous system dysfunction
Inflammation in the body caused by poor diet, stress and hormone imbalances
Vestibular and/or Visual dysfunction
Chances are, your doctor told you to go home and rest. While this is fine for the first 7 days, it’s actually detrimental in the long run. You need to be proactive about your recovery and look at ways to help the body & brain to heal. This could be through a variety of techniques including the below;
Exercise - in a managed & progressive way with someone trained in returning to exercise/sport following a concussion
Reducing inflammation in the body - dietary adjustments, gut health & hormone balancing
Regulating your nervous system - stress management techniques, mindfulness, mindset
Rehabilitation - working with appropriate rehab professionals to address any vestibular, visual and cervical spine issues. Eg. physiotherapist, chiropractor, massage therapist - find ones who have specific training or experience in treating concussion/whiplash.
Addressing the psychological impact. Often overlooked but highly important and key to returning to your pre-injury self. Working alongside a psychologist, counselor, therapist.
Most people don’t realise that all of these factors play a role in your PCS.
Every PCS case is different and what impacts one person will be different for the next.
So where do I start?
It’s important to do as much as you can to let the body heal itself, it’s what it’s designed to do but we have to give it the right environment for this to happen otherwise you’ll go round in circles and keep experiencing your symptoms for even longer.
Starting with reducing inflammation in the body, a managed return or introduction to exercise and rebalancing the nervous system are the key areas.
These are all things I can help you with. I’d love to guide you through the very same issues that I, myself, have faced. I know and understand how important each of these steps are and how much of a difference you feel in your body, both physically & mentally, when you’re doing the right things for your recovery.
You’ll see and feel results happening so quickly when we find the right formula for you. It’s a lock and key effect. You have to work on one part to unlock it before the next part will be of any benefit. For example, you may have been working on the rehab side without addressing the inflammation. In order for the rehab treatments to be successful, the inflammation has to be reduced first. Makes sense when you think about how the body heals, right?
If this is resonating with you, if you’re in a similar situation and don’t know where to start or if you know someone who is struggling with ongoing PCS, let me help take the guesswork out of the recovery process and help speed up healing. With my background & qualifications in Sports Therapy & Health & Nutrition Coaching alongside my own personal experience with concussion & PCS, I have an abundance of knowledge and guidance that I can coach you through in manageable and easy steps.
Book in for your FREE connection call with me and we can discuss options of how I can help you on your journey to getting your pre-injury life back.