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The connection between post concussion symptoms and neck injury


I have been managing head trauma for many patients over many years.  Having come from a contact sport background (rugby and hockey), I’ve personally experienced many concussions.

I’ve had the headaches, the blurred vision and also some pretty serious neck pain.  There were times when everything white would change to green, and a few times I woke up after the injury uncertain exactly what happened.

However, one of the few things I have not experienced from all the concussions are long lasting symptoms (fingers crossed) from the head trauma.  At least not from a typical post concussion sequelae of events such as a headache or migraines that start after the trauma and continue for weeks or months (sometimes with no end in sight).

These days, I’m very interested in why.  I’m curious to know, what happened during that one particular injury to create such devastating long-term effects when others experience no post concussion symptoms?


My perspective is focused at the head and neck and how direct head trauma, or a whipping of the neck can create a neck injury that remains after the concussion.  Neck injuries alter many of the neurological pathways as well as disturb the flow of fluids in and out of the head, creating a pressure environment in the head. Symptoms can be very similar to the initial concussion, and because the neck injury is not addressed, these symptoms continue.

Injuries to the head and neck create symptoms, but the confusion with post concussion situations is that when enough time has passed for the brain to heal, and sensitive medical imaging used to view the brain (CT, MRI) show that there is no damage, symptoms continue.

Neck injuries are not viewed on this type of imaging, and therefore not being talked about.

If symptoms are lingering longer than a few months or there is reoccurring symptoms over the initial three to four months, it is worth taking a look at the neck to determine if this type of injury has occurred.  This is our focus at UC Life Chiropractic Centre. Correct the neck injury and get the structural positioning back to balance.

We offer a free consultation to determine if NUCCA Chiropractic care is a good fit for you.  I look forward to discussion.

Dr. Matthew Kittleson

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