Concussions are a common occurrence following a motor vehicle accident. A concussion is a mild traumatic brain injury (TBI) that often results from trauma or a blow to the head. Concussions can also result from having the head and upper body violent shaken, similar to how a whiplash injury develops during a motor vehicle accident. Many people associate concussions with football games, and other sporting events, but they can also result from car accidents and falls.

Most concussions do not require the individual to lose consciousness, though loss of consciousness can result from the injury to the brain. Most concussions are mild, meaning that conservative care can be performed to help the patient, though the symptoms and effects on daily activities can significantly affect an individual’s quality of life.

The symptoms associated with a concussion can seem sporadic, and may not develop immediately after injuring the brain. A few symptoms that are typically seen immediately after a head injury include:

  • Loss of consciousness
  • Vacant stare or delayed responses
  • Slurred speech
  • Lack of Coordination
  • Disorientation
  • Emotional reactions out of proportion
  • Memory problems

In some situations, the following symptoms can develop a few days after the initial injury:

  • Chronic headache
  • Dizziness
  • Poor concentration
  • Memory problems
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Easily fatigued
  • Irritability
  • Bright light and loud noise intolerance
  • Anxiety and depression
  • Disrupted sleep

Unfortunately, many medical professionals miss the signs of concussion, or in some situations, dismiss them all together. Discussing these potential concussion symptoms with a trained professional in order to ensure optimal recovery.  Visiting an emergency room or urgent care center after an accident is appropriate in order to rule out the need for emergency medical services. X-rays, MRIs, CT scans and other diagnostic services help to ensure there are not any life threatening issues related to the accident. Concussion is not identifiable through these diagnostic tests.

Dr. Reece Hayden reviewing a cervical (neck) x-ray.

Following an accident, the human brain goes into a hyper-metabolic state in an attempt to protect itself. An increased uptake of glucose masks many symptoms that can worsen over time. Some symptoms may not even appear for hours or days. Some cases have gone weeks undiagnosed because the people physically looked fine. The only noticeable signs were a change in behavior.
When patients present to a doctor’s office following a motor vehicle accident, concussions are often missed because the doctor is focused on the obvious injuries like broken bones and soft tissue injuries. It is possible that those who suffered a brain injury will not be referred to a specialist for months following the incident.

If you, or someone you care about, has been in a motor vehicle accident and are experiencing any of these signs and symptoms of a concussion, then a doctor’s visit is warranted. At Synergy Chiropractic of Houston, our patients receive a complete physical and neurological evaluation that assesses every major nerve in the body, including cranial nerves in order to identify possible concussions. If we discover signs of a concussion or another type of brain injury, we do our best to get you the best help possible as soon a possible, whether it is in our office or not.

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