What is Concussion?

It is important to understand “what is concussion”? It is also important to understand how your head and scalp protect the brain.
Your brain is protected by your scalp and the bones of the skull, and it is cushioned by layers of tissue and by the spinal fluid inside your skull.
If you get hit by a hard, sudden force or if you are shaken hard, your brain can bounce around inside. The impact of the hard bone of your skull can cause bruising in the brain and damage to nerve fibres and blood vessels.
But it is not like a bruise you can see, it is a trauma. Unnatural forces have been applied to the brain, nerves and blood vessels.
At a nerve cell level, this is the process your brain will go through, as explained in the research by David Hovda PHD, at ULCA

When there is a sufficient blow to the brain, the membranes of the affected nerve cells in the brain are stretched or twisted, allowing potassium to exit those cells, which triggers those cells to depolarize, thus the phenomenon of seeing stars if the affected area is involved with sight or ringing in the ears if the affected area is involved with hearing. The exit of potassium (K+) peaks approximately two minutes after the incident but continues for another 3-4 minutes.
Then, until the chemical balance is somewhat restored, those neurons (nerve cells) are unable to fire again. Furthermore, in a protective reflex of sorts, surrounding cells begin to shut down, a process Hovda calls “spreading depression.”
If enough cells become depressed, confusion, amnesia, and even loss of consciousness can result.
Meanwhile, in an attempt to recover, the brain starts using up massive amounts of blood sugar and will continue to do so for as long as 30 minutes. This overuse of this glucose results in the production of lactic acid which, in excess amounts, inhibits brain function.
A demand for glucose by the brain, such as when one is studying, logically causes an increase in blood flow to the brain. However for reasons not entirely clear, within two minutes of a concussion, the body decreases blood flow to the brain by up to 50 percent. This process continues unabated for 3-4 days but fully normal blood flow may not resume until an average of 10 days have passed. Consequently, at precisely the time the brain needs extra fuel to repair itself, it ends up getting less.
Meanwhile, the exit of potassium allows calcium to enter the neuron. And while the exit of potassium ceases in minutes, it takes the cell 2-4 days to rid itself of the energy-inhibiting calcium.
While the immediate chemical reaction of the brain to the concussion is brief and generally completed in 30 minutes, it takes days for the individual cell and the brain as a whole to restore that chemical balance which was lost so quickly. Until that balance is restored, the brain doesn’t work as well and is particularly vulnerable to re-injury.
Although not usually life-threatening, a concussion can have serious effects. Most people with mild injuries make a complete recovery, but it’s important to seek medical attention and to allow enough time for the healing process.

Sports activity is the most common cause of concussion or mild head trauma. This list shows the activities that cause the most mild head traumas.

 In New Zealand the statistics are as follows 

Drawn from ACC -accsportsmart-concussion-national-guidelines.pdf
Concussion is a serious injury that occurs frequently:
• There are an estimated 36,000 head injuries in New Zealand per year.[2]
• 21% (7,350 per year) of all head injuries in New Zealand are sustained through
sport related activity.[3] ACC only receive claims for 6,250 of those sports related
concussion injuries suggesting that 1,100 currently go untreated.
• Between 2009-2013 sports related concussion claims with ACC totalled
$76 million.
46% (3,381 per year) of sports head injuries are classified as ‘mild with a high risk
of complications’. Injuries are most frequently sustained during rugby, cycling and
equestrian activities.
• 11% of sports related concussion claimants had multiple concussions within a two-year period (2009-2013).
Evidence shows that with repeat concussion people may experience a decline in
general health and quality of life up to 10 years following injury.[4]  

The following sports and recreational activities result in the most head injuries treated in emergency rooms. They are in no specific order. Most of their respective organisations are proactive in raising concussion prevention and awareness.

• Bicycling (pleasure, road and mountain bike)
• Football- league, union, soccer and Australian rules (this includes rugby)
• Baseball and softball
• Basketball
• Water sports, such as diving, surfing, water skiing, and others
• Off-road sports on powered recreational vehicles such as ATVs and go-karts
• Soccer
• Skateboarding and scootering
• Accidents in gyms and health clubs
• Winter sports (skiing, sledding, snowboarding, snowmobiling, and others)
• Horse related activities

A large majority of the other 79 % of ACC in claims for concussion generally come from a fall, which is identified as 

• loss of balance or personal control
misjudgement of support
• slipping or skidding on foot
• something giving away underfoot
• tripping or stumbling

All concussion should be checked out by a medical professional such as a doctor. Time must be given for the brain to recover.

There has been a lot of research and, at International concussion conferences, there is now a lot of discussion about the fact that many concussion symptoms have been shown to be unaddressed neck injuries.
CranioSacral therapists know that many concussion symptoms all involve unaddressed jammed head or other bones or tissue. Bones and tissue can also twist, torque or shear as they try to accommodate the trauma. Sometimes this can be successful for months, years or decades, which is why some people only have deteriorating health later on, once this is no longer being accomodated. But other people just do not get better, with current practice. 
To us, CranioSacral therapy is the preferred and pre-eminent therapy above all the therapies to address neck, cranial bone, brain, nerve and membrane issues.
There are two ways you can go: wait to see if you ‘get better anyway’ or have some therapy now, as well as your mainstream therapy. Cranio compliments whatever else you have. Why wait?

There are two ways you can go: wait to see if you ‘get better anyway’ or have some therapy now, as well as your mainstream therapy. Cranio compliments whatever else you have. Why wait?


All Concussions Need Cranio – old, new or even concussions without symptoms. Your cranial bones will be jammed up or twisting.

“I cannot believe how relaxed my neck and shoulders feel…….” J