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Posted on 04-17-2013

Mild Traumatic Brain Injury

Clinically mild traumatic brain injuries (MTBIs) and concussions are not the same thing- that is concussions are a type of mild traumatic brain injury. For the sake of this post they will be considered the same thing. MTBIs and whiplash can often co-exist. Interestingly, they are often under reported and under diagnosed by physicians and providers (Chiropractors included) that are likely to treat patients involved in auto accidents in Baltimore and the rest of the country.

According to Dr. Arthur Croft in his book "Whiplash and Mild Traumatic Brain Injuries: A Guide for Patients and Practitioners" he states (p.28-29) "...the mortality from head injury in the last 12 years has exceed the cumulative number of Americans killed in all wars since the founding of this country. The number of non-fatal injuries is conservatively estimated to be more than 2 million each year (potentially up to 7 million each year) with an overall economic cost to society of about $25 billion per year." This equates to an incidence of approximately one mild traumatic brain injury for every 40 citizens per year.  This is why mild traumatic brain injuries and concussions are considered the "silent epidemic."

The clinical signs and symptoms of mild traumatic brain injuries vary.  Not every patient with an MTBI or concussion will display all of these complaints. Symptoms include: nausea, vomiting, confusion, memory loss, dizziness, tinnitus (ringing in ears), blurred vision, problems focusing, changes in sleep patterns, etc. In some more serious cases other patterns of behavior, emotion, or cognition can be impaired. It is often difficult for the injured patient to notice these changes in their own lives. Instead it is not uncommon for their friends, coworkers, or loved ones to notice these changes and report them to their providers.

Dr. Croft goes on to report that "As for outcome, 25-35% of persons suffering an acute MTBI will report unrelenting complaints 3-6 months later. In many cases, these complaints will persist indefinitely. Many have reported, and it is also my clinical experience, that 6 months is an important watershed point. If symptoms are persistent at that point, they are likely to be permanent. From a medical perspective this one of the most under-diagnosed problems of all time."

These assertions by Dr. Croft can not be understated. As a Baltimore Chiropractor that treats patients with whiplash and mild traumatic injuries/concussions in Baltimore I routinely see patients with these complaints. They are promptly referred for co-treatment with Baltimore Neurologists who can monitor their conditions, order appropriate diagnostic tests, and medicate patients as necessary.

If you or anyone you know is suffering from a concussion or mild traumatic brain injury as a result of a Baltimore auto accident please contact Mid-Atlantic Spinal Rehab & Chiropractic at (443) 842-5500 or email us. We would be glad to help!

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