Concussions & Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBI)
Currently untreated brain injuries is an epidemic in America, the symptoms are sometimes not even recognized by physicians. Traumatic brain injuries may be described as an injury to the brain, traumatic brain injury, head trauma, head injury, neurological injury or neurological insult. No matter what the term, it it is estimated 30-40 million working aged Americans are living with an untreated brain injury. The CDC reports 1.7 million new injuries occur each year with an estimated 50,000 die as a result. Please understand that traumatic brain injuries can manifest in physical, behavioral and have cognitive consequences if left untreated.
Recent statistics demonstrate that over a lifetime, those with an untreated brain injury will incur income loss of 50%. 45% will be unemployed within 2 years of their injury. 33% will develop “Anger Management Issues”. The divorce rate for concussion patients is significantly higher than the national average. And a stunning percentage of 57% will suffer co-morbid depression. Of the incarceration population of this country, a reporting by inmates demonstrates a 61% have had an untreated brain injury. A vast majority of mental illness can be traced to a brain insult. Sobering statistics!
Rapid acceleration or deceleration of brain tissue within the skull causes brain tissue to change shape, stretch,shear or tear & damage brain cells & the brain cell connections. Just a few years ago, athletes were encouraged to "shake it off" & “tough it out”, that was just a small bell ringer. Thanks to recent research, we now know that concussions even mild concussions are serious, & shrugging them off can have serious lifetime & life changing consequences.
Athletes in any contact sport, at any age are vulnerable to collisions that can damage the delicate brain tissue. These invisible wounds if left untreated can have life changing consequences. It is sometimes difficult to manage & treat an injury you can’t see. The majority of local hospitals have established concussion clinics, often without an effective management. If your athlete has been in a concussion management program more than 3 months with no changes, you may need to seek another form of treatment. The concussion patient will describe that they feel they are in a mental fog, they feel confused, dazed & short term memory is disrupted, grades begin to decline, the anger issues grow out of control.
Physical consequences include: the loss of motor control, the possibility of seizures, sensory problems, impaired alertness and fatigue, language disorders and regulatory disturbances.
Cognitive consequences may include: attention and concentration deficits, mental confusion, impaired planning ability, memory impairment, impaired communication skills, impaired abstract and judgement, and the lack of initiation.
Behavioral consequences may include: Excessive agitation, extreme emotional changes, impulsiveness and disinhibition, self-centeredness, and low self esteem.
Worldwide research has established Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy (HBOT) as a standard of care in treating concussions/traumatic brain injuries. We give the brain the oxygen it needs to heal itself. Within just a few treatments our patients report the mental fog lifting. The confusion & short term memory deficits begin to diminish. The anger management & acting out becomes more controlled. We treat concussions and traumatic brain injuries successfully in a shorter time frame while resolving a large portion of the patient’s symptoms. Recovery from a traumatic brain injury is a multi-disciplinary process, and must include physical therapy, occupational therapy and language therapy coupled with hyperbaric oxygen therapy.
Dr. Skaggs is a member of the International Hyperbaric Medical Association (IHMA) & was recently appointed to the Executive Board of Directors. This organization is on the cutting edge of research, establishing treatment & treatment protocols indications for treatment, while establishing safety for the public & the industry.
Please feel free to call our office if you have any questions.