Management of Mild Traumatic Brain Injury Symptoms in a 31-Year-Old Woman

Using Cervical Manipulation and Acupuncture: A Case Report

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SOURCE:   J Chiropractic Medicine 2015 (Sep); 14 (3): 220–224

Danielle M. Gergen, DC

Oxboro Family Chiropractic,
Bloomington, MN.

OBJECTIVE:   The objective was to describe chiropractic and acupuncture care of a patient with acute mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI) symptoms.

CLINICAL FEATURES:   A 31-year-old woman had acute neck pain, headache, dizziness, nausea, tinnitus, difficulty concentrating, and fatigue following a fall. She was diagnosed at an urgent care facility with mTBI immediately following the fall. Pharmaceutical intervention had been ineffective for her symptoms.

INTERVENTION AND OUTCOME:   The patient was treated with chiropractic adjustments characterized as high velocity, low amplitude thrusts directed to the cervical spine and local acupuncture points in the cervical and cranial regions. The patient received care for a total of 8 visits over 2.5 weeks with resolution of concussive symptoms.

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CONCLUSION:   This patient with mTBI responded favorably to a conservative treatment protocol with the combination of chiropractic and acupuncture care.

KEYWORDS:   Acupuncture points; Brain concussion; Brain injuries; Manipulation, chiropractic; Neck pain


From the FULL TEXT Article:


Mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI) has gained media attention over the effects of repetitive head injuries on brain development and health in both athletes and trauma patients. Approximately 75% of the 1.7 million brain injuries in the United States are classified as concussions or mTBI annually. [1] This figure reflects the sharp increase in mTBIs incidence from 521.0 reported injuries per 100,000 people to 823.7 per 100,00 from 2001 to 2010. [2] The mechanism of injury is largely attributed to local head trauma from biomechanical forces. [3] Currently, there is a large focus on a young, athletic population with injuries from contact sports, although the majority of mTBIs occur after traumatic falls and motor vehicle crashes. [4]

As a result of the trauma, current evidence suggests that there is a rapid hyperglycolosis in the neural tissue followed by a prolonged period of hypoglycolysis, altered permeability of the blood brain barrier, increased inflammation, and a rise in interleukin levels. [5] Symptoms arising from these cellular events include nausea, dizziness, headache, tinnitus, acute pain, and cognitive deficits. [6] Symptoms typically resolve over weeks to months, although 36% of patients diagnosed with mTBI continue to report persisting symptoms for 6 months or longer. [7] In addition, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that as many as 15% of patients with diagnosed mTBI experience persistent, disabling problems associated with concussive symptoms. [8]

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