What To Know About Concussions 

Dr. Josh has specialized training and knowledge of the stomatognathic system which refers to your mouth and jaw.  The stomatognathic system contains components of the bones of the skull, mandible, hyoid, clavicle, sternum, muscles and ligaments.  It also consists of the cranial-sacral primary respiratory mechanism.

Along with clearing chemical, physical and emotional aspects of health he is able to recommend specific vitamins and minerals to speed the healing process.

Treatment is performed with adjusting instruments along with hand adjusting.  Most cranial adjustments are painless with slight pressure being felt.  Pain along the sutures is common when there is a cranial misalignment, so resetting these joints can sometimes be tender.


The Nutritional Aspect

Nutrition is one of the most important aspects of brain health after a concussion.  Knowing this, and ingesting with the necessary foods, can have a positive impact on your recovery, however when you have a concussion, it’s not as simple as it sounds to feed your brain well.  Each aspect of the the brain has certain minerals and vitamins that are unique to that portion of the brain.   For instance, the frontal aspect or frontal lobe will need more vitamins for healing along with other specific minerals for complete recovery.

Foods recommended to stay away from

Gluten, Corn, Soy, Dairy, Cooked oils (anything fried), Sugar, Caffeine, Alcohol, Artificial colors and flavors.

Foods recommended for brain healing:

Organic butter, coconut oil,  organic blueberries, organic avocado, nuts and seeds, all the organic fruits and veggies you can eat as well as hydrating with spring water. 

The Emotional Aspect

Emotional and psychological aspects of a concussion can occur and are related to the area of the brain that was affected by the concussion. Responses to injury typically produce a sense of loss (loss of control, loss of skills, loss of normalcy), a sense of vulnerability or fear, and anxiety/worry. People often describe initial symptoms as “feeling off” or “not like myself”, which can be disconcerting.  In some instances, depressed mood or changes in behavior emerge as a direct result of the concussion in the acute recovery phase and can be related to fatigue.  Emotional and psychological responses play a crucial role in the recovery of a concussion. 


The Physical Aspect

When there is trauma or an impact to the head or neck resulting in a concussion it is vital that you have your entire structural system evaluated especially the cranium. One who has suffered a trauma to the head should be examined for cranial bone misalignment. Especially if the injured person begins to experience, what may seem as, unrelated health problems after a head injury. 

There are twenty-two bones in the cranium (not including the mandible or the ossicles of the ear). Eight of these bones completely encircle the brain. The bones meet at suture lines, complex joints that provide sliding between bones. At birth, the bones are not fully formed and are in fact quite far apart from one another. As the infant passes through the birth canal, the bones slide over one another and re-expand afterwards to resume their normal positions. This physiologic compressibility minimizes brain damage and allows for maximum brain capacity.

Throughout infancy the brain is constantly undulating and cerebral spinal fluid is constantly fluctuating. As the bones gradually grow to approximate one another they remain in constant motion. This movement keeps the sutures open. Just like any other joint, the sutures contain blood vessels, nerve fibers and connective tissue. The amount of movement between sutures is approximately 100ths of an inch. Dr. John Upledger and a team of researchers at Michigan State University proved this movement in the mid 1970s. 

The brain and spinal cord undulate rhythmically. As the brain coils and uncoils, the ventricles, cavities within the brain, and the cisterns, cavities around the brain, change shape. 

During the inhalation or flexion phase, the brain and the cranium get shorter and wider. During the exhalation or extension phase the brain and cranium get taller and narrower. As these shape changes take place, the cerebral spinal fluid fluctuates rhythmically. Cerebro-spinal fluid is considered to play a very potent nutritive role for all tissues of the body. 

The meninges, membranes that surround the brain and spinal cord, contain cerebro-spinal fluid. The outer most layer of the meninges is the toughest layer called the Dura Mater. The internal architecture of the Dura Mater is comprised of 3 sickles. The Falx Cerebri is the sickle that runs from back to front and separates the two cerebral hemispheres.

On either side of the falx cerebri are two other sickles called the tentorium cerebelli. They also run back to front but are almost parallel to the floor. The tentorium cerebelli gets its name from being “tent” shaped. The dura covering the outside of the brain then attaches firmly to the foramen magnum (large hole at the base of the skull) and the upper cervical vertebrae (bones of the upper neck), surrounds the spinal cord and descends to attach to the sacrum at the 2nd sacral segment.

These dural membranes are under constant tension. If you pull on one end of the membrane, the tension from the pull is transmitted throughout. When the head is traumatized and the cranial bones move from their proper alignment, the dural membranes may become twisted and compressed. This in turn puts unnecessary tension on certain areas of the brain depending on which cranial bone is affected. 

There are many causes of cranial dysfunction. Often it is due to a violent blow to the head as in a car accident or it can be subtler such as hitting your head on a cabinet. Even just the whipping of the head and neck during an auto accident can cause cranial dysfunction. Cranial problems can be a result of heading a soccer ball or repetitive impacts in football and other sports. Some people start life with cranial dysfunction due to a traumatic birth.

The skull is very flexible in a newborn and is subjected to compression and distortion during the birthing process. Usually the skull expands into normal movement after birth but sometimes it fails to regain proper movement. Symptoms develop early such as colic, ear infections, or immune problems. Sometimes symptoms will not be present until later in life when the cranial bones are fully developed.