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Concussion Healing and Exercise

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Unread 08-02-2009, 09:54 AM   #1
limitless1
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Smirk Concussion Healing and Exercise

(Reposting from the newbie forum to the brain injury forum... perhaps this is the more appropriate place for my questions.)


Hello everyone! I am new here. I am recovering slowly from a concussion (it was actually two blows to the head within a few days of each other --- a hard hit on the top of my head on a metal window handle in my bedroom, and a few days later the wooden bed frame behind my bed came loose and fell down on the left side of my head). I had just moved into a new apartment and clearly hadn't acquainted myself with the potential hazards of the house. I'm currently overseas (in Germany) and dealing with this pretty much on my own.

The accidents occurred around the first week of July, so it's been exactly a month now. I'm 31 years old, female, and in good shape and health otherwise.

I was having persistent swelling, pain and nausea even after three weeks and so finally went to see a neurologist. He did a CT scan which was normal and told me to just keep resting. Finally I started making progress over the past two weeks with rest, acupuncture and craniosacral therapy treatments. I was able to walk again without too much pain or swelling. I was feeling so much improved that a few days ago I decided to try going back to yoga as I have MISSED moving and working my body SO MUCH. The kind of yoga I do is Bikram yoga, which is a series of 26 poses performed in a heated room so that you sweat out toxins in the process. I think the heat wasn't such a good idea, as the day after the yoga I felt the swelling coming back and now it's been two days and I am feeling almost as if I'm back to square one with lots of swelling, pressure and pain, and the feeling that my brain is "loose" inside my head. I don't want to get depressed but feel myself slipping into a hole again, as now this is going to take weeks of rest and no sun -- again. I had come so far, and then I guess I pushed it too hard. I just miss exercising so much, and I miss sweating! Never thought I'd say that but it's true. I just feel so inactive and sedentary and not being able to exercise is depressing me.

The neurologist I saw was an emergency room doctor and isn't available for me to ask questions regarding rehabilitation but I'm considering seeing a different (private) neurologist soon. In the meantime, thought I'd seek feedback on this forum as it seems a lot of us are in the same (or similar) "boats".

My questions are, what's the best way to return to exercising?
Has anyone else had problems with heat and swelling?
Are you eventually able to go in the sun without swelling?
Are you eventually able to do intense exercise that raises your body temperature and heart rate and lets you SWEAT?

I want to stay "up" and positive and hopeful, so I hope to hear from some of you with encouraging words and not the opposite

Much love and many thanks.

Maria

P.S. By the way, cranio sacral therapy can be excellent for relieving the swelling following concussion. If you're having persistent pressure, swelling, nausea, perhaps cranio sacral therapy can help you as it did me. In my case he said the bones of the skull were moved a bit, not allowing for free flowing cerebrospinal fluid. Once he made some adjustments, the pressure started releasing and the morning after my first appointment, I noticed a remarkable difference. Just a tip in case anyone here is dealing with swelling and pressure as part of their PCS. Best of luck to all of you in your healing.
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Unread 08-02-2009, 01:50 PM   #2
mhr4
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Hi Marie,

The answers to your questions may be as simple as it is too soon to start doing anything. Some brains take longer than others to heal. They say, the "experts," that it takes, on average, about 6 months for a concussed brain to fully heal. So, you may just need more time to fully recover before you can go back to doing those things. And don't worry, you will eventually be able to do these things again. I ran a half marathon 9 months after hitting my head.

FYI, if you think you require more therapy, you should also look into neurofeedback. I know if a guy in Switzerland who could probably refer you to someone in Germany, if you are interested.


Quote:
Originally Posted by limitless1 View Post
(Reposting from the newbie forum to the brain injury forum... perhaps this is the more appropriate place for my questions.)


Hello everyone! I am new here. I am recovering slowly from a concussion (it was actually two blows to the head within a few days of each other --- a hard hit on the top of my head on a metal window handle in my bedroom, and a few days later the wooden bed frame behind my bed came loose and fell down on the left side of my head). I had just moved into a new apartment and clearly hadn't acquainted myself with the potential hazards of the house. I'm currently overseas (in Germany) and dealing with this pretty much on my own.

The accidents occurred around the first week of July, so it's been exactly a month now. I'm 31 years old, female, and in good shape and health otherwise.

I was having persistent swelling, pain and nausea even after three weeks and so finally went to see a neurologist. He did a CT scan which was normal and told me to just keep resting. Finally I started making progress over the past two weeks with rest, acupuncture and craniosacral therapy treatments. I was able to walk again without too much pain or swelling. I was feeling so much improved that a few days ago I decided to try going back to yoga as I have MISSED moving and working my body SO MUCH. The kind of yoga I do is Bikram yoga, which is a series of 26 poses performed in a heated room so that you sweat out toxins in the process. I think the heat wasn't such a good idea, as the day after the yoga I felt the swelling coming back and now it's been two days and I am feeling almost as if I'm back to square one with lots of swelling, pressure and pain, and the feeling that my brain is "loose" inside my head. I don't want to get depressed but feel myself slipping into a hole again, as now this is going to take weeks of rest and no sun -- again. I had come so far, and then I guess I pushed it too hard. I just miss exercising so much, and I miss sweating! Never thought I'd say that but it's true. I just feel so inactive and sedentary and not being able to exercise is depressing me.

The neurologist I saw was an emergency room doctor and isn't available for me to ask questions regarding rehabilitation but I'm considering seeing a different (private) neurologist soon. In the meantime, thought I'd seek feedback on this forum as it seems a lot of us are in the same (or similar) "boats".

My questions are, what's the best way to return to exercising?
Has anyone else had problems with heat and swelling?
Are you eventually able to go in the sun without swelling?
Are you eventually able to do intense exercise that raises your body temperature and heart rate and lets you SWEAT?

I want to stay "up" and positive and hopeful, so I hope to hear from some of you with encouraging words and not the opposite

Much love and many thanks.

Maria

P.S. By the way, cranio sacral therapy can be excellent for relieving the swelling following concussion. If you're having persistent pressure, swelling, nausea, perhaps cranio sacral therapy can help you as it did me. In my case he said the bones of the skull were moved a bit, not allowing for free flowing cerebrospinal fluid. Once he made some adjustments, the pressure started releasing and the morning after my first appointment, I noticed a remarkable difference. Just a tip in case anyone here is dealing with swelling and pressure as part of their PCS. Best of luck to all of you in your healing.
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limitless1 (08-02-2009)
Unread 08-02-2009, 02:02 PM   #3
limitless1
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Smile thanks and referral?

Quote:
Originally Posted by mhr4 View Post
Hi Marie,

The answers to your questions may be as simple as it is too soon to start doing anything. Some brains take longer than others to heal. They say, the "experts," that it takes, on average, about 6 months for a concussed brain to fully heal. So, you may just need more time to fully recover before you can go back to doing those things. And don't worry, you will eventually be able to do these things again. I ran a half marathon 9 months after hitting my head.

FYI, if you think you require more therapy, you should also look into neurofeedback. I know if a guy in Switzerland who could probably refer you to someone in Germany, if you are interested.

Hi MHR4,

Thanks so much for your encouragement. Wonderful to hear you ran a half-marathon 9 months after. Wow. That definitely gives me hope

I'm interested in the referral you mentioned. Could you pass along the info?

Thanks again!

Maria
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Unread 08-03-2009, 03:06 PM   #4
Mark in Idaho
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Limitless,

Did your CS Therapist manipulate your neck? Sometimes, it is more like a deep neck massage. This can be effective as it reduces inflammation in the neck which can reduce other symptoms. Most head injuries have a neck injury component that is over-looked.

The recurrence of the swelling could have easily been from the Yoga neck and shoulder movements exacerbating the neck injury. A Physical Therapist who knows neck mobilization techniques may be able to help.
For nuero rehab, look for a specialist in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation.

FYI, If you really want to sweat, get depressed and ask a doctor for a prescription for an SSRI anti-depressant like Paxil. With Paxil, you can sweat buckets just thinking hard.
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Mark in Idaho

59 years old, retired due to disability, married 34 years, father of three, grandfather of four, Suffered a serious concussion at 10 years old (1965) stopped most driving after concussion at 46 years old (2001), Post Concussion Syndrome/Multiple Concussion/Impact Syndrome with PTSD, immediate/short term visual and auditory memory problems, slowed processing speed, visual/auditory processing difficulties, insomnia, absence seizures, OCD, 14 concussions since first concussion at 8 years old, Taking paroxetine for 14 years and gabapentin for 12 years. Added L-Tryptophan and stopped paroxetine after 3 months of tapering. I currently take 500 mgs of L-Tryptophan AM, 500 mgs noon, and 500 mgs PM.


As of Nov 15th, Due to high stress issues resulting in PTSD, docs put me on 3 meds. Clonazepam but only for 30 days ) .125 mgs twice daily (Doc presc. .25 mgs 2x daily but half a tablet is good) , citalopram (Celexa), an SSRI , and olanzapine (Zyprexa), an atypical anti-psychotic that usually causes weight gain before bed. I lost over 30 pounds since mid July. It just stopped the weight loss. Took me off the gabapentin. I am feeling better than I have in years.

This great feeling only lasted a month. Back to the same old PCS doldrums.

May 2014, I am off the olanzapine due to a 6 fold price increase. Back on 600 mgs of gabapentin before bed.

I am also taking L-Theanine to help with GABA regulation


"Be Still and Know That I am God" Psalm 46:10
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Unread 08-03-2009, 05:14 PM   #5
mhr4
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No problem for the encouragement, in my opinion, attitude is 75% of recovery process.

Here is his info. Not sure if he can help or not, but he has been around a while in Europe and he is actually a distributer to professionals. So, I'm sure he knows someone in Germany. If there is no one in Germany, you could also go the home training route. If that is the case, you should contact Pete Van Duessen at The Learning Curve. Just google his info and his page will pop up.

Good Luck.


Stephan Odermatt
Brain Center BCB
Bitziusstrasse 4
CH-3360 Herzogenbuchsee
Switzerland
Phone: +41 62 961 65 55

Praxis: www.braincenter.be
Shop: www.neurofeedback-shop.ch
QDS: www.qds-institute.com.


Quote:
Originally Posted by limitless1 View Post
Hi MHR4,

Thanks so much for your encouragement. Wonderful to hear you ran a half-marathon 9 months after. Wow. That definitely gives me hope

I'm interested in the referral you mentioned. Could you pass along the info?

Thanks again!

Maria
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limitless1 (08-03-2009)
Unread 08-04-2009, 06:04 AM   #6
rydellen
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One important thing is this:

In a study of concussions in football in the US, they came to one important conclusion.

The persons experiencing the LEAST serious concussion symtoms and were back to full physical activity the fastest were often those who reported the most persistent symtoms in long term evaluation.

This means that returning to full activity too soon after injury prolonged the healing. The people with more serious concussion symtoms were more careful with returning to full activity and gave their brains more time in the initial healing progress.

I myself had a concussion and then returned after 5 days to snowboarding. After 5 more days of stepping it up I somewhat hit the breakingpoint. This "exhaustion" was the thing that sent me into a serious 2 week of just laying in the bed with increadible fatigue etc...Now Im 1.3 years post injury and still having problems. Im really carefull with excersise.


THis beeing said...Please give yourself more time than oyu thing before returning to excersise.

Take walks in the forest etc..Good for relaxing, releasing endorfines and a somewhat good excersise.

Emil from Sweden
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Unread 08-04-2009, 06:07 PM   #7
Mark in Idaho
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The issue with the football players returning to play is more directly a result of second impact syndrome. The sooner they returned to play, the weaker their brain is at handling a second impact. Some ponder whether there is also a component of depressed motor skills (clumsiness or slowed reactions) from the concussion that predisposes the injured player to the risk of a second concussion.

As for snowboarding, the impacts the brain feels from riding the hill and butt plants that are common to snow boarding could have the same effect as a second concussion. The vibrations of a corduroy snow surface left by the groomers can also manifest as a concussion.

Vibrations can be more easily transmitted to the brain because the vibration wave pattern cannot be absorbed as readily by the spine.

I suffered a concussion from driving down from the ski area on a rutted road. It can be similar to the shaking of a wooden roller coaster.
__________________
Mark in Idaho

59 years old, retired due to disability, married 34 years, father of three, grandfather of four, Suffered a serious concussion at 10 years old (1965) stopped most driving after concussion at 46 years old (2001), Post Concussion Syndrome/Multiple Concussion/Impact Syndrome with PTSD, immediate/short term visual and auditory memory problems, slowed processing speed, visual/auditory processing difficulties, insomnia, absence seizures, OCD, 14 concussions since first concussion at 8 years old, Taking paroxetine for 14 years and gabapentin for 12 years. Added L-Tryptophan and stopped paroxetine after 3 months of tapering. I currently take 500 mgs of L-Tryptophan AM, 500 mgs noon, and 500 mgs PM.


As of Nov 15th, Due to high stress issues resulting in PTSD, docs put me on 3 meds. Clonazepam but only for 30 days ) .125 mgs twice daily (Doc presc. .25 mgs 2x daily but half a tablet is good) , citalopram (Celexa), an SSRI , and olanzapine (Zyprexa), an atypical anti-psychotic that usually causes weight gain before bed. I lost over 30 pounds since mid July. It just stopped the weight loss. Took me off the gabapentin. I am feeling better than I have in years.

This great feeling only lasted a month. Back to the same old PCS doldrums.

May 2014, I am off the olanzapine due to a 6 fold price increase. Back on 600 mgs of gabapentin before bed.

I am also taking L-Theanine to help with GABA regulation


"Be Still and Know That I am God" Psalm 46:10
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Unread 08-06-2009, 06:21 PM   #8
Lucy
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Hi limitless1.

I have to avoid heat as when I am hot it feels like my brain is burning and get terrible headaches. Before I gave up working I had my aircon in my office set really cold and preferred to have blue hands and feet with my brain kept chilled to any kind of warm headaches when concentrating hard.

Exercise has to have a limit - can not run - shakes my brain but I can walk up to 6 km a day BUT anything over gives me shocking head aches that can only be stopped by the jabs in the rear end at A&E. The headaches are like my brain is being squeezed and my head wants to explode. - the headaches are more to the front of my head. Stress headaches are usually at the back and I realise that they may be caused by the muscles upwards from my shoulders etc.

My blood pressure has been high since my accident - it seems that my "natural" control of it no longer is in place and I have to take blood pressure pills.

I am a memeber of a gym and can do some aerobic and stretching exercises but have to be careful not to push past my limits, I am sure that I may gradually be able to increase my endurance levels burt it will have to be very very carefully done.

Hope this helps

Lynlee
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