Is that old concussion causing you to have running injuries? Maybe it is time to ask a professional trainer.
There has been a lot of awareness regarding concussions and the after effects on how we feel and function months or years later. The most high profile stories regarding concussion concerns what has been happening to retired football players.
Common side effects of a concussion may include sleepiness, dizziness, headaches, cognitive disruptions and the way your balance and walking ability may be affected as well. The effects of concussion may be present years later.
In a recent conversation with an Mark Lebowitz, an Athletic Trainer I have been working with, who has worked with pro football teams and other professional athletes. He said he has worked with many post concussive clients who continued to have problems many years later with balance, walking and running.
Mark attached a device to my legs to monitor me while I was on a treadmill. He used software on his laptop to monitor me when I was running (7.3 on treadmill), jogging (5.5 on treadmill) and running full speed (8.3 on treadmill). You can see my report here.WCharschan-09-25-2018-Running-LiveAssessment.
The findings showed that my impact forces were symmetrical and that I was not likely to cause a problem for me when I was running at 5.5 , a slow pace for me. When he had me run at 7.3, about an 8 min. mile, his readings showed that my impact on the right leg was much harder and that the impact level would leave me at risk for an impact injury. Surprisingly, at 8.3, I was much more symmetrical.
He suggested that as people were forced to perform an all out run, their symmetry improved. In my case, the report stated my ground impact was too hard at this speed and may eventually result in pain from the impact levels. The question of course is, how do I change this?
Most running injuries are a product of impact forces. The more we can condition the body to reduce the impact on the ground, the less likely an injury is going to occur.
He also mentioned that people who had a concussion have difficulty on this test because the injury causes damage to brain cells which need to heal and re-synapse or form new connections through a process known as neuroplasticity.
The day after he mentioned this phenomenon, The American College of Sports Medicine bulletin had a similar discussion in their bulletin which can be viewed here.
If you have had a concussion, it is likely you will fully recover, however, you may have problems while running. According to Mark, because of problems with how the brain has healed, you may have an uneven gait cycle which can result in impact injuries to the legs, hips and they may affect the lower back. It may have also affected your balance and other gait related features.
The path back from a concussion may depend on the injury and what parts of the brain is affected. You may benefit from mechanical proprioceptive training that is neurologically based if you are experiencing problems like those. For more information, Mark can be reached at (908) 451-6806. It is important to note that the current thinking on concussive injury is that athletes both young and old should not return to play before they have adequately improved from the impact.
Can a chiropractor help? Sure but sometimes a post concussive syndrome may require a team effort to help you fully recover. A team approach by a chiropractor for the injuries to the neck and other parts of the body, a personal trainer for strengthening and specific exercises to retrain the brain can be extremely helpful for you to achieve full recovery.