Post-Concussion Syndrome; Real or Not?

Recently, I had someone state to me that post-concussion syndrome is bogus and used as a money making gimmick in the medical industry. Now, this was said by someone who reported having multiple concussions themselves and they have been able to return to work each time right away-hmmm… This individual also happens to have many health issues so I am unsure what to think, but hope each and every time they have had a concussion they were followed and cleared by a medical professional before returning to work.

So, I have done my due diligence and researched Post-Concussion Syndrome and from what I found online, and read in a book written by a doctor himself who suffered a concussion, it is a complex disorder that causes headaches, fatigue, irritability, problems with memory, insomnia, mood changes, trouble concentrating, balance issues, and more for weeks and months after the initial injury.

The part that is open to interpretation is how long one has symptoms before it is called Post-Concussion Syndrome. Some say a few weeks and others more than three months. Here in Quebec, Canada it must be over three months of symptoms and it is referred to as a TBI-traumatic brain injury.

According to Dr. Prin Amorapanth; Clinical Instructor of the Rusk Rehabiliation Centre at NYU in New York, “There’s no real consensus about how to make the diagnosis. It depends on the clinician.”

According to Dr. Andrew Gregory, associate professor of orthopaedics, neurosurgery, and paediatrics at the Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, there is no way to know how long the syndrome will take to resolve-it could be weeks or months.

What is agreed upon is Post-Concussion Syndrome is diagnosed after one suffers a TBI-traumatic brain injury or a concussion and has three or more of the following symptoms: headaches, dizziness, fatigue, irritability, problems with memory or concentration, insomnia, reduced tolerance for noise or light.

According to a study published in the Journal of Psychiatry Research, June 2017, there is a evidence that women report more post-concussion symptoms.

Further research: in general eat a healthy diet, exercise, practice a good sleeping routine, manage stress and resume activities as you are able, return to work and school as soon as you are able, but take breaks or extra time as needed.

According to the Mayo Clinic, post-concussion syndrome or symptoms is a complex disorder with various symptoms and they occur after a blow to the head. One does not have to lose consciousness to get a concussion and in fact the symptoms/syndrome does not appear to be associated with the severity of the initial injury. The more concussions one has, the more chance of symptoms though. This makes you wonder about an individual who has had several concussions.

I am followed by a family doctor and have seen a neurologist. I have had two scans of my head. I have regular physiotherapy appointments for my locked left shoulder joint and I have regular appointments with an osteopath who specializes in head trauma. I have regular massage therapy, and I have been referred to a rehabilitation program for head trauma and concussions-I would assume they all know what they are talking about.

My symptoms are real and it is hard to fake dizziness, nausea, headaches, fatigue, irritability, light and sound sensitivity and more on a regular basis. And I love my work so being off work for 4 months is not something I wanted at all, especially at 55% of my salary. I miss my colleagues and clients and look forward to returning.

I drink ginger tea and take ginger tablets for the nausea and dizziness. I take Motrin or Advil as needed for the shoulder pain and headaches. I wear sunglasses as needed. My screens are all set to ambient light setting and I have not watched regular television since before my fall on October 12th. If the headache is bad enough I lie down in a darkened room and listen to soothing music. Heat works wonders for the head and neck discomfort and pain along with the stiff muscles around the frozen shoulder joint.

Let me know your thoughts on this article. If you have anything constructive to add or have suffered from any of the symptoms mentioned above, let me know what you have done to relieve them that is different from what I have done. We learn best from each other.

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3 thoughts on “Post-Concussion Syndrome; Real or Not?

    1. mswwrites says:

      For me I found physiotherapy, osteopath, massage therapy, natural herbs, rest all helpful and beneficial along with Motrin or Advil for pain. Heat was amazing for my shoulder and neck.
      I have been given some eye exercises to assist with my concussion and my improved sleep has definitely made a difference.
      The lingering symptoms of light sensitivity can be helped with sunglasses and blue light glasses along with a hat. Continued eye exercises, ginger for dizziness or nausea, Motrin for pain and sleep.
      Thank you for the suggestion though!

  1. rginsberg2 says:

    Very thorough presentation of the involved issues. Maybe patience must be a very important underlying effort although tremendously frustrating!! — Sounds like you’re otherwise doing everything you can do to heal soon. We’re with you, Vikki, wishing & watching.

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