If you have played any sports, there is a good chance you may have suffered from a mild concussion. While one mild concussion might not be too devastating to the brain, repeated injuries are where the concerns happen.
When you receive one mild concussion, naturally your body should be able to fully heal within 3 months. But, this timeline can change depending on your diet, external stimuli, and how quickly you go back to the sport.
You see, the traditional concussion protocols have you rest for about 1-2 weeks, until symptoms disappear. Some symptoms, such as dizziness and headaches, can go away pretty quickly. This can give a false sense of being “in the clear”.
But there are a lot of other systems in the body impacted by head trauma, and while some symptoms seem to get better, what's happening in the body can be a whole different story.
What Happens to the Body When a Brain Injury Occurs
When the brain initially gets injured, inflammation occurs to try and clear out anything that can harm the brain.
This inflammation opens up the blood-brain barrier, which in turn also opens up the gut barrier. While both of these are open, the immune system is on high alert.
If the inflammation is still occurring, and you get hit again, this can cause the body to start attacking itself, similar to an autoimmune situation.
There can also be damage to the pituitary stalk, which can influence hormonal systems in the body.
In this podcast episode, Dr. Brandon Brock goes much more into detail about how these systems work. He also talks about how to support yourself so you don't get reoccurring inflammation.
» Why the current grading system for severity of concussions doesn't help the recovery process
» How a concussion impacts the way a brain functions, and how the rest of the body functions
» Ways to approach concussion protocols other than “just rest”
» How to better screen athletes and create risk factor levels so that athletes don't ruin their brain forever
Why Are We Passionate About Helping People Recover From Concussions?
Last fall, we drove out East to watch one of our clients play out their final collegiate football games. We hadn't made the trip out there before, and wanted to see him play in person.
When we watched the team run onto the field, we couldn't help but notice how bandaged up every player was.
You know the KT Tape that became a big deal a couple Olympics ago? Well it seemed like the team bought a lifetime supply because there was more tape and braces on all the players than anyone could have predicted.
While it's sad to see so many young athletes hurting that bad, we pushed it off because it was the end of the season and they would have plenty of time to recover.
Chatting with the team afterwards though made us realize that the injuries they have bandaged up are nothing compared to what's going on in their heads.
Almost every single player we talked to mentioned how much their heads hurt, how they can't wait for the season to be over so the headaches go away. How hard it is to focus because it feels like their skulls are going to split in half.
That's when I realized that we need to do better for these kids. I had heard Dr. Brandon Brock speak previously about how to help those who suffer from concussions, and knew that he would be a great guest to have on the podcast.
Dr. Brock did not disappoint. The current protocols have athletes rest for a week or two. Once their symptoms go away, then they are fine to play again.
Internally, your body says otherwise. Once the headaches stop, there is still a lot of healing left to go before you should play again. If you return too soon, then your body can switch into a constant inflammatory state within your brain.
- [2:50] Why Did Dr. Brandon Brock enter the world of Functional Neurology and how is it different then regular neurology
- [4:30] Why are concussions something you are so focused on
- [6:00] It is commonly thought that a concussion only comes from a direct hit to the head, however there are many more ways to get a concussion
- [7:45] Are helmets actually protecting the head from concussions if you can get a concussion without a blow to the head
- [10:15] Helmets provide a false sense of security that you are safe from brain damage. You must learn how to protect the head as an athlete
- [11:00] Are there different levels of severity when it comes to concussions
- [13:30] Almost all of athletic concussions would fall into the “mild category”, even if an athlete stumbles off the field and doesn't know where they are
- [14:45] What are some of the common symptoms that people experience initially from a concussion
- [17:00] When you are testing eye speed, are you able to see the reaction time in person, or do you use technology to test it
- [18:45] Can athletes water down their baseline assessments so it is harder to detect when they are having issues in a game
- [20:30] What actually happens to the brain when a concussion first happens
- [24:45] Inflammation still in the brain and then you get hit again, this can turn the inflammatory response on forever
- [26:15] What happens to hormonal pathways after receiving a concussion
- [28:45] Are there “phases of recovery” that athletes should follow before returning to play
- [30:15] When someone first gets a concussion, you want to treat them nutritionally first
- [33:30] Is it important to focus on the quality of the food that these people are ingesting
- [35:30] Do you also take a look at the micronutrients as well to make sure the body is utilizing vitamins and minerals correctly
- [37:45] What markers do you like to watch in the recovery process, and what tests do you run
- [40:15] Should we avoid screen time when recovering from a concussion
- [42:45] As kids get older, they are less likely to tell you their head hurts. As a practitioner, how can we better assess our athletes to protect them
- [46:45] Kids usually have poor diets, so how do you get them to eat a certain way for recovery
- [52:00] What should people be looking for in a practitioner to get a better sense of their overall brain condition
- [55:00] What do you notice cognitively when you don't get enough sleep
» You can view more lectures at Dr Brock Lectures
Learn More About Dr. Brandon Brock
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