While CranioSacral Therapy may be new to some, many sports medicine physicians regularly refer patients for CranioSacral Therapy to treat various symptoms caused by a concussion. Post concussive symptoms can include vertigo, headaches, musculoskeletal pain, cervicogenic issues (neck immobility and pain), vision & hearing challenges. CranioSacral therapy can effectively treat these symptoms with impressive results, sometimes immediately.
Studies identify dizziness as the number one predictor of a protracted recovery (over 21 days). Identifying the cause of dizziness is critical in determining the appropriate treatment. Our PT's and OT's are trained in vestibular and visual therapy as well as in manual techniques. Causes of dizziness and vertigo include: Problems with the inner ear caused by Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo (BPPV), Labyrinthine Concussion, or Perilymphatic Fistula. Other sources of dizziness can be caused by post traumatic migraines, brainstem concussions as well as ocular motor deficits, autonomic dysfunction and cervicogenic causes. CranioSacral Therapy, vestibular rehab and vision training can all be extremely beneficial in reducing symptoms caused by these conditions as well.
One of the most common causes of vertigo (spinning sensation) following concussion includes Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo (BPPV). BPPV is an inner ear mechanical problem which occurs when calcium carbonate crystals (otoconia) become dislodged from the utricle and migrate into one or more of the 3 fluid-filled semicircular canals (the canals in your ears that send messages about where your body is in space). When this occurs your brain receives the wrong messages about body position and the sensation of vertigo (spinning) occurs. Special positional tests like the Epley & Roll test are done to identify which semicircular canal the misplaced otoconia are in. Once the appropriate canal is identified, the appropriate maneuver can be done to get the crystals back to where they belong. When this is the case, the results often yield immediate relief following the treatment.
Common musculoskeletal problems that can occur, especially with a whiplash type injury, include: A stiff neck, tightness/spasm, limited mobility, pain and weakness. Manual therapy techniques including CranioSacral Therapy yield dramatic results and relief in the wide array of symptoms that can occur from dysfunction in this area. Symptoms that can be caused by cervicogenic conditions include headaches, dizziness, disequilibrium, foggy thinking, sleep disturbances, limited mobility (stiff neck), pain and discomfort.
CranioSacral therapy is a non-invasive, hands-on therapeutic technique used to relieve pain, tension, and body dysfunction, while improving whole body health and performance. With concussions, it is used to calm down and alleviate debilitating symptoms so that the person feels better right away and can engage more actively in their rehab program. CranioSacral Therapy decreases symptoms ranging from headaches and migraines to cervicogenic misalignment, physical pain, fuzzy thinking, blurred vision, dizziness, distractibility, intolerance of sensory stimuli and poor sleep.
In 2008, Spect Scans that monitor blood flow and metabolic activity, were used at the Amen clinic in California to analyze the effect of manual therapy. The experiments demonstrated that manual therapy, which addresses the deeper fascial tissues of the body, had a positive effect on the brain blood flow & metabolic patterns (oxygen & glucose) of the brain.
In 2015 and 2016, the Upledger Institute & Ricki Williams Foundation sponsored several pilot projects examining the effects of manual therapy on post concussive symptoms of ex professional football players. All of the players demonstrated excellent gains in function and reduction of distressing and debilitating symptoms. Both programs yielded dramatic results and have paved the way for further research of people affected by multiple concussive injuries.