Most cases of concussion resolve spontaneously over time, we have had discussions on here that vary from 72 hours to 6 months or longer – however, people/researchers are trying to find a way to help along recovery. Most of this is an inexact science, to say the least, it is almost the ol’ adage of “throw crap on the wall and see if it sticks.”
Lindsay Barton wrote a great summation of current ideas for therapy for lingering effects of concussion, in some cases being classified as PCS, or post concussion syndrome, for Mom’s Team. I do like his list which includes;
- Craniosacral therapy
- Chiropractic Neurology
- Vestibular Rehabilitation
- “Buffalo Protocol”
- Epsom Salts
The first three are very “hands on” by a practitioner and may just alleviate the symptoms, making life generally better. If there is a neck or musculature etiology the first two would definitely be of great help. If there is an inner ear or balance issue the vestibular rehab would be a great avenue.
The third and fifth on Barton’s list is where a lot of people are putting their time. Just like the “American Way” we want a magic bullet to fix the issue and fast, however this has not been the case. Both Amantadine and Epsom salts have worked for people, but without clinical trials it is EXACTLY throwing crap at the wall. This approach may not be a bad idea, it only becomes an issue if there are side effects or unintended consequences of your crap throwing. We have used this approach for our Omega 3/Fish Oil and Reversitol regimen for concussions (with full parent consent mind you).
As for the “Buffalo Protocol” it is actually sound advice and not nearly as controversial as people make it out to be. If after an event you are symptom free why not try to get back into the “saddle” once again. What makes theirs more palatable and effective is that there is a team of people monitoring each individual. This protocol may work in colleges and pros, but it is less likely to work in younger ages because of the lack of resources/time.
The general take on this information is: It is good to know that some things show effectiveness. However, just like we harp on the neurocognitive testing, each individual is different, and each recovery approach must be tailored to each situation. I still believe that no matter the individual removal from all physical and cognitive activity is the best idea, for s certain amount of time.