SJ presented to an ASM® office 2 years after suffering multiple concussions, one resulting in a perforated ear drum, in her mid 20s. Her main complaint was acute light sensitivity compromising every part of her life. She was experiencing cognitive decline, slower mental processing, had trouble following conversation, and wasn’t as eloquent as she had once been. She could drive but it was an effort, and couldn’t drive for more than 15 minutes. Images passing by bothered her and made her woozy. She had intense discomfort behind her eyes and fatigued quickly while reading. She was having trouble keeping a job due to her intolerance of any overhead light.
When treating concussions with ASM, we start with the triad of equilibrium. Any blow to the head that is forceful enough to cause a concussion is sure to cause a whiplash injury to the neck. This is the injury we treat. Once the neck muscles begin to function in a more biomechanically organized way, the brain is more able to integrate different types of sensory data. Quite suddenly, processing auditory information (like following a conversation) can become easier simply because the biomechanical information coming from the neck muscles is more organized. It’s like tuning a radio signal. If you are trying to listen to the news in the midst of a bunch of static, it is a big effort and you strain to catch the words. If the signal is clear, you can relax and maybe even do something else at the same time.
SJ made a remarkable recovery. She was motivated and dedicated to doing whatever she needed to do to get better. She can now drive long distances and work full time. To celebrate she took a long postponed overseas trip, something she wasn’t sure she would ever be able to do.