Brain Injuries & Back Pain

    The Spinal Cord & Brain Connection

    To get a better understanding of why and how people often experience back pain following brain injuries, we need to explore the connection between the brain and the spinal cord.

    Together, the brain and the spinal cord make up our central nervous system (CNS). The central nervous system controls most of the functions of our body and mind through 3 main processes: sensory input, information processing, and motor output. The brain is the control centre and the spinal cord is the highway for communication that relays signals to and from the brain.

    When someone experiences either a brain or spinal cord injury, this process of communication and exchange of information is disrupted, causing a host of issues.

    a 3D illustration of the spinal and brain networks


    elderly man experience head and neck pain

    Neck/Back Pain Associated With Brain Injuries

    If you have recently sustained a brain injury or concussion, it’s likely that you are experiencing a form of back and neck pain. Brain injuries, depending on their severity and location can cause damage to the portion of the brain that controls muscle coordination – most importantly back muscles. A common reason for patients who have suffered a recent concussion to experience back and neck pain is because the muscles in the lower back are over compensating for the brains diminished control signals.

    If left undiagnosed and untreated, a potential long-term effect of a brain injury or concussion is losing the ability to control spinal nerves that are essential for stability, balance, and control. With most everyday tasks, your brain and spinal cord are in sync to make sure your muscles are working efficiently.

    If you have recently suffered from a brain or head injury, make sure to speak with our expert team at BroadView Health Centre today! We can help you with understanding your symptoms, help with recovery, and develop a personalized treatment plan.

    What If The Connection Between The Brain & Spinal Cord Is Disrupted?

    Messages are sent throughout the body from the brain through the spinal cord – which results in voluntary and involuntary movement. When there is a disruption in the connection (from a brain or spinal cord injury), the information does not get translated efficiently.

    A brain trauma or a concussion can cause disruptions in this information chain which results in a variety of symptoms that people experience following a brain injury. Common symptoms include:

    • Dizziness & balance issues – disruption in the translation of somatosensory, vestibular, and visual information.
    • Impaired eye movement – visual information does not process efficiently
    • Strength and fine motor control – with interference in signals coming from the brain, your body can’t recruit specific muscles effectively
    a man getting a consultation with a physician
    a man getting non-surgical spinal decompression treatment

    Treatment Methods

    There is no single treatment for back pain related to traumatic brain injuries. At Broadview Spine & Health Centre, we offer several treatment options for dealing with your back pain and concussion recovery:

    Vestibular Rehabilitation – Vestibular rehabilitation is effective in treating balance issues related to brain injuries. It involves physical therapy that is designed to reduce instability and alleviate the tension of back muscles by improving muscle control.

    Non-Surgical Spinal Decompression Therapy – Non-surgical decompression therapy can resolve head, neck, and back pain associated with brain injuries and concussions. Spinal decompression therapy helps heal damaged discs that impact nerve impulses to and from the brain.

    Somatosensory Evoked Potentials (SSEP) – Somatosensory evoked potentials (SSEP) are the responses from the brain and spinal cord to sensory stimuli. SSEP measures the electrical activity in our brains response and can be used to stimulate muscles in the legs and back to improve balance and regain muscle recruitment capacity.

    For more information about our services, contact us today! We are here to help you with your brain injury and are ready to provide you with a proven solution to see results.

    Frequently asked questions

    A major side effect from sustaining a concussion injury is cervicogenic pain or headaches, which is focused in the neck area. The challenge for doctors is neck pain does not always point to a problem within the neck, but could be a result of spine or eye misalignment.

    • Concussions cause eye misalignment, leading to head tilt
    • Neck pain is a flag for helping identify contributing issues
    • Our treatment is built to help protect your long-term recovery

    A common symptom for those who have suffered concussions and experiencing symptoms of post-concussion syndrome includes fatigue. Fatigue can come from many different factors. However, concussions build fatigue symptoms on a cellular level from the damage sustained in a concussion, interrupting your body’s ability to build and use energy.

    • Fatigue from concussions is a result from calcium leaks
    • Other fatigue could stem from problems with thyroids or anemia
    • Fatigue problems can take some time to fully recover from

    Post-concussion syndrome is a complex condition that requires a lot of care and time to fully recover from. You could experience significant fatigue, inability to effectively concentrate, headaches, poor balance, and loss of fine motor control. These and more are the result of concussion damage to three major areas in your body, which all require the care our clinic can provide:

    • Physical damage the cell wall of the brain
    • Damage to the motor systems of the eyes and balance
    • Cervucigenic symptoms such as pain in the neck

    Broadview Health Centre offers specialized equipment and technology that helps us diagnose problems and treat them effectively in regards to concussions and other mild-traumatic brain injuries. These tools are a mix of physical tests and electrical monitors working in tandem to give evaluations of the body’s control over balance and motor control, giving us invaluable information on a patents condition by:

    • Evaluating the body’s ability to balance on flat and uneven surfaces
    • Balance when a patents head is turning in various directions
    • Building information on how a concussion effects an individual

    Broadview Spine & Health Centre utilized state of the art diagnosis equipment to allow us to gain quality information on how to approach treatment to every patent’s unique symptoms. A Videonystagmography allows us to get a fine-tuned reading of eye movements on video and with graphical representation.

    • Helps us identify where damage is located in the brain
    • Helps develop a customized program for the patient
    • Provides conclusive evidence for brain injury symptoms

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