Let’s Clear The Fog: Unveiling The Role Of The Neck In Persistent Post-Concussion Syndrome
Despite recognition that noxious upper cervical afferents can be responsible for fatigue, insomnia and impaired cognition, common symptoms of post-concussion syndrome (PCS), rarely is upper cervical dysfunction considered as a potential source. Patently, successful management relies on identifying the source of symptoms; recognising relevant cervicogenic aetiology is crucial, especially when there remains no clear physiologic explanation for PCS.
In this presentation, Helen reviews the literature surrounding PCS as well as upper cervical compromise suffered concurrently at the time of concussion, acting as the primary symptomatic source. Helen also discusses the management of three PCS patients using both active rehabilitation and passive manual therapy of the cervical spine resulting in a significant reduction in symptoms as well as a significant improvement in function.
With her considerable experience as a musculoskeletal physiotherapist, Helen has had a special interest in sports medicine. After a mild concussion injury in 2012, Helen began to suffer from Headache and Migraine. Discovering that her neck was the primary cause of these symptoms was a defining moment in Helen’s physiotherapy career which has spanned 17 years.
Helen traveled to Sydney Australia on three occasions to attend the Watson Headache® Institute’s three-course levels as part of her continuing professional development. On becoming a Watson Headache® Certified Practitioner, Helen subsequently opened The Headache Clinic in Invercargill, New Zealand. Due to the demand and success of this clinic, Helen now operates 3 clinics across New Zealand, located in Auckland, Christchurch and Invercargill, leading a team of physiotherapists.
With her keen interest in helping those living with headache and migraine, Helen has traveled to Sydney on two more occasions (2016 & 2017) and also Milan (2018) to attend and chair a session the Watson Headache® Institute’s Symposiums where she actively assisted in the workshops. Helen's devotion to improving the lives of others has resulted in Helen being sought after as a public speaker presenting at events hosted by Rugby Unions, Schools, Corporate and Community groups throughout New Zealand.
Helen’s passion for treating Post-Concussion patients comes from her first-hand experience fully appreciating the impact that these symptoms can have on one's life. Helen has over 8000 hours of practical experience working exclusively in the field of Headache, Migraine and Post-Concussion management.