If you follow the NHL at all, you know who Sidney Crosby is. He is arguably the best hockey player in the world. He is the face of the National Hockey league. He is not playing hockey at the moment.
At the beginning of this year, Crosby was leading the NHL in scoring. His team was playing well and was expected to make a deep run into the playoffs. Then two hits sidelined his season and possibly his career. These hits, which came just days apart from one another caused Crosby to have two concussions which he had a very difficult time recovering from.
His symptoms were so debilitating that he couldn’t watch TV, drive a car or even shop at the grocery store. He had post-concussive syndrome with a unique component. His vestibular system was affected.
The vestibular system is basically our balance center. It allows us to stay balanced in earth’s gravitational field. It tells the muscles of our neck, back and eyes how to respond to changes in position without conscious intervention. This is important because if we needed to think about staying balanced every time we changed position, we wouldn’t think about much else! Without our vestibular system, you and I could not walk, run or play. And we definitely could not skate at the level Sidney Crosby is accustomed to!
Sidney Crosby’s progress was moving exceptionally slow. It was so slow that people in the media began to question whether he would ever play hockey again. He had been seeing some of the most prominent neurologists and concussion experts in the world with little to show for it. Then, a chiropractor who works with many professional sports teams recommended that he go see Dr. Ted Carrick.
Dr. Carrick is a chiropractic neurologist and head of the Carrick Institute. In addition to being a chiropractic neurologist, he has a Ph.D in neurology. His focus is to help people functionally rehabilitate their brains when there has been injury. The results he has achieved with Crosby are quite amazing.
What do I mean, functionally rehabilitate? The brain has many, many functions. It is very powerful. Even small changes in the way the brain processes, interprets and executes function can cause symptoms. Despite this fact, when people have concussions they are told time is the only thing that can heal the brain. They are given no advice on how to rehabilitate their brain. We understand rehabilitation when someone sprains an ankle or tears and ACL. Those patients are given aggressive rehab programs to strengthen and heal their ankle or knee. Why wouldn’t we do this for someone with a brain injury?
This is what Dr. Carrick has done for Sidney Crosby and it is also what we do here in our clinic. We use the same techniques that Dr. Carrick is using on Crosby to help patients in our office every day. As a matter of fact, I have studied under Dr. Carrick and seen him lecture on these brilliant techniques many times. It is quite amazing.
So what exactly do we do? We use many different therapies designed to re-educate the brain and help it to more efficiently process the information it receives. If the information is processed correctly it can respond appropriately and that is when we begin to see symptoms of many brain disorders improve. The types of therapies vary depending on what and where the problem lies in the brian. But they range from eye exercises to sound and light therapy to balance exercises to general brain games. The list really is endless.
Dr. Carrick is hopeful the Crosby will begin playing shortly. The progress that Crosby has made with Dr. Carrick is astonishing, but it’s not a miracle, it’s neurology. I’m glad this type of rehabilitation is getting a little mainstream media coverage. In my opinion, it’s just the tip of the iceberg!