Two Fridays ago I was a driving home from my sisters after having dinner with her and her fiancé. As I was headed back into Minneapolis on I-94 eastbound my car was hit by a drunk driver. The driver was estimated to be going somewhere around 90 MPH when he hit the rear end of my vehicle. The collision caused my car to spin out and hit the center median. The rest of the crash is somewhat blurry, but I do remember walking out the vehicle once it came to a halt and scanning my body for any injuries. To my surprise, I stepped out almost completely unscratched. I am truly grateful and still amazed that I wasn't more seriously injured from the crash.
However, as the adrenaline in my system began to dissipate, I was quickly able to detect the signs and symptoms of a concussion. A pounding headache, confusion, brain fog, and sleepiness set in the over the night and into the next morning. These are classic symptoms of post- concussion syndrome. Other symptoms to look out for are dizziness, trouble concentrating, personality changes, and sensitivity to light and sound. If you suspect you have a concussion and have any of these symptoms, you should first go to your doctor to make sure there isn't something more serious going on like a bleed inside your skull.
Over the course of the next 5 days I was able to completely knock out any signs or symptoms of post concussion syndrome by doing a few very important things that should be done after every concussion.
My supplementation focus was to supply my brain with the essential nutrients it needs to repair neurons as well as decrease any inflammation and free radicals. I took 6g of EPA-DHA fish oil every day, which are essential fatty acids used for neuron growth. In addition, I took 500mg of glutathione, 500mg of N-Acetycysteine, and 1000mg of vitamin C daily. All three of these are powerful antioxidants, glutathione being especially potent in the brain.
After a concussion it’s recommended that you follow a diet that decreases inflammation as well as supplies your body with lots of healthy fats and antioxidants. Eating this type of diet puts your brain in a healing state. I ate mostly keto for the first 5 days after my concussion, meaning only 10% of calories were carbohydrates, the rest being fat and protein. It's also recommended to avoid caffeine and alcohol as these can also put extra stress on the brain.
It's very important to avoid any strenuous physical or mental activity for the first 5-7 days after a concussion in order to allow the brain to heal effectively. Getting adequate sleep (8-9 hours) and taking naps throughout the day are also crucial for recovery. It’s also recommended that you avoid lighted screens after a concussion. If you must use your phone, be sure to put it on night shift mode in order to avoid excessive blue light exposure.
The first thing I did the morning after I my accident was go get adjusted by Dr. Erin. To no surprise, her main findings were in my neck and cranial bones. By making adjustments to these areas, it helped taken tension off of the brain and spinal cord, lowering inflammation and allowing the nerves to heal faster. Getting adjusted after my concussion was a crucial step in my recovery process.
By implementing all of these strategies listed above, I was back to 100% after just 5 days. Because of how delicate our neurological tissues are, I cannot stress how important it is to take the proper action after a concussion. Ignoring concussion symptoms and not treating it with the proper supplements, diet, activity, and chiropractic work can lead to permanent neurological symptoms down the road.