We Asked Our Patients...
Q: How important do you think early intervention is as it relates to concussions?
A: We cannot stress enough the importance of early intervention. Both myself and my mother say, 'run to Dr. Ala as fast as you can,' and we live in North Dakota! We went through the regular concussion protocol and wasted months upon months of our time with absolutely no results.
I asked a regular neurologist "Why doesn't the headache go away?" His response was, "I don't know, good question, come back in four months." Safe to say, we never returned to that individual. Instead, we saw Dr. Ala and started to see instant results.
A: It is very important! The longer you wait to be treated the longer the healing process takes. With me, I wasn't really diagnosed for two years, and it took me two years to heal. If I was diagnosed earlier, I could have healed earlier.
A: It is extremely important. Our son did not get the help he needed right away and had severe damage with memory loss, speech, and headaches. He laid in bed suffering severely from headaches for over a year and a half...until we found Dr. Ala.
We want all athletes to know, never just assume your concussion will heal with time. That is what we were told in the beginning, we unfortunately listened, and that time hurt our son. He should have been getting help from Dr. Ala ASAP and he would not have had such extensive damage and suffered so long.
There is no reason anyone should just settle for such an injury, there is great help out there, so get out there and work hard, and you will be impressed. Dr. Ala is the one who is there for you through the whole recovery.
Q: What would you tell other athletes who have suffered a concussion?
A: If you have suffered from a concussion, remember, you only have one brain, take care of it. Do not let someone else tell you how you feel. Do not let the coaches tell you that you are fine.
Listen to your brain because it is telling you that something is wrong. Our daughter had the guts to keep telling us that something was wrong. She didn't let anybody tell her any different.
DO NOT HIDE THE SYMPTOMS. I will make some enemies with this statement, but there is no state championship worth ignoring your brain. Sports are great, and if you can play again great, and if not, that's okay too. It is difficult to miss out on certain sports, but coming from a mother that has watched a child go through this, there is nothing more important than taking care of your brain.
Most athletes stop their career after high school, and there is no sport that is worth the risk of jeopardizing your future. Our daughter had her high school years all planned out, until her accident. That accident changed everything.
And I cannot emphasize enough the importance of your brain. Get the screening, listen to Dr. Ala– she is truly amazing and she will tell it like it is. That is exactly what you need to hear to recover.
The day Dr. Ala said, " You've got your daughter back"–yep you guessed it, I cried. Followed by the biggest smile on my face.
A: Never ignore the symptoms or think it's only a mild concussion. Get help immediately and take precaution. Don't get back at the sport ASAP because it is a life long injury if not taken care of. Our son suffered for many months and it was not just a couple of weeks of recovery as we were originally told.
Until we found Dr. Ala we just thought our son would have to live this life suffering this way. Thank God for what she knows, and trust us, she knows best. She made our son smile again!!
A: Seek medical attention soon after the injury, it makes recovery quicker and reduces the chance for permanent injury. Stay positive! It is hard work and not many people understand what you are going through.
Q: After your concussion, what was your recovery process like at Smith Chiropractic?
A: After examination and testing, we were given a brain rehab protocol. It includes various exercises that need to be done daily. The exercises the doctors prescribe are targeted to rebuild the injured pathways in the brain. The recovery process is hard and requires lots of work, but it’s worth it when you see the results.
A: Once our son found out what was wrong after his examination and testing, he worked extremely hard on the protocol given. He saw how much his work helped after each retest was run and he began to notice changes in his symptoms.
A: The road to recovery for some is instant and for others long. We were told the recovery would be a long time, but our daughter started to see results soon after she started with the exercises.
One thing that has to be understood, if you want to recover, you have to do the treatment plan exactly as Dr. Ala says, and put in the time. Our daughter worked so hard to recover, she still does her exercises everyday. Her injury was September of 2011 and it is June of 2015. That is a long time, until you remember what you felt like before and how you feel now. No one had answers for us until we found Dr. Ala. "Amazing" does not describe what she does for people.
Q: How valuable are the examination by the doctors and testing methods (such as CAPS testing, VNG exams, and Saccadometry) in recommending proper care for an injured athlete?
A: Very valuable. They show progress and help the doctors reassess the treatment you have to do.
A: The VNG in our opinion is the BEST help you could get! MRI's and CT scans didn't detect any of the issues that our son experienced. We would not have ever understood why our son suffered so much without this testing and examination by the doctor.
A: The CAPS and VNG tests give the doctors a clearer picture of what has happened to the brain and what needs to be done to start the recovery process. These tests are short and show immediate results from the concussion.
When your child has had a concussion that doesn't heal on its own, these tests are imperative for recovery. The examination by the doctor also explains what has happened to the brain.
We saw instantly what had happened to our daughter, and more importantly, we heard there was help for her. It is just heartbreaking to watch someone you love struggle with everything that comes with a concussion.
It's not just the concussion itself, but the reaction from some people that adds to the difficulty. If you can't see the injury, they don't understand. I was sad at first to hear what had happened to our daughter's brain, but at the same time I was excited to hear when Dr. Ala start talking rehab and recovery. Our daughter was so excited when she finally found people who understood.
A word from the doctors:
Rest is often prescribed for patients that have suffered a head injury. However, that is only a short term prescription. If those symptoms are left unchecked for too long, they can become permanent. So, if you think you or someone you know may have suffered a head injury, see us today to have a complete assessment.
A word from the doctors:
Rest is often prescribed for patients that have suffered a head injury. However, that is only a short term prescription. If those symptoms are left unchecked for too long, they can become permanent.
If you think you, or someone you know, may have suffered a head injury, see us as soon as possible to have a complete assessment.