Traumatic Brain Injury and Post Concussion Syndrome For traumatic brain injury (TBI) and post concussion syndrome (PCS).


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Old 09-01-2020, 06:33 PM #1
Alaska89 Alaska89 is offline
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Alaska89 Alaska89 is offline
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Default Vertical Impact on Shoulder

I have been reading this site for a year or so and finally decided to join in the conversation. I just passed the two year mark for my PCS. The original concussion happened when I was on a camping trip with my family and we had rented a small cabin with a low roof. I was outside the cabin at night and I bent down to pick up a folding chair and as I forcefully stood up quickly and smashed the top of my head into the corner of the roof. I was noticeably dazed immediately after and felt completely off over the next couple days. I eventually went to a doctor and was diagnosed with PCS.

For some context, I have dealt with major depression and anxiety issues since I was about 14 (I am now 31). One year prior to the concussion I started law school and simultaneously experienced an eruption of crippling anxiety and severe panic attacks. The severe anxiety has improved since then but it is still a major issue in my life which prevents me from doing many things.

I am well aware that anxiety is a major component of my PCS. However, I know there is a physiological component as well. I have had a handful of major setbacks over the past 2 years which all involved some kind of vertical impact.

Now on to my question. Yesterday, I was sitting on the floor with my back leaned up against a couch, kind of at an angle, playing video games. My wife walked past me to my right, stepped on a cup that our kids left on the floor, lost her balance and fell towards me, catching herself and transmitting a good amount of force down onto my right shoulder (she weighs about 120-30 pounds).

I donít remember a violent head jerk or any significant whiplash movement but I was very startled. I seemed to feel fine immediately afterwards, but over the next several hours I began to feel head pressure, a headache, and some brain fog. I am still in law school, and today I had a highly stressful oral exercise which I was extremely stressed out about all day yesterday and today.

My question is simply whether or not the vertical impact my wife caused to my shoulder could do any physical damage - whether it be concussion related or neck related - that might trigger a return of symptoms. Or is it purely stress and anxiety?
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Old 09-01-2020, 09:58 PM #2
Mark in Idaho Mark in Idaho is offline
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Mark in Idaho Mark in Idaho is offline
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Alaska89,

Welcome to NeuroTalk.

The impacts you describe do not usually result in a concussion. They are more likely to cause the symptoms that overlap between a concussion and upper neck injury.

That first doctor you saw was an ignorant doctor. You did not have PCS. That is not a diagnosis until 6 to 8 weeks have passed. That doctor likely made a diagnosis of PCS based on your subjective complaints. That is not a diagnosis.

Research shows that 80% of people who complain about prolonged PCS or concussion symptoms have a pre-existing condition of depression and anxiety. Depression and anxiety only affects 18% of the population. This shows a very strong tie between depression/anxiety and concussion/PCS complaints.

My impression is you suffered a vertical trauma to the upper cervical vertebra. Occiput to C-1 and C-1 to C-2 are joints that are prone to instability and ligament strains. The inflammation caused by trauma to this area can manifest with concussion like symptoms. The brain stem gets inflamed and blood flow is reduced and life can be challenging.

I don;t think you suffered damage other than strain in this area.

A gentle upper cervical therapist, chiropractor or physical therapist can help but your personal discipline to not strain your neck is paramount.
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