Concussions and Plagiocephaly
What do the two have in common? The flow of Cerebrospinal fluid (CSF). Woah, that’s a mouth full! CSF is the fluid that soaks and flows around your brain and spinal cord. It gives nutrients to your nerve system, it is the garbage man for your brain by removing toxins, it’s a protective and chemical barrier, and it affects the growth and development of cranial bones in the pediatric population. That sounds important!
What moves this fluid and keeps it pumping from your head to your tailbone is a spine that is moving properly. The spine is used as a pump to keep this fluid moving and not letting it become stagnant. Just like you want to drink water from a river with flowing water as opposed to a swamp with stagnant water, you want CSF to move throughout your nerve system continually. The most important parts of the spine to keep the CSF flow pumping are the very top and very bottom of the spine.
With concussions, what can commonly take place is the connective like tissue for you brain gets slight tears from the head trauma, and that begins to inflame and swell. If this happens you, first of all, want to rest, and second of all make sure your CSF flow is on point to feed the brain with proper nutrients, remove toxins, heal those tears, which aids in the removal of swelling and inflammation.
With plagiocephaly (when an infant’s head is growing in a distorted fashion, one side having a flat spot), you have membranes in your head that get abnormal tension put on them. This causes a stop of CSF flow on one side of the head and abundance on the other side. As I mentioned earlier, CSF helps grow these cranial bones in infants, so the side with a lack of CSF flow will not grow as fast as the other side, making one side of the head grow at a different rate. Through a chiropractic adjustment, the idea is to release that tension in the membranes, so the CSF flow evens out. The most common you’re probably familiar with is using a helmet which accomplishes the same thing, reducing the tension of the membrane, evening CSF flow.
I bet you weren’t expecting to learn about cerebrospinal fluid today, but now you did!