Recovering From Multiple Concussions Takes Longer, Carries More Risk

Concussion recovery is challenging enough on its own. Recovery from multiple concussions, however, typically takes longer and can be exponential in factors of symptoms and recovery time. Why? The main cause of this longer, more challenging concussion recovery is that the person sustaining a second (or third or fourth, etc.) concussion may not have healed fully from the previous concussion. Multiple concussion tends to be seen more commonly among athletes and those who participate in activities that carry higher risk of traumatic brain injury.

The concerns surrounding multiple concussions do not stop at recovery duration. As each concussion is suffered, the likelihood of longer-term effects rises. Those who’ve experienced multiple concussions may find that some of the symptoms and/ore effects don’t really go away. That’s why it’s vital to catch the symptoms of a concussion when it happens, and to seek & receive proper concussion treatment for a full recovery before considering restarting the activity that caused the initial concussion.

A woman who has suffered multiple concussions has a headache while looking at her computer


A football player during a game wears the proper equipment to prevent a concussion


It is understandable that an athlete could be subjected to further concussion or brain injury. Assessing the rate of healing from a concussion involves both objective and subjective criteria. Someone looking to get back onto the ice, court or playing field might pass the ‘objective’ factors but ignore or downplay the subjective factors. If a doctor or trainer is unaware of these concussion symptoms, they could very well clear the player to return, only to see him or her suffer another concussion.

  • Objective factors: Imaging (MRI, CT scan, PET scan, X-ray), videonystagmography, saccadometry, balance testing and other measurements / evaluation
  • Subjective factors: Patient feeling & reporting concussion symptoms such as headache, blurred vision, disorientation / confusion, dizziness, nausea (with or without vomiting), balance issues, memory loss, ringing in ears, etc.

The more your brain uses its suboptimal signaling pathways (needed for tasks such as reading, work, driving, etc.), the more ‘overworked’ it becomes (not getting enough blood flow and oxygen). This can lead to brain fatigue, along with other hallmark concussion symptoms. With multiple concussions, this process is repeated and intensified.

Recovery from Multiple Concussions


We can say that multiple concussions don’t necessarily have different symptoms than a singular occurrence of concussion. But the symptoms of multiple concussion are almost always more frequent, more intense and longer in duration. The long-term effects of multiple concussion, meanwhile – even long after the ‘recovery’ is complete and the patient ‘heals’ – are even more concerning. You’re probably now familiar with CTE or Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy, a syndrome seen more and more in football, hockey and boxing. Unfortunately, no definitive CTE test currently exists (short of autopsy), but the symptoms are clear. CTE patients suffer from long-term headaches, vision & hearing issues, memory loss and many other chronic issues. The common cause of CTE is multiple concussion – thus the importance of:

  1. getting proper diagnosis of your first concussion,
  2. being aware of & reporting all concussion symptoms
  3. heeding your doctor’s advice,
  4. not returning to the activity that caused the concussion without clearance

Concussions and traumatic brain injury are not to be taken lightly. Diagnosis and treatment should be sought immediately.


If you have suffered a head injury or suspect you or someone you know may have, it is imperative that medical attention is received promptly.

If you have been seen by your general physician or at the emergency room and have been diagnosed with concussion (or multiple concussion / recurring traumatic brain injury), you will want to follow a course of treatment and recovery.

At Broadview Spine & Health Centre in Ottawa, leaders in the field of chiropractic neurology, we treat concussion, traumatic brain injury and other neuro disorders & motion disorder with the following methods:

  • Vision therapy & eye exercises
  • Auditory therapy
  • Vestibular rehabilitation
  • Nonsurgical decompression therapy
  • Nutritional recommendations
  • Auditory therapy
  • Ear Insufflation
  • Photobiomodulation

If you previously suffered concussion and/or believe you now have a concussion, we can also diagnose concussion and multiple concussion at Broadview.

Contact us today to schedule your appointment for concussion diagnosis and/or concussion treatment in Ottawa.

Frequently asked questions

Sustaining a single concussion, in many cases, results in a straight-forward recovery with few complications. However, for those who have suffered multiple concussions, especially when the original has not fully healed, the recovery time can grow exponentially. Take care during recovery as while you might feel better, the concussion could still need time to fully heal.

  • We utilize quantifiable concussion evaluation tools
  • We measure eye movements and balance
  • We take care to ensure your recovery is objective, not subjective

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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