Concussions: Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment

By James Beauchamp, D.C. Motor vehicle accidents and falls are the number one cause of concussion in adults (1).  There is frequent confusion about the etiology of headaches after trauma, however.  While concussion is almost invariably associated with headaches, neck injuries after whiplash have a prevalence of associated headache symptomatology of 53%, vs. 1 – 4% in the general population (2.)  I am going to explain how concussion and cervical headaches occur, describe their symptoms and the medical tests available to document these injuries, and review a reasonable course of treatment that will bring the patient to maximum medical improvement, if not full recovery. A concussion injury arises when the brain is subject to forces of anywhere from 60G (G = acceleration of gravity) to 160G.  This force stretches brain cells, damaging their cell walls and causing a biochemical cascade that is believed to cause concussions distinctive symptoms. These symptoms may or may not include a loss of consciousness, a single seizure, nausea, vomiting, dizziness, sensitivity to light and noise, memory and concentration problems, confusion and drowsiness, among others (3).   These symptoms are most prominent for the first few days and weeks following the injury (4).  Interestingly, the cause of […]

Concussions: Protection and Prevention

By James Beauchamp, D.C. The odds of fully recovering from a single concussion, while not 100 percent, are fairly decent.  If you get a second concussion while still recovering from the first though, those odds drop and you are even more likely to experience long term, perhaps even permanent residual damage.  There are times, however, when the brain is routinely exposed to one of the worst possible scenarios: frequent, repetitive subconcussive hits (resulting in mild traumatic brain injury, or mTBI) over a protracted period of time.  This is common in many sports, most notably football.  In the course of a single season, football players may experience thousands of such hits.  Chronically repeated mTBI causes a progressive degeneration of neurological function over time, eventually leading to Alzheimer and Parkinsonian-like diseases, dementia, social difficulties, emotional and motor control problems.  This is referred to as chronic traumatic encephalopathy, or CTE.  It has come to national attention because of its very public exposure through professional football. What does CTE look like in real life?  Imagine a hypothetical pro-football player. He is six foot three inches in height, 260 pounds, and a virtual human hurricane.  Inured to pain, he trains brutally hard, pushing himself past […]

Factors that Increase Healing Time in Injuries

By James Beauchamp, D.C. Why do people with similar injuries sometimes heal at different rates?  There are several factors that can lead to prolonged healing times.  Medical conditions, physical conditioning, prior injuries and age are all relevant factors in assessing normal recovery time from a musculoskeletal injury.  Other factors may include anything from improper post-injury management, premature increases in activity, or re-injury. I will not delve into smoking here, but it is an important consideration for active smokers. Pre-Existing Factors The physical capacity to recover from trauma varies between individuals.  For example, people heal slower as they get older compared to when they were younger.  So the time frame for healing in an elderly car accident or slip and fall victim is correspondingly greater than that of a sixteen year old.  Osteoarthritis is also a factor in extending healing times after injury to a joint.  While it is more common to see osteoarthritis in the elderly, it is often first detected incidentally in the 30’s and 40’s after x-rays are obtained because of an unrelated injury.  A combination of arthritis, disc deterioration and spinal stenosis in a middle aged person is a common problem that can not only extend healing […]

Dr. Jonathan Dunn Named Head Team Physician for Baltimore Bohemians

Dr. Jonathan Dunn of Multi-Specialty HealthCare (MSHC) has been named Head Team Physician for the Baltimore Bohemians, a professional men’s soccer team that competes in the premier development league, Maryland’s highest level of outdoor soccer. As the team orthopedic surgeon, Dr. Dunn will provide comprehensive coverage of the team and staff, both on and off the field. A former youth athlete himself, Dr. Dunn has extensive experience in sports medicine, completing a sports medicine fellowship where he worked with various high school, collegiate and professional sports teams. “I’m excited about the opportunity to join the medical staff of the Baltimore Bohemians. I am looking forward to helping take care of the athletes and keep them out on the field as much as possible,” stated Dr. Dunn. “Get them healthy and keep them healthy.” Throughout his career, Dr. Dunn has worked with teams ranging from high school to professional levels, including teams for the University of Illinois at Chicago, George Mason University in Fairfax, VA and the Washington Redskins in Washington, D.C. Dr. Dunn is a Chicago native who has been with Multi-Specialty HealthCare for four years and practicing orthopedic surgery for ten years overall. He is board certified by the […]

Delayed Soreness Following Accidents or Injury

By James Beauchamp, D.C. “How can I be hurt and yet not experience pain for several days?” This is a question I am quite frequently asked by my patients after a car accident because a large number of people feel no pain until the next day or even later. They attribute this delayed pain reaction to being “in shock” proclaiming, “I was in shock at the time and that is probably why I didn’t feel anything.” They also attribute the adrenaline surge they experience at the accident scene for blocking their pain. Generally speaking, neither of these theories is accurate. The type of emotional shock that occurs after a typical car accident won’t block true pain. It is also true that while the adrenaline reaction immediately following an accident can be powerful enough to mask even fairly intense pain, the reality is there are other factors at work. In fact, in the majority of the cases, there is no immediate pain. It does not manifest itself until the body’s healing reaction kicks in. The pain emanates from what is called the acute inflammatory reaction. Tissue damage results in the release of chemicals, which in turn cause the body to undergo […]

Dr. Jonathan Dunn Discusses Horseback Riding Safety for Children for Baltimore’s Child

Dr. Jonathan Dunn of Multi-Specialty HealthCare was recently quoted in an article on horseback riding posted by Baltimore’s Child, a publishing that lists and talks about fun activities for children in the Baltimore area. The article discusses what it’s like for children just beginning to ride as well as the concerns parents may have with regards to injury while riding. Readers spend the day with a trainer at an equestrian facility in Laurel, MD who walks them through their process of how children learn to ride for the first time, starting with basic grooming techniques and bonding with the horse, to choosing a horse with the right size and temperament for each individual child. While there is a risk of injury (as there is with any sport), with the right safety equipment and knowledge passed down from an experienced, reputable trainer, the risk is minimized. Dr. Dunn, a board certified orthopaedic surgeon specializing in sports medicine, weighed in on the preventative measures taken by the equestrian industry and how finding the right trainer for your child to learn from is key to injury prevention. He commented that due to the increased use of helmets—now the industry standard— the incidents of […]

Debunking the Top 10 Chiropractic Myths

When patients are making medical decisions about delicate areas of their bodies, it is important to learn all of the facts about different approaches and their advantages and disadvantages before coming to a conclusion. In the course of this research, talking to friends or looking at unverified content on the internet can lead patients to believe incorrect information. For some unknown reason, chiropractic care is a medical subject that has a lot of this inaccurate information passed around. Our goal is to give prospective chiropractic patients correct information about the practice and how visiting a chiropractor helps you, not hurts you. Top 10 Chiropractic Myths 1. Chiropractic Care is more expensive: Multiple studies have shown that this is not true. A study conducted in 2010, published in the Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics, showed that when care was initiated by a doctor of chiropractic, for patients experiencing low back pain it was 20% cheaper than when initiated by a medical doctor. Patients think that seeing a medical doctor first is cheaper than seeing a chiropractor over time, but patients who see a chiropractor first are less likely to get spinal surgery. The associated costs of surgery and rehabilitation outweigh […]

Find Relief Through Conservative Chiropractic Care

October is National Chiropractic Health Month, promoting public awareness and education of the benefits of chiropractic services. click image to enlarge The theme of this year’s NCHM is “Conservative Care First!” Conservative care is an approach to pain management and healthcare that is non-invasive. Oftentimes patients make the mistake of trying more complex, risky treatments as soon as they experience pain. Medical research supports the opposite idea. Exhausting conservative approaches before attempting other riskier options is shown to be more beneficial to patients. Chiropractic care is conservative in that your chiropractor will try every non-invasive method he or she can before resorting to more drastic measures. Neck Pain The seven small vertebrae at the back of the neck between the top of the spine and base of the skull are what enable us to move our head in any direction. The angles and speed of these movements, however, can sometimes be the cause of neck pain. Athletes can suffer from neck pain after straining or spraining muscles. Wear and tear from daily life, working in an office environment, aging, and accidents can also contribute. Specific causes of neck pain include: Poor posture Obesity Weak abdominal muscles Improper pillow support while […]

Slip and Fall Injuries – Tips to Prevent Injuries in Icy Conditions

Maryland weather, though often beautiful, can also be hazardous – especially in the winter. Icy roads and sidewalks can quickly lead to slip and fall accidents and injuries. At Multi-Specialty, our doctors treat slip and fall injuries all the time, and have seen firsthand what can happen in bad weather. With more cold weather coming and groundhogs predicting six more weeks of winter, it’s important to be careful and take extra precaution to avoid injury. Here are a few tips to help you avoid slip and fall injuries. Take Shorter Steps: Shorter steps prevent you from moving too quickly, which often causes slips and falls. It also helps you to get better traction and avoid overstepping and losing balance. Wear the Right Shoes: Everyone wants to look fashionable, but if conditions are icy make sure you wear shoes that provide some extra traction, and aren’t worn out too badly. Keep Your Hands Out of Your Pockets: Your arms actually help you to balance when you’re walking. Under normal conditions, you probably don’t even notice and don’t need them as much. When it’s icy, you’ll need all the help you can get, just in case. Make sure you wear gloves if […]

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