Football players are at risk for traumatic brain injury even though they wear protective headgear. Head injuries must be taken seriously by teammates, coaches and the players themselves. There aren’t always obvious signs or symptoms of mild traumatic brain injury or concussion. There isn’t always a loss of consciousness; headache, dizziness, confusion, nausea or other symptoms may not appear for hours, days or weeks.

Football players must receive appropriate medical attention immediately at the time a head injury occurs. They absolutely must be evaluated by an experienced medical care practitioner before returning to play. The risk for significant, long term brain damage or even death due to a secondary concussion is real. A comprehensive examination is needed to be certain full recovery is achieved.

Functional neurology is an ideal choice for health care that supports the fullest, swiftest recovery possible following concussion. This is not an alternative to the acute medical care that is necessary right away, but an additional form of support. Whether a football player is struggling with ongoing concussion symptoms or simply wants to facilitate healing through customized, natural care, it’s likely a functional neurologist can help.

The first step in this type of care is a comprehensive examination. This includes highly sensitive testing that is unique to functional neurology. This is not like imaging tests such as CAT scans or MRIs which may not detect minor neurological damage. Instead, testing focuses on very in-depth assessment of function throughout the brain and nervous system. It is possible to determine exactly what is going on in the brain and nervous system as a result of concussion. Which areas are not functioning properly, and where are disruptions in connections occurring? What does this mean in terms of symptoms? Functional neurology can provide answers to these questions.

Following a thorough evaluation, a functional neurologist can develop a customized plan for recovery and rehabilitation that is safe and natural as well as effective. The goal is to help the athlete by facilitating lasting improvements in brain function. Therapy is not about short-term relief from symptoms, or quick fixes; it is about achieving measurable results. There is no guess work involved in this type of concussion care. Everything from the initial examination to the smallest details of the individual’s recovery plan is scientifically based, and so is the assessment of outcomes and results.

Functional neurology addresses the disruption in communication between the brain and body that often impedes concussion recovery. With the right approach, it is possible to locate disruption and address it without pharmaceuticals or surgery. This can make all the difference in terms of symptom relief and real recovery for football players or anyone who’s suffered a mild traumatic brain injury.