According to the Mayo Clinic, "Post-concussion syndrome is a complex disorder in which various symptoms — such as headaches and dizziness — last for weeks and sometimes months after the injury that caused the concussion. Concussion is a mild traumatic brain injury that usually happens after a blow to the head." When you get a concussion, you should always go to the doctor or the ER. Physicians may order imaging in order to rule out damage to the brain and its supporting tissues as a precaution. Clients should see a doctor before they come see me, as bodywork could possibly make things worse if there is moderate to severe damage to the tissues in the head or neck, that I am not trained to diagnose.
In medical studies, post-concussion syndrome patient have these symptoms in common:
Head/cervical pain (80%)
Difficulty with memory, learning, reading, and decision making (80%)
Sleep problems (60%)
Dizziness/balance problems (20%)
Digestive/elimination problems (10%).
Whiplash and concussion often go together as blunt force to the head also often involves whiplash to the neck and whiplash can also cause the brain to forcefully hit the skull even without an object to hit. To further complicate things, the symptoms of these two conditions are very similar but involve different treatments. When I work with someone with post-concussion I always check their neck first for this reason. Moderate to severe whiplash should always be evaluated by doctor and even with mild whiplash it is recommended, as there may be injuries to the neck that may be further damaged by bodywork. For example, I may not be able to feel an injured blood vessel that could be ruptured by manipulation.
Craniosacral Therapy is now being recognized as a leading treatment for post-concussion syndrome (and whiplash) when many other options have failed, as well as first line treament. Medical studies show significant improvement in many markers of concussion after 10 sessions, more than time would have affected:
Neck and head pain
Neck range of motion
Cases of concussion differ and the length and outcomes of treatment may differ, However, Craniosacral Thereapy can support most if not all clients experiencing PCS by very gently mobilizing the fascia and fluids that envelope the brain and spinal cord. For further explaination of the mechanics, see this study by Mariann Sisco presented to Upledger Institute.