Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBIs) are caused by a blow to the head that can happen during a car accident, sports injury, fall or assault. They range from mild concussions with symptoms lasting from 5 to 15 minutes to severe brain injuries with lasting and permanent consequences.
Symptoms can include:
- confusion and disorientation
- loss of consciousness ranging from slight drowsiness to complete coma
- memory loss of what happened during and after the injury
- headaches and ringing in the ears
- difficulty concentrating and irritability
- sensitivity to noise, lights and other stimuli
- sleep disturbance and fatigue
- blurred vision, nausea, vomiting
What happens in the brain
During a brain injury, there is usually a shock to the brain tissue at the site of the blow to the head. However, because the brain is a very soft organ that sits inside a solid chamber, the original blow will often knock the brain against the opposite side of the head, creating a counter-shock and another injury. The brain is injured both by the direct trauma it sustains as it is thrown against the skull and by the shearing forces inside the brain that result from the violent motion. These shearing and twisting motions can tear the nerve fibers inside the brain, causing bruising and bleeding. This is called diffuse axonal injury, and can happen inside the brain at multiple locations at once. The tissues then react to the injury by creating inflammation to repair themselves. However, if the inflammation is extensive, it can cause the brain to become compressed against the inside of the skull, creating an additional injury called secondary brain injury.
For mild concussions, the usual treatment is rest and over the counter medications to control the headache. Ice can be applied to the head to control the swelling and it is also a good idea for someone to closely monitor you for 48 hours in order to watch for worsening symptoms. Emergency hospital care is needed for moderate to severe injuries or if your symptoms keep worsening after a mild concussion. Some patients will need to undergo formal rehabilitation with a multi-disciplinary team which may include physiatrists, physiotherapists, occupational therapists, psychologists and other professionals.
What we can do at Rideau Physiotherapy & Homeopathy
Although conventional treatment is important in any brain injury, natural medicine and especially homeopathy can provide something that conventional treatments often cannot: a boost to your inner vitality and energy that will increase your body’s ability to heal from within. Our body’s innate capacity to heal can be greatly enhanced with homeopathic medicines and this can have a major impact on how and when a patient recovers from a brain injury or concussion. We have observed in our patients that the right homeopathic remedy has often been the decisive factor in their recovery. While they were slowly improving under conventional medical care, the speed of their recovery was greatly increased once they started concurrent and complementary care with our homeopathy specialists.
For brain injuries, certain homeopathic remedies like Arnica Montana are mainstays of treatment and can be effective immediately following the injury. You can visit us at our Walk-in Clinic to receive immediate treatment after a concussion with one of the emergency homeopathic remedies. However, we have noticed that we obtain the best results with our brain injury and concussion patients when we see them for full examinations and in-depth treatment. The full initial assessment in homeopathy lasts 2 hours and will explore your symptoms in greater detail, providing a more in-depth and individualized treatment that will boost your body’s inner ability to heal.
Why some people get multiple concussions
For people that seem to get multiple concussions, it is important to realize that any injury or disease has 2 main components: the outside trigger and the inner susceptibility. The outside trigger is an environmental cause such as the actual blow to the head in the case of brain injuries or a virus in the case of an infection. However, what is often forgotten is that there is also an inner cause which plays a major role in any disease. In the case of brain injuries, the inner cause has to do with the susceptibility or sensitivity of the brain to being injured. The inner cause can readily be observed when we see that some people easily get multiple concussions while others who receive similar blows in sports rarely suffer from concussion symptoms. The reason for this is that each of us has a certain level of susceptibility in each part of our body. Some people have a strong susceptibility or predisposition to arthritis and so they get arthritis very easily although they do not do many activities that can damage their joints. It is the same for the sensitivity of the brain tissues. The nervous system and brain tissue in some individuals will be particularly sensitive to injury, and this will make them more prone to concussions.
For these people, homeopathy offers a unique chance at healing. Because homeopathy treats the person as a whole, it increases the patient’s vitality and energy in such a way that tissues which previously did not have the strength to heal can now start to do so. Also, over time, homeopathy changes the susceptibility and sensitivity of tissues within the patients so that areas of the body that were previously very susceptible to being injured develop a stronger resilience and resistance to injury. In addition, it is now understood in medicine that the deeper periods of sleep play a major role in eliminating toxins from the brain and improving brain function. Since homeopathic treatment often improves the depth and quality of sleep, this becomes another mechanism whereby it enhances the brain’s ability to regenerate and heal from injuries.
Also, in addition to homeopathic treatment, we can also offer you nutritional counselling to help support your healing process and bring you closer to your goal of returning to your normal life. Please feel free to contact us for more information on our Brain Injury Program.
Information Booklets on concussions in adults and children from the Ontario Brain Injury Association.
Resources in Ottawa
- The Vista Centre: http://www.vistacentre.ca
- The Brain Injury Association of the Ottawa Valley: http://biaov.org
Magee, David J., Orthopedic Physical Assessment, 3rd Edition, Philadelphia: W. B. Saunders Company, 1997 .
Morrison, Roger, Desktop Companion to Physical Pathology, First Edition, Nevada City, California, United States: Hahnemann Clinic Publishing, 1998.
Concussion – Treatment, In NHS Choices, UK, Retrieved 22 August 2015 from http://www.nhs.uk/Conditions/Concussion/Pages/Treatment.aspx
Traumatic Brain Injury, In The Mayo Clinic, Retrieved 22 August 2015 from http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/traumatic-brain-injury/basics/treatment/con-20029302
Traumatic Brain Injury, In Mayfield Brain and Spine, Retrieved 22 August 2015 from http://www.mayfieldclinic.com/PE-TBI.htm