Crosby Issue “Not a concussion”??

The most scrutinized concussion of all-time has now evolved into something completely different.  With this new information how many people will be rushing out to spinal trauma experts to find out if they are dealing with this “soft tissue” injury?  If nothing else this has provided some hope for Sidney Crosby, especially after it was again confirmed that he did not have any evidence of a neck fracture;

“There’s a pretty big possibility that I could be causing some of the issues and I hope that’s the case,” Crosby said. “I hope that it’ll improve and that’s hopefully the end of it.”

BE CAREFUL, although his team of experts have now ‘discovered’ this issue (can someone provide us with specifics including an actual diagnosis) Sidney Crosby did/still has a brain injury.

With this injury to the neck it is a wonder that Ted Carrick, the renowned chiropractor, missed this or missed even alleviating some of the issues that come along with this treatable injury.

All of that said, I don’t think I have been exposed to this soft tissue injury before.  Perhaps it is because that I have had very, very few individuals complain of neck pain after a concussion.  Granted I have only dealt with two concussions that have lasted longer than 5 months.  If anyone has a clue as to what structures are actually involved in this injury that “mimics a concussion” please let us know via the comments or by email.

I am fearful that because this is not a well-known ailment and that the most publicized concussion in sports history is now “not a concussion” this will lead to confusion and more ways the adolescent, parent and athlete to once again down-play and avoid the true brain injury.

The skeptic in me has these initial thoughts;

  • Residual neck issues are always an issue with contact sports
  • I have never heard of this specific of a reason for “concussion-like symptoms”
  • The medical teams are now looking for a reason to have such “cls”
  • This will be used as an excuse to play through brain injuries
  • Why did a chiropractor miss this?

End my skepticism help all of us out…


7 thoughts on “Crosby Issue “Not a concussion”??

  1. Sens Fan February 1, 2012 / 08:08

    To be fair, they re-iterated that he did have a concussion, so it isn’t like they are blaming all of the problem on this “new” discovery. .I would also add that Crosby has had a really, really long lasting post concussion symptoms for a non-loss of consciousness, or even bambi legged incident, so the idea that something else has contributed to the problem in this case doesn’t seem far fetched to me.

  2. Kylie Farmer CAT(C) February 1, 2012 / 10:05

    How can this be deemed “not a concussion” but a “soft-tissue neck injury”?! I am appalled. There is no doubt that this could be in fact both a concussion and a soft-tissue neck injury. I was always taught that when assessing a neck injury to screen for a concussion and vice versa! It is simple physics/biomechanics. When your head receives a powerful blow, your neck muscles (and other soft tissues) are contracting in attempt to control the movement of your head. During a violent movement a whiplash mechanism or other strain/sprain to this soft-tissue is usually unavoidable. Soft-tissue treatment for a concussion usually, as I have learned include the neck due to associated injuries.

    Has Sidney Crosby not been screened and reassessed for his concussion symptoms including diagnostic imagining over the past year?! The fact that this is now a soft-tissue injury implies that the past year’s worth of testing he has undergone have all been false positive tests.

    This is terribly disturbing as noted in this blog as it deducts from the seriousness of concussions. Educating the public on the link between a concussion and associated neck injuries that may or may/not be present would be the proper thing for this Chiropractor to do. If you watch the Crosby hit, it seems obvious to me that it is most like Crosby has suffered both a concussion and soft-tissue injury.

  3. Dustin Fink February 1, 2012 / 13:06

    Agreed on both above comments…

    However as Kylie has noted you can have BOTH a concussion and a neck injury, they are independent of one another, but can compile on each other. The brain injury can mask the neck issue until later…

    I am very skeptical that a neck injury can cause concussion symptoms, other than a headache (tension variety) and tingling in upper extremity (like a stinger). Neither of those two are even symptoms that would automatically define the injury as a concussion, its a complex of symptoms…

    Am I missing something here? Can this neck injury cause congnitive issues? Can it cause balance disturbance? Can it cause sleep disturbance? Can it cause emotional instability?

    I am confused and a bit alarmed at this issue…

    • Sens Fan February 1, 2012 / 17:00

      If we look at the Crosby case, it isn’t clear that the second event (i.e., what stopped his return) that he had cognitive issues, balance disruption, or sleep disturbances. He certainly had these sorts of symptoms back in January 2011, but the symptoms after he stopped his return were much more mysterious. After suffering the first concussion, he may have interpreted a headache (didn’t feel quite right) with a concussion.

      • Joe Bloggs February 2, 2012 / 06:45

        It would be useful for the Health Canada to release the cases on the NHL players treated in Canada for inspection. The NHL should request players treated in the US do the same.

        It would also be useful understand the mechanics that cause the injury? How does neck strengh play into the injury? Is it unqiue to hockey or would one see it in other sports?

        It seems odd that these injuries are missed for over a year in seperate cases by multiple unrelated medical teams. Given the economic value of Crosby and numerous players reporting head and neck injuries (granted some reported as comorbid) this year in the NHL and the league’s unwillingness to recognize the seriousness of concussion in isolation, the league needs do illustrate the nature of the injury and means of diagnosis.

  4. brokenbrilliant February 6, 2012 / 18:48

    Seems to me, the news about this is missing a word “only”. As in, Croby’s issue not ONLY a concussion. The thing that makes me nuts about brain injury reportage is that people will swing from one extreme to the other. It’s EITHER TBI *OR* PTSD. It’s EITHER Concussion *OR* soft tissue damage. It’s EITHER “brain damage” *OR* treatable soft tissue injury in the neck – as though a brain injury were not at all treatable.

    Please. I’m starting to feel tense.

    What so many people miss is that it’s complicated – and it’s all interconnected. Can’t tell you how many people have dismissed my post-concussive/mild TBI symptoms as “traumatic residue” from an eventful childhood. Okay, and that would explain it all, right? Honestly… I just don’t know what to say to people about that. Or, now that some folks know about my post-concussive issues, all of a sudden, I’m brain damaged and need to be handled with kid gloves… instead of just being someone who needs more rest and quality sleep than some to get by.

    Oh, heck, maybe I’ll just start telling people I sustained soft tissue damage to my neck, and then they’ll start treating me like a human being again. I’m only being partly facetious.

    Now,for the record, Dustin, balance issues can actually do a number on you emotionally and behaviorally. Until I cut out dairy (which drastically reduced my vertigo), I was a real bear to deal with – especially when I was tired or under stress and strain. There’s nothing like the constant sense that you’re going to tip over, to set you on edge and make you snap. So, I can sort of see where they’re coming from with that.

    But that doesn’t make it okay for the press to seemingly dismiss the fact that Crosby sustained concussions, and that he’s got to deal with those after-effects, as well. And it doesn’t make me feel any better, to think that lots of people out there might now shrug their shoulders at the impact that concussion has on athletes — and look for other things to blame, so they can get players back on the ice/field/court/pitch as quickly as possible.

    The simple fact is, everything is connected, the brain craves energy and rest, and when you’re stressed with physical ailments, that cuts into your cognitive reserves, which ends up draining and frying your system. Crosby’s concussion symptoms might have been exacerbated by his neck injury – I can see how that could easily happen. And when you’re working overtime trying to compensate for physical problems, there’s less energy to heal up and build those neural pathways you need to create/restore. The problems feed into each other, so the neck injury business could be easily tied to the severity of his PCS symptoms. I’m not saying they’re the sole reason – but they could be a contributing factor, which — if handled — could help relieve some of the stress-related residual complications that have laid him low.

    It’s almost like the opposite of what often happens — especially with car accidents — people see physical injury, and they think that’s the thing that needs to be treated. Whereas with Crosby, people saw concussion and focused on that. I think it can cut both ways, and everything needs to be diagnosed and addressed, hopefully for the benefit of those who need it.

    Bottom line is, concussions and related injuries can be tricky. And it can be hard to know how best to handle them. We’re all learning – often as we go. The worst thing that could possibly happen is for Crosby’s situation to be dismissed as a mis-diagnosed/blown-out-of-proportion soft tissue injury, and the crowd just moves on to other more interesting things, leaving Crosby to tough it out… and possibly do more damage to himself.

    As the “fans” yell for blood.

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