Concussions: The Invisible Injury
Mismanaged and Misunderstood
by Dr. David Clark, DC
Founder, Triangle TBI & Concussion center
Dear Concussion sufferer,
Are you still suffering with these symptoms weeks (or months) after your concussion?
- Trouble Concentrating
- Memory Loss
- Neck Pain
Are you tired of feeling this way? Are you tired of hearing these words come out of a doctor’s mouth?
“There’s nothing I can do for you.”
“You’re just depressed.”
Or worst of all…
“You look okay to me.”
If you're still suffering, then you’re definitely NOT one of the lucky ones whose Concussion symptoms went away within 2 to 3 weeks.
You are not alone. About 30% of concussion victims are still suffering one month, two months, even one year after their head injury.
(And it’s why you’re reading this special report).
These symptoms are still torturing you because:
A Concussion is a Brain Injury.
A Concussion causes damage deep in the brain — NOT on the surface (more on this in a minute).
Current research on Concussion is crystal clear that a head injury causes two kinds of problems:
- Brain Circuit Malfunction – seems obvious, right? Get hit in the head and your brain doesn’t work right.
- Metabolic Malfunction– meaning biochemical problems with hormones, the immune system, digestion, inflammation (the list goes on). Not so obvious at first glance that a concussion could cause this--until you realize that the Brain has a hand in ALL body functions…all of them.
So, when your Brain is injured, you WILL suffer symptoms linked to the specific damaged Brain Circuits (double vision, headache, dizziness, fatigue etc).
And…you can also suffer METABOLIC problems that are DOWNSTREAM from the damaged Brain Circuits (hormones, blood sugar, leaky gut etc).
In this life-changing report (and I truly mean it, reading this report will be life changing for you), I am going to share some things with you about Concussions that you’ve probably never heard before. You may even be a little angry and frustrated for a short while, because you are going to wonder why you had to suffer for so long before learning this critical information.
I'm frustrated, too. I talk with patients everyday, from all over the country, who have been through exactly what you have been through. After reading this entire report your are going to feel a huge weight lifted off of you, because what I am going to teach you has the potential to change your life forever.
Don't believe me? Keep reading and see for yourself. This is an important message for you. I am passionate about this subject, and I want to help change lives for the better.
By reading this entire Concussion special report you are going to learn:
My name is Dr. David Clark, DC.
My journey to treating Brain Injuries started when I was 7 years old. It started the day my working mother brought home a set of World Book encyclopedias (the ones with the brown cover and gold lettering).
Years later I learned my mom had worked nights and weekends after her 40 hour week secretary job selling these encyclopedias door- to- door until she had earned a set just for me and my infant sister. I must have read every page of every volume, twice.
I was inquisitive, to put it mildly.
I always asked "Why?"
This frustrated my early teachers... I never took anything at face value--or just because.
"I needed to UNDERSTAND the reasons, the mechanisms and the moving pieces..."
My mother had engraved in my brain that knowing is power...the power to help yourself, your family and to help others in need.
Fast forward 15 years...
Because I had a burning desire to empower people, I completed my degree in Secondary Language Arts Education. But I didn't go into teaching in the public schools. I bet you can guess why...
The administration hated the fact that I was creating individualized education plans based on learning styles (making other teachers look bad). They did NOT like me taking extra time so I could reach ALL the kids and give them a chance to succeed. I refused to leave some kids behind.
So, I decided that by becoming a doctor I could make the biggest impact. But I wasn't interested in writing prescriptions for symptoms all day long.
There's a night and day difference between treating a symptom (or a diagnosis) and treating the PERSON. Treating the person requires understanding the whole body: the brain & nervous system, the immune system, gastrointestinal system, hormones…all of it.
"Since the brain controls the rest of the body, I started there..."
In the last 25 years Science has shown us that correct stimulation can change and remold the brain...create new connections. It has been proven, over and over again, that it is possible to identify specific areas of the brain that are sick and weak, and strengthen those weak areas with non-invasive rehabilitation.
The scientific term for this is ability of the Brain is:
“Neuro” means your nervous system…your brain, spinal cord and all the nerves in between.
“Plasticity” comes from the Greek work plastos, which means “moldable.”
So, the term "Neuroplasticity" describes when nerve cells make new connections and become more efficient at what they do.
The correct kind of stimulation plus the correct amount of repetition and intensity creates Neuroplasticity.
(HINT: Tapping into Neuroplasticity is how you’ll finally heal from your Concussion).
Neuroplasticity is actually happening all the time in your normal, everyday life. Some common examples are when you practice an athletic skill, or try to memorize information or learn how to play a musical instrument.
The bad news: Concussions and head injuries impair Neuroplasticity…they slow it down. In the worst cases of Chronic Concussion symptoms, the brain injury can outright break Neuroplasticity.
The GOOD news: a doctor trained in Neurological Rehabilitation and Neurochemistry can use different forms of stimulation and nutrition to TURN ON Neuroplasticity…and help injured brains heal.
Learning about Neuroplasticity set me on the course to my Chiropractic Doctorate program. I studied the brain intensively during those years. This blossomed quickly into a passion for Functional Neurology.
Functional Neurology is a special way of analyzing the brain and nervous system using modern neuroscience principles…and treating the Brain & Nervous System without drugs or surgery.
Once I was in practice in the real world it didn't take me long to realize--and you may have come to this conclusion yourself...
...when a person has a health condition that is not considered life-threatening...and there is no quick, easy fix...our medical system is completely inadequate.
I would see the desperation on the faces and in the eyes of the patients I treated. They were yearning to have someone listen to them…to spend the time necessary to get to the bottom of their problem…and most importantly, to help them break the chains their illness had wrapped around their lives.
I knew I had to engineer my practice to allow me to function as the doctor I needed to be for these special cases. I couldn't rush people in and out in 10 minutes like what happens in the insurance-based medical model. I couldn't squabble with insurance companies, trying to get them to pay for treatment and testing that they didn’t nuder and considered unnecessary. We were stepping outside of the box.
"You've heard of thinking 'outside-the-box'?...Well, I jumped out of the BOX, set in on fire and never looked back... "
I began my career by exclusively treating patients with chronic neurological problems (lots of chronic pain, fatigue and autism). By using my Brain-Based approach—Functional Neurology— I was helping people turn their lives around, giving them a chance to live well again, after countless doctors and specialists had given up.
Although I got great results with my Brain-Based approach (I officially called it 'Clark Brain-Based Rehab®') for 80% of patients...I realized something was missing.
I would get amazing results with most cases, yet with others--no matter what I tried--I couldn't make the changes I wanted.
The most confusing part was that this 20% of patients seemed to have the same characteristics and test findings as the ones that were successful.
"There had to be something missing..."
At 7:25 a.m. on a Thursday morning, the day after a particularly frustrating afternoon in the clinic, I looked into the mirror to straighten my necktie... and I made an important personal discovery.
I realized I was trying to do what every other doctor does. I was looking at the human body in compartments. Treating the body like it was made of chapters in a book. As great as it was, I was focused too much on one thing—Brain and nervous system function.
I asked myself “But what about ALL the other systems of the body?”
…hormones, immune system, gastrointestinal
I wasn’t looking at or considering those factors at all.
It hit me. I would have to understand and look at all these systems—at the same time—if I wanted to be the best doctor possible.
So…I spent literally thousands of hours and dollars attending seminars, reading medical journals, research papers and books about…
- Hormones (estrogen, progesterone, DHEA, Testosterone)
- Infections (viral, yeast, fungal, bacterial, parasites)
- Gastrointestinal function (digestion, absorption, elimination, Leaky Gut)
- Heavy metals (mercury, lead, nickel)
- The Immune System (inflammation, autoimmunity, cytokines)
I learned how to recognize, diagnose and treat Metabolic problems. This made a huge difference.
"It was this intense study of physiology, endocrinology, and immunology that led to my greatest discovery..."
Everything affects everything. The body doesn’t work in neat chapters or compartments.
In order to effectively and quickly help a patient with a chronic problem, you must look at EVERYTHING, all at once. (Yes, it’s difficult, takes time, and most doctor’s won’t do it).
I began investigating and measuring hormones and blood chemistry. I began running the necessary laboratory tests needed to get a Big Picture of my patients.
Once I started looking for blood sugar problems, anemia, nutrient deficiencies, leaky gut and adrenal problems….guess what? My patients had these problems!
The floodgates opened. I saw hundreds of people with autoimmune conditions, Thyroid problems, Vertigo, Autism, Movement Disorders.
See, once I started treating these “metabolic” problems…and combined it with my Brain-Based Rehab….my patients got better FASTER. And stayed better.
“Why did I start treating Concussions and mild Traumatic Brain Injuries?”
Dr. Ted Carrick is the father of Chiropractic Neurology and Functional Neurology. He’s been featured on PBS documentaries, countless articles and news stories for his work with brain disorders. I would not be where I am today without him and his 40 years of tireless work.
He’s a mentor. When he speaks, I listen very carefully.
Some years ago, I found out that Dr. Carrick had been treating hundreds of high-level professional and Olympic athletes from around the world (swimmers, snowboarders, NHL hockey players, NFL football players).
The one thing they all had in common: Concussions.
These elite performers had suffered mild Traumatic Brain Injuries (aka Concussions) and their careers were threatened—or were ended—because of their chronic concussion symptoms.
Dr. Carrick told me that there were millions of these kinds of patients—not just athletes—but regular men, women and children who were suffering with the lasting effects of a head injury. He called it an epidemic of head injuries and Concussions.
Dr. Carrick told me there were too many for him to treat by himself. We needed more trained doctors. Fast!
I spent the next 4 years diving head first into all the science, research and training on Brain Injuries that I could get my hands on. Along the way I completed and earned a Fellow of the American Board of Brain Injury & Rehabilitation.
I’m now an Assistant Professor of Neurology and Neurochemistry for the Carrick Institute of Clinical Neuroscience. I teach doctors and students in the United States and around the globe. I am honored beyond words to be able to share with other doctors how to help more people, more efficiently and effectively.
“Here’s what I learned about mTBIs and Concussions…”
How Concussions happen — It’s a shaking injury. Could be a direct blow to the head…or an impact to another part of the body that transmits the forces to the head. Common sources: Football, soccer, whiplash, car wrecks, accidental falls.
What happens in the Brain — It’s a TWISTING that mainly injures DEEP structures in the brain and brainstem. It’s not really like the videos where you see the brain bouncing forward and backwards off the inside of the skull. Imagine wringing out a wet towel—that’s what’s happening to your brain and brainstem.
The Metabolic problems Concussions cause — Concussions disrupt normal brain function and can cause:
- Leaky gut
- Dysbiosis (bacterial imbalance
- Autoimmune problems
- Hormone imbalances
- Blood sugar ups and downs
- and a LOT more
The Neurologic problems Concussion cause — Concussions damage brain areas and can cause:
- blurry vision
- brain fog
- balance problems
- memory loss
- trouble concentrating
...it's another long list.
The Brain areas damaged by mTBI & Concussion— Here are areas in my Concussion patients I commonly find malfunctioning —please excuse the technical terms:
- Vestibular system
- Frontal lobes
- Upper brainstem (midbrain)
- Lower brainstem (pons and medulla)
- Basal Ganglia
Which tests are able to assess the “invisible” damage in these patients? — A thorough neurological examination using the following special tests:
- Saccadometer - evaluates eye movements called saccades
- Video Nystagmography - advanced method of analyzing eye movements
- Posturography - really important for patients with balance issues
- Reaction Time - we can give an exact number and check if it's normal or not
- Gait Analysis - how you move when you walk gives important clues
- Eye Movement analysis - the eyes are a giant window into brain function
- Reflexes - all kinds of reflexes...tendon, pupils, cardiovascular, vestibular
How to fix the damage and heal this kind of Brain Injury? — A custom-tailored treatment program that investigates and treats two sets of factors:
- Metabolic malfunction
- Neurological Circuit malfunction
Remember, either one of these by themselves can destroy Neuroplasticity and cause lasting symptoms. Even worse, they can work together – feeding off each other in a vicious cycle—to drag out your symptoms for weeks, months…even years.
This specific combination of looking for Metabolic malfunction AND Circuit malfunction is what helps my patients finally get relief from Chronic Concussion Symptoms.
If you’re suffering with Chronic Concussion Symptoms (aka Post Concussion Syndrome, or Persistent Concussion Symptoms), there’s a good chance no doctor will ever investigate, analyze or measure your hormones, blood chemistry, GI function or immune system. These are doctors that like to keep themselves in that tiny box I told you about. They won't even acknowledge that anything can be done at all to help you.
This really ticks me off.
"Listening to their advice will only sentence you to a lifetime of suffering..."
As you continue reading this report you are going to discover the secrets and clinical pearls I have found to help patients with Chronic Concussion symptoms naturally...and why I think my all-natural approach to treating Post Concussion Syndrome is the BEST approach available.
"Why did this happen to me? What did I do wrong?"
You didn’t do anything wrong. In fact, I’d bet you did everything right.
You suffered the head injury. You went to the ER, or your GP, and they diagnosed with a Concussion. They told you to take Advil for pain…and to rest for a couple of days…and you’d be fine.
No one told you it may take a long time to get better.
No one told you that a big chunk of concussion victims can’t go back to work or school up to 3 to 4 weeks after the injury!
Did your doctor lie to you?
Or, did he not really understand concussions?
It’s hard to tell sometimes.
If you’ve have had Chronic Concussion symptoms for 5 months, you should know that’s actually pretty early in the healing process—even though it feels like 5 years. In your mind, you probably expected to be all better in a couple of weeks like most people.
There are some things stacked against you…but none of them are your fault.
Research has shown that simply being a woman increases your risk of Post Concussion Syndrome. How unfair is that?
And get this…If you suffered your injury in the second half of your menstrual cycle, you are likely to have a WORSE outcome. (has to do with progesterone)
Women are MORE likely than men to still have symptoms 4 weeks after the injury.
So, you can guess that the majority of Concussion patients I see are women.
“My doctor says since I wasn’t knocked out, I didn’t have a Concussion.”
That’s Wrong. Totally wrong!
You do NOT have to lose consciousness to have a concussion. All the science agrees about this fact.
BUT—loss of consciousness IS a required piece for a diagnosis of “Post-Concussion Syndrome” if your doctor uses the ICD 10 list of criteria.
To add to the confusion…
The DSM-5 —another set of diagnostic criteria—says the you MUST have loss of consciousness to develop “postconcussive syndrome.” But the DSM-5 doesn’t even use the phrase “Post Concussion Syndrome.” The DSM-5 uses the terms “major” or “mild” “ neurocognitive disorder (NCD) due to TBI.”
Look, the label doesn’t tell you what to do about it. The label is just describing your collection of symptoms.
The important thing to know is that you don’t have to be knocked out to have a concussion. But, if you’re having symptoms 4 or more weeks after the concussion, then you might get the official diagnosis of Post Concussion Syndrome.
Honestly, I don’t care too much about the label. What I care about is digging deep to find any Metabolic and Circuit Malfunctions…and treating them so you finally feel better.
Getting Diagnosed with Post Concussion Syndrome
The ICD-10 criteria for Post Concussion Syndrome include, obviously, a history of traumatic brain injury (TBI) with loss of consciousness….and the presence of 3 or more of the following 8 symptoms:
- memory difficulty
- intolerance of stress, emotion, or alcohol.
“Why doesn’t my MRI or CT scans show any damage?”
Unless you had a SEVERE brain injury (brain bleeding, cracked skull), your MRI and CT scans won’t show any damage.
Why? Because the structure…the meat of your brain has not been damaged in a way that shows up on those tests.
But the FUNCTION of your brain has been damaged. (there are specific neurological tests that show the abnormal brain function).
MRI and CT don’t tell you anything about HOW your brain is working—only if parts are missing or damaged (and they’re not perfect at that either). So, a “normal” MRI does not mean YOU are normal…or that you don’t have problems with your mood, balance or vision.
Chronic Concussion Symptoms don’t show up on MRI or CT.
“Do I have a mental problem? Am I crazy?”
I doubt it. You don’t have a mental problem.
You have Chronic Concussion Symptoms (any maybe official Post Concussion Syndrome).
It’s hard to explain to doctors what was different after the head injury.
You’re trying to describe things you CAN’T DESCRIBE.
You never had these symptoms before, so you don’t have any cool analogies or metaphors or examples that the doctor will understand.
It’s hard to communicate how you feel…and some doctors mistake that for some kind of mental illness, or depression…even anxiety.
Arguing over and over to your doctor that something is wrong is enough to make anyone depressed, or anxious. And can make you doubt yourself.
I don’t think what you’re feeling is crazy, weird or strange…it’s actually expected for about 30% of people who have a Concussion.
Chronic Concussion symptoms can MAKE you depressed and anxious. It’s usually not the other way around.
Concussion can damage brain circuits that will MAKE you depressed or anxious.
Sad part is... I’m sure at least one doctor has prescribed you an anti-depressant or anti-anxiety medication. And, to be fair, those meds might take the edge off, but those drugs aren’t a long-term solution for your brain injury.
“My doctor said Post Concussion Syndrome isn’t a ‘real’ diagnosis…”
Whoever told you that has NO idea what they’re talking about (I’m being nice).
If PCS wasn’t real, then there wouldn’t be an ICD 10 criteria for it. But that exists. For sure. Doctors use it to make the official “label’ diagnosis.
I get that you probably felt like it didn’t really matter what you said to your other doctors because, in the end, nothing will change their mind about you.
Way too many doctors wrongly believe that Post-Concussion Syndrome isn’t ‘real.’ They think if you still have symptoms 2 or 3 months after the concussion that “it’s something else” like depression or anxiety.
So what difference does it make what you say? It matters a lot, actually.
To a trained doctor, what you feel and what you say can be more helpful than a blood test, MRI or CT. Your symptoms can be read like a compass pointing to injured brain circuits.
It’s true that Post Concussion Syndrome symptoms can be a little vague…like maybe a lot of people without concussions have the same symptoms as people with concussion.
This is why in my practice I use OBJECTIVE tests like Saccadometer and VNG to quantify (with numbers) how you’re brain is working. We don’t rely only on your symptoms.
But let me be clear on this point…how you feel MATTERS. In fact, it’s the most important “test” I have to tell me if you’re healing or not.
“Are Chronic Concussion Symptoms dangerous?
Yes, they are.
Concussions are associated with higher risk of all of these terrible, disabling neurological conditions:
- Parkinson’s Disease
- Multiple Sclerosis
- Lewy Body Disease
- Deposits of Amyloid protein (what happens in Alzheimer’s disease).
Putting up with Chronic Concussion symptoms and delaying correct treatment is RISKY. Here’s what I mean:
…If you have headaches or neck pain, you’re at risk for becoming addicted to painkillers.
…If you have depression, and take antidepressant drugs—you’re at risk for a whole slew of side effects (insomnia, headaches, nausea, dizziness, decreased sex drive).
…If you have dizziness and balance problems, you’re a FALL RISK (which could cause another concussion). You may never drive or work again…or be stuck in a wheelchair for the rest of your life
…If you have blurry vision or double vision, you may never drive again…or be able to simply read a book.
So, yeah, CCS and PCS are dangerous…they're a threat to your safety and your whole way of life. Chronic Concussion Symptoms are a big deal.
"Let me explain why Antidepressants, rest and other ‘coping strategies’ are not going to help you heal your Chronic Concussion Symptoms...
Maybe you discovered some coping strategies to help you make it through the day…sunglasses, earplugs, noise-cancelling headphones, avoiding fluorescent lights. These seemed to help but your doctors made fun of you, saying things like….
“That can’t help.”
“Don’t be ridiculous. that’s not gong to do any good."
"You have anxiety."
"You're just depressed. You don't have post concussion syndrome."
"Here’s your prescription…”
Your coping strategies make perfect sense--if your doctor understands the Brain.
Let me explain the science behind these coping strategies and why they are not a long-term solution….
Sunglasses help because your pupils are TOO big and don’t get smaller like they’re supposed to when light gets brighter. All that bright light is too much to process and causes headaches and vision problems.
Earplugs and noise-cancelling headphones are very similar. Normally, your brainstem can buffer the volume of sound coming into your ears…but not if the brainstem has been injured by your Concussion.
Fluorescent lights are a special case. They flicker very quickly. This is a HIGH frequency stimulation. This kind of visual stimulation is pretty demanding even for a normal, un-injured brain. But for a brain injured by a Concussion, this high frequency light stimulation is TOO much and causes headaches, brain fog, even dizziness.
The technical term for this situation…when sensory stimulation makes you feel worse…is called Exceeding Metabolic Capacity (or EMC for short).
Brain cells have a certain level of stamina…a limit to do work and process stimulation. If your brain cells are forced to work above and beyond their stamina, they will fatigue and crash. This can cause depression, irritability, brain fog, dizziness, insomnia…and more.
As for the antidepressants, they are NOT approved for treating Concussions or Post Concussion Syndrome.
Now, if you actually have real, separate depression, then those drugs might help a bit…but RARELY does an antidepressant bring someone totally out of Chronic Concussion Symptoms.
I don’t hold it against you for wanting something—anything—to feel a little bit better. I’d do the same thing myself.
But you have to call this what it is….a band aid. And I don’t begrudge you a band aid. But a band aid is not going to heal your Chronic Concussion Symptoms.
“Here’s why I always always investigate for Metabolic Malfunctions in my patients…”
Metabolic malfunctions in your blood sugar, red blood cells, immune system and hormones will make your Brain cells have a SMALL amount of stamina. So they can’t handle a lot of stimulation.
A Concussion—all on its own— can create these Metabolic Malfunctions that, in turn, make the the damaged brain cells more fragile.
It’s a vicious cycle. But it CAN be stopped with the correct treatment.
“Isn’t there just a pill I can take for this?”
No, there isn't. If only it was that simple.
There are NO approved medications for treating mTBI, Concussions and Post Concussion Syndrome.
Sure, people take Advil or Ibuprofen for their headache or neck pain. But taking those long term is very hard on your small intestine (causes Hyper-Leaky Gut) and your liver (can raise high enzyme levels)…And they don’t help with repairing Neuroplasticity.
I’ve seen a few Medical Doctors prescribe Memantine (also called Namenda®). This is a drug used in Alzheimer’s!
I understand WHY their prescribing it…because they don’t know what else to do. And the drug might actually help somewhat. There’s been a small bit of research on it.
The drug works by slowing down brain cell activity. This might help prevent brain cells from Exceeding Metabolic Capacity.
But…this drug can cause confusion, hallucinations, fainting or seizures.
My point is, Chronic Concussion Symptoms can be treated and improved without taking prescription medication with risky side effects. CCS can be treated effectively by addressing Metabolic Malfunction and Circuit Malfunction.
You can always try the medications as an absolute last resort. But why not try a drug-free approach first?
“I already tried Physical Therapy and Vestibular Rehab but they only helped a little…”
Two things about plain 'ole Vestibular Rehab:
There are some really good Physical Therapists using current research to guide their treatments. However, a lot of CCS patients often get a “cookie cutter” one-size-fits-all kind of treatment.
It goes like this...No matter what specific circuit malfunctions YOU have--for example, in your brainstem, frontal lobes or cerebellum…you get the same set of 10 exercises everybody else gets (gaze stabilization, Brock beads etc).
That approach will definitely work on a decent number of patients. But the typical Vestibular Rehab treatments plans are MISSING a critical piece:
They don’t address Metabolic Malfunctions at all. They don’t look for them and they don’t treat them.
Remember, if you have anemia, hormone imbalance, an autoimmune problem…these things can seriously hamper your recovery. They could actually PREVENT you from getting better.
If you already tried Vestibular Rehab with a PT and didn’t get better…or your symptoms came back…then there’s a good chance you have an undiagnosed and untreated Metabolic Malfunction. We can investigate and find out for sure. And treat it if you have it.
And…it’s also possible that you just didn’t get the correct kind of treatment for your specific Circuit Malfunctions. The treatment wasn’t matched up to your Circuit problems.
“How is Brain-Based Rehab different from Vestibular Rehab? What’s it like?”
In a nutshell, the Brain-Based Rehab we provide Concussion patients is comfortable and non-invasive.
Your individualized Brain-Based Rehab treatment plan can use any or all of the following therapies to create Neuroplasticity (remember that from earlier?) in your injured brain and relieve your symptoms:
I do all the rehab procedures myself. No untrained staff or minimum wage employees will be treating you.
And I don’t drag rehab out over weeks and months.
The best way to create and maintain Neuroplasticity is frequent treatment over a few days, usually multiple treatment sessions each day, for 4 to 5 days in a row.
"Here’s the best part, so pay close attention to this next bit…"
Your CCS Treatment Program is 100% completely custom-made just for you and your unique situation. I don’t follow some kind of concussion cookbook recipe. That generic kind of treatment just doesn’t work very well.
Well, as I’m fond of saying…
“If you’ve treated one concussion patient... you’ve treated one concussion patient.”
Even though many CCS victims have the same symptoms, the CAUSE of those symptoms is different from person to person.
As a doctor I can’t assume that one patient’s dizziness is caused by the same circuit or metabolic problem as another patient’s dizziness.
On top of that, many Chronic Concussion patients are very fragile…and have poor stamina. Successful treatment depends on identifying your threshold so the treatment doesn’t blow past it and make you worse.
That threshold…your Metabolic Capacity is 100% unique to you and finding it is absolutely critical if you're going to feel good again.
Makes sense doesn’t it?
“Why can’t I recover like other people?”
I’ll keep this answer short:
Either of these two....
A. You haven’t had the right treatment, if any real treatment at all.
B. You have a metabolic problem sabotaging your recovery.
You can’t beat yourself up for what you didn’t know before now.
You probably had no idea that Concussions cause Metabolic Malfunctions…or that Metabolic Malfunctions can prevent you from healing.
You probably didn’t know that every Concussion patient is unique, like a fingerprint. So your treatment has to be unique too.
Now you can look at what you’re going through from a different point of view.
You didn’t do anything wrong. You’re not crazy.
"I look at concussion sufferers through a different set of 'glasses'..."
My "glasses" are Neurology, Neuroscience, Immunology, Endocrinology, Blood Chemistry, Biochemistry.
I examine the Concussion victim like a good detective would: detailed, comprehensive and persistent.
For you to enjoy long-term success and relief, we must do two things:
- Look for Metabolic Malfunctions and treat them.
- Look Circuit Malfunctions and treat them.
I use a battery of sophisticated tests that tell me what is wrong and what needs to be done to fix it.
I start with a complete and thorough History. Not just of your Concussion…but what was your health like BEFORE.
Concussions can cause old problems to resurface…and old problems can make your Concussion symptoms worse.
Next, you get a complete Neurological and Physical examination (probably the most thorough examination you’ve ever had).
This is where we discover your baseline—what works, what doesn’t and how much.
- A complete Neurological and Physical examination
- Micromedical VisualEyes® Spectrum Video Nystagmography testing
- Ober Saccadometer testing
I’ll examine and assess all of these different areas of your brain and nervous system that could be injured or malfunctioning…Get ready, it’s a long list because this is important data:
- Peripheral Nerves –the ones that go to all of your muscles, joints and skin
- Spinal Cord
- Lower Brainstem, also called the Ponto-Medullary Area
- Upper Brainstem, also called the Midbrain or the Mesencephalon
- Cranial Nerves
- Basal Ganglia
- Occipital Lobes
- Parietal Lobes
- Temporal Lobes
- Frontal Lobes
And here’s a list of the functions I’ll be checking on to see if they work correctly, or are broken and causing your Chronic Concussion Symptoms:
- Strength - particularly neck strength
- Gait - how you walk
- Posture – how you hold yourself against gravity
- Sensations – can you feel, see, hear, smell correctly?
- Blood pressure and heart rate—Are they normal? Do they change normally from seated to standing? From laying down to standing?
- Reflexes – there’s a lot of them: muscles, pupils, vestibular-ocular, cardiac
- Eye movements – slow movements (pursuits), fast movements (saccades), convergence (eyes together), divergence (eyes apart).
This thorough, comprehensive examination will discover where your brain is malfunctioning (and where it’s working just fine). I’ll explain exactly what I find in terms you can understand.
...that’s how I investigate the Circuit Malfunction side of your condition.
For the Metabolic Malfunction side of things…
I use the appropriate lab tests to check for the following possible Metabolic Malfunctions. (You may not need all of these)
Blood Sugar Imbalances
If your blood sugar is too high or too low, brain cells don’t get the fuel they need to work properly. All nerve cells need a steady supply of glucose.
If you’re pre-diabetic, diabetic..or even hypoglycemic (too low)…your Brain will not work correctly.
Steady glucose is your Brain’s basic fundamental need. If your blood sugar is irregular…up and down…you’re going to have a extremely difficult time getting rid of your Post Concussion symptoms.
A leaky gut allows particles to cross the GI barrier that normally are too big to cross.
Imagine a brick wall with some of the mortar missing between the bricks. What gets through these holes?
Food particles, bacteria, yeast…and your immune system is sitting on the other side of that brick wall. When those big particles come crashing through, they cause a HUGE inflammation response.
The inflammation from a Leaky Gut SPREADS EVERYWHERE; it doesn’t stay in your gut. This can lead to Neuroinflammation that slow down, or prolong, recovery from a Concussion.
Food sensitivities can cause Neuroinflammation--inflammation INSIDE your brain--not just in your gut.
The two biggest problem foods are gluten and dairy…but it could be any food. You could be eating a food you think is ‘healthy’, but really is harming you and slowing down your recovery.
Hidden Infections: Viral, Bacterial, Yeast/Fungal, Parasites
Not everyone has an hidden infection--but enough of my Concussion patients HAVE had them that I now consider them in every case.
Think about how you feel when you have the flu…or mono…a lot of CCS patients report the exact same feelings.
Hormone imbalance: estrogen, progesterone, testosterone, DHEA, Cortisol.
These hormones are mega important for brain recovery (and for men, too).
Concussions are notorious for causing menstrual cycle problems.
Also, if your estrogen dominant (too high), those high levels of estrogens promote inflammation—which slows down recovery.
We can evaluate your hormones, if necessary, using either blood testing or DUTCH testing.
Nutrient Deficiencies: iron, B12, folic acid, Vitamin D...and more
Nutrient deficiencies may seem like no big thing, but low levels of any one of these nutrients is enough to bring your Brain function to a screeching halt.
Here's one example...
All of your neurotransmitters (serotonin, dopamine, GABA etc) depend on you having normal iron levels. But how many CCS patients ever get tested for iron deficiency? Sadly…not many. If you have iron deficiency, it is definitely slowing down your recovery.
Hypothalamus-Pituitary-Adrenal Axis Malfunction - often wrongly called “adrenal fatigue.”
Cortisol is a normal hormone made by your adrenal glands. It is the main regulator of your blood sugar levels. Cortisol is also your body's stress hormone. It is produced when your body's energy demands increase.
Your brain has a circuit--the H.P.A. circuit-- built in that helps keep cortisol levels in check. Damage to this "brake pedal" will make cause excessive cortisol and symptoms like insomnia and fluctuating fatigue.
Chronic emotional stress and inflammation (from a bacteria, virus, parasite, yeast, food sensitivity) will cause cortisol levels to rise.
On the flip side, if cortisol levels are too low, then you can’t stabilize fuel delivery to your brain…not to mention the rest of your body.
CCS patients with HPA problems almost always have POOR stamina, and crash from fatigue every day (usually from 1pm to 5 pm).
Normally, your immune system patrols your body looking for invaders that need to be killed…things like viruses, bacteria, cancer cells.
An ’Autoimmune’ condition is when your immune system attacks your own tissues and tries to destroy them.
Concussions can turn on autoimmune conditions and make existing ones 10 times worse.
Autoimmune conditions are inflammatory and can affect your thyroid hormones, muscles and joints, gut lining…even attack your brain.
It sounds terrible, I know…but the good news is that these are treatable. Autoimmune problems MUST be ruled in or ruled out if you’re ever going to get better.
Head injuries ARE inflammatory. For people that heal relatively quickly, this inflammation inside the brain (called Neuroinflammation) seems to resolved. But for people suffering with symptoms for months after their injury, this Neuroinflammation can still be going strong.
Fortunately, there's a way to find out IF your immune system is abnormal, and how to best treat it.
All of these factors I just listed have a big role to play in healing from your Concussion.
I can check for these Metabolic Malfunctions by doing the following tests.
Remember—you may not need all of these.
- Comprehensive Blood Chemistry - nothing exotic on this, just super thorough
- Precision Analytical DUTCH Adrenal and Sex Hormone Panel
- Cyrex Labs Panel #5 for Autoimmune Conditions
- Cyrex Labs Comprehensive Lymphocyte Immunophenotyping, aka Lymphocyte MAP.
- Genova Diagnostics Organix Urine Panel for Organic Acids
- Genova Diagnostics GIFX Comprehensive Stool Panel
Many CCS patients get checked by the their well-meaning medical doctor and are told that everything is OK. I am going to tell you right now that the number of Post Concussion Syndrome patients walking around with these Metabolic Malfunctions is staggering.
Even if you were told your labs were "normal", the ‘normal’ lab ranges they used are ridiculously wide…that’s why I use ‘functional’ ranges that are less forgiving and more realistic.
And remember this…
In the traditional medical “box" metabolic testing for Concussion patients is considered irrelevant because the results wouldn't change the treatment anyway.
Autoimmune condition? Blood Sugar Problem? Leaky Gut?
—You’re still getting the same advice: Rest, Antidepressants, Counseling.
I treat this as seriously as cancer--which is why I MUST base your treatment on the detailed data in your lab results and neurological examination.
I leave no stone unturned in determining which Metabolic Malfunctions and Circuit Malfunctions you have--and there may be more than one!
The results of all your tests are going to give us a clear picture of the specific flavor of your Metabolic Malfunctions and Circuit Malfunctions. I am going to combine specific nutritional strategies (diet and supplementation) with Brain Based Rehab to deal with these issues and help you finally recover from your Concussion.
"Isn't That A Lot of Tests?"
That probably sounds like a lot of tests, doesn't it? Well to some doctors it is “a lot”—as if being thorough is something negative.
I know you may have already had a laundry list of tests, but you may need more--you may need the "correct" tests to uncover what’s making your Concussion symptoms not go away.
Look, even if you had been lucky enough to get some of these tests done, the doctor who ordered them didn’t know how to interpret them, or what to do with the results. (No slam on your previous doctors. It’s just the awful truth of the state of so-called health care).
I will do the most thorough and extensive case review and examination you will ever experience.
From your health history, your current symptoms, and an examination, I work with you to determine exactly what you need--no more, no less. This is an individualized approach.
FYI -- Most new patients need only Comprehensive Bloodwork and a Lymphocyte MAP to get started.
"And it’s worth pointing out that NO other doctor is going to do what I’m describing to you right now. They just simply won’t do it. Why?..."
One reason is they just don’t know that they need to. They’re seriously behind the times, living in 1970s and 80s. They are using a Concussion model that is outdated and doesn’t work for the majority of people. They’re not current on the latest scientific research (not “research” paid for by drug companies) and certainly don’t know how to use natural supplements, nutrition and Brain Based Rehab.
The second reason is - they and the insurance companies don’t consider this comprehensive approach and testing “medically necessary.”
Do you know what the definition of “medically necessary“ really is?
"What’s the minimum we can do and not get sued?"
What a joke! The system is broken and it’s no wonder people suffering with Chronic Concussion Symptoms have little hope in that system.
Now, even though I’m not an insurance provider…we can very often bill the "regular" bloodwork through your insurance (if you have insurance). Usually the ordering doctor —in this case me— doesn’t have to be in the network, only the lab needs to be in the network for them to cover it.
We’ll give you exact instructions on how to find out if your Insurance will cover this "regular' bloodwork.
If you don’t have insurance…or we find out your insurance wants to charge too much for the blood work…you can use our lab co-op, Principal Lab. The have negotiated super cheap rates with LabCorp for patients who pay cash.
If you use the co-op, this blood work most new Chronic Concussion patients need is $280.
It’s by far the cheapest I've ever found--and you get a HUGE number of tests for it. (Complete Thyroid panel, Vitamin D, Lipids, Iron markers, B12, folate, Inflammation markers, Red blood cells and white blood cells, blood sugar tests, liver tests..and some more).
Bottom line: we’re going to do whichever way is cheaper for you.
Of course, I often hear this…
”But Dr. Clark, my doctor has ran lab tests before and the insurance paid for them.”
I hate to tell you--- but I bet you figured out by reading this report-- most doctors run only the barebones minimum, or just run the completely wrong tests. Fortunately, most health insurances require only that the LAB be in-network, not the ordering doctor. That way you can get the tests you need.
This is good news! If you have great insurance, this "regular" bloodwork can be billed through your insurance--even though we aren't in network for any insurance.
With the super cheap prices of the Co-op, many patients opt to NOT use their insurance at all for the bloodwork because it's just plain cheaper no matter how you slice it.
Either way, I work with patients to make it as easy as possible to get the tests that will help improve their condition.
...One quick note:
I have no financial interest in any lab company. Any money you pay for a particular lab is only the price the lab charges--there's no mark up on my part. My job is to collect the proper data to make the best recommendations.
I know you may not have experienced this kind of help before. I believe when you work with a doctor on your health, it should be a partnership. That is the way it was always intended, but unfortunately medicine and healthcare in general has drifted far away.
"We get results because we are thorough and look for the right things. We don’t cut corners. This is your health on the line..."
Believe me, after you’ve seen some truly desperate people suffering with Post Concussion Syndrome--AND heard them tell you how much better they are...how much happier they are now…that they can go through a day without crying from the fatigue, dizziness, brain fog, depression and frustration..
—AND hear them thank you for finally doing what needed to be done to find out how to help them…well then, you understand how “medically necessary” this kind of approach really is. No matter what any insurance company, drug company, or out-of-touch doctor thinks to the contrary.
The goal of the case review, examination, and any initial testing is to reveal the specifics of your Metabolic and Circuit problems that are contributing to your Chronic Concussion symptoms.
With this important data in hand, I can design a powerful, all-natural, step by step plan to help you achieve the results you want...the results you deserve. You deserve to feel good.
We will most likely have many issues we must work on and correct. In most cases, we have to fix one problem before we can fix the others—just like building a house.
"Have you ever put together a piece of furniture, or a kids toy, without reading the instructions...because you thought you could figure it out on your own?"
Then you get to the very end…realized you missed a step…and have to go back and take everything apart--because you missed that one little piece?
Fixing these Metabolic and Circuit problems must be done in the proper sequence. I look at everything we need to up front so I know what sequence to use to help you.
"How Am I Going To Know I Am Getting Better? Will This Even Work For Me?."
You and I are going to know this working, because we are going to Re-examine and re-test during your Rehab program…and we’re going to Re-test any abnormal labs. This is absolutely necessary.
But--HOW you are feeling is the best test. So, I combine test results with what you are reporting to me.
When a doctor asks you “Are you better?”—Well, what exactly is ‘better’?
Answering that question is almost impossible sometimes. (You start to think that you’re recovering at all.)
How you feel is extremely important to me…
..but what if we could match up how you feel with test data that SHOW your Brain is healing?
That’s why I use objective testing measurements of your brain function to help. Here’s a partial list of the specialized testing I use to track your progress:
- RealEyes® VNG - Video Nystagmography
- Interactive Metronome®
- FitLight® Trainer
- Ober Saccadometer
Your specific case will determine the schedule of your re-tests. We can't waste time and effort finding out what is wrong and then cross our fingers and hope it works. We have to measure, tweak the treatment protocol, and measure again.
Don't misunderstand...it's not that you won't be feeling better as we make these changes, but we have to measure so we get to the goal—recovery.
Remember...my job is not to give you a pill and hope your symptoms get masked. My job is to take a step back, look at the big picture, and systematically support your Brain & Body back into balance.
The reason no one has helped you yet is because no one has dug deep enough, was willing to listen, understand your problem, and take the time necessary to make changes.
"What If This Doesn't Work For Me?..."
If you are reading this, you know what you're currently doing for your Concussion symptoms isn't working. Honestly, I could teach my 13 year old how to give you the treatment you're getting now.
I'd tell her…”Tell the patient to rest for a week, take Advil for headaches and neck pain. And if 30 or 60 days later, the patient still has symptoms, give the patient anti-depressants--because the remaining symptoms are all in their head."
Obviously, I am being a little sarcastic, but this is exactly what patients tell me every day.
You deserve better than this. You deserve to have a doctor who listens…who understands you…who is willing to do what it takes to help you, regardless of what some out of touch doctor or insurance company thinks. It doesn't matter what anybody else thinks, what matters is that you’re still suffering and you need someone that is going to treat you right and help you.
You don’t have to accept that life after your concussion is Life Version 2.0. aka Life Stinks.
The number one factor that determines your success or failure, is how closely you follow my recommendations. If you do the things I prescribe, then you will be on the road toward what you have been desperately wanting for a long time...getting to "normal" again.
You are reading this because you are one of the smart few who wants to take control of your health, and do what it takes to help your Brain. Nothing else matters when your health goes South. I love working with patients like you because you are willing to read and learn about your problem…and listen, and do what it takes to get your health back on track. To get back to the business of living good again.
"What About Cost?"
My review of your case and your first examination appointment is $500. As we discussed, my unique program steps out of the "medical box" so we can do what is necessary, and take the time necessary to help YOU. Until I know the specifics of your case, what labs I need to run, and how long I anticipate it will take to make the changes you need, there is no way to say what the exact cost of your treatment is going to be.
Just rest assured that I am on your side. My job is to work with YOU, to help you improve your condition. My job is to deal with all of the specifics of your case, listen to you, and work with you every step of the way.
This can be done in steps. The first step is the case review and examination so we can get to specifics.
Your main concern should be getting well, feeling good again and enjoying your life. You have the rest of your life in this body.
You have two paths in front of you:
…you can be energetic, healthy, and enjoy life
...or you could suffer with fatigue, headaches, vision problems, dizziness, insomnia and memory loss, depression, anxiety
The smartest choice is to get to the root of the problem, not get shuffled through the medical maze, getting treated like you don't know what you are talking about or don’t know how you're feeling.
Ask yourself if you can afford not to get treated? If you are honest with yourself, the answer is you CAN'T.
Look, Advil®’s not going to bring you out of this. Sunglasses, earplugs and rest are really just band aids at this point and won’t bring you out of this.
There is nothing else that is going to help this problem unless we do the things I just outlined for you. You can be one of the fortunate few who get the proper treatment and live well, OR you can become another medical disaster.
The choice is yours...but the correct option is staring right at you. It's here. I believe you know in your "gut" that this is what you need to do.
"I'm Ready To Get On Track, and Start Feeling Good Again, What Do I Do?"
At this point you should realize that your Chronic Concussion Symptoms have not been managed properly or completely…and your current treatment plan (if you have one) is not going to get you where you want to go. You really should be asking how can I get this taken care of? How can I get the kind of treatment you describe?
Every new patient I work with begins with the Case Review and examination I told you about earlier.
When you request your case review and examination, we will send you our mTBI & Concussion Intake Packet. The intake packet gives me a comprehensive picture or your case—you get to tell your story. It also contains symptom surveys, and dietary & nutritional questionnaires. You can include copies of previous lab tests.
Your completed Intake Packet will allow me to learn everything about you.
You will send your completed “intake packet” to our office in advance of your scheduled evaluation (scanned & emailed is best). This lets me have adequate time to review your case thoroughly and make pre-appointment notes on your case. This makes our time together extremely efficient and productive for you.
Your Case Review and examination will take approximately 60 minutes. During that time we are going to thoroughly discuss your case and talk about any dietary, lifestyle, or supplement changes we can make immediately to make a positive impact on your symptoms.
During this 60 minutes you will receive that comprehensive physical and neurological examination we talked about earlier.
We are also going to discuss the specific Metabolic tests you need (if any) to discover if you have any of those Metabolic Malfunctions that could be cheating you out of feeling better.
Special Note About Lab Testing
- I have absolutely no financial interest in any lab company. The labs we use, we do so because those labs are the absolute best at what they do. Any payment you may make for a lab test reflects the lab's actual fee. We receive no commission or kick back. (We have no financial gain from any lab that you do.)
- Some of the tests are not covered by traditional insurance and some are. Although we do not bill insurance for labs, if --during our first appointment-- we decide that a particular lab we need can be obtained from your primary care doctor, then we will provide the proper information so that you can work with him or her to obtain it. (Or just use the co-op if it's cheaper)
- Our only goal is to obtain the information needed to make a functional diagnosis and get to the root cause of your problem. We want you improve your condition and we will do all we can to facilitate that for you.
Depending on which tests you need, we’ll usually receive the results in a couple of weeks, max. When the results are back, we will have a followup appointment in person, or on the phone, to review the results of the Metabolic tests.
I’ll explain the results in plain English you can understand, and I’ll explain how they relate to your Chronic Concussion symptoms.
Once we have your metabolic test results in hand, I’ll know if you need Brain-Based Rehab, Metabolic Treatment…or a combination of both custom tailored to your exact needs.
My recommendations will be clear and non-confusing. You’ll know exactly what your options are.
How we continue our relationship after the examination and review of your test results is completely up to you.
After we have completed our initial appointment…and received your test results..and made our initial set of treatment recommendations…we will decide together on our next step.
The next step in your case might be...
…a week of Brain-Based Rehab to correct Circuit Malfunctions.
…or the next step could be a 30 day Metabolic treatment plan
…or the next step could be a combination of both kinds of treatment.
We can work together to truly improve your condition for good. Just remember that we are going to work at your pace, and take the necessary steps to help you reach your goals.
Initial Appointment & Examination with Dr. David Clark - $500
"What Is Included In The Initial Appointment?..."
If you are sick and tired of feeling terrible and would like to finally end your concussion nightmare then call us at 919-401-0444 and schedule your Complete Concussion Case Review and Examination.
We will get you scheduled and send out our Concussion Intake Packet. The cost for the initial consultation and evaluation is $500. That will cover the review of your history, review of past medical records, and our examination.
Whatever you’ve been told before about what’s possible for you… or what’s not possible….that doesn’t matter anymore because we’re going to take a fresh look at you.
I’m not going to put any limitations on you. Let’s find out what we can do for you.
DON’T suffer another day, when the answer to your SUFFERING is here, right in front of you. How would you feel, finding out years from now that the answer to your problem was right in front of your face all along...and you let it slip through your fingers?
Just Click Here To Schedule Now. You won’t regret it.
Dr. David Clark, DC FACFN FABVR FABBIR
P.S. One Last Thing - it’s Really important - Please remember….I can not possibly accept everyone into my program. My office gets swamped very quickly. If that happens, I will have to start a waiting list, I have a very busy practice already. I wrote this report because I honestly want to make a difference for so many concussion sufferers in the world, and I’m always amazed at how quickly and easily someone’s life can completely turn around. Now with this report, I get the message out to many more people. It’s exciting.
P.P.S. The decision you make right now by either picking up the phone and scheduling your Complete Concussion Case Review and Examination… or clicking out of this report… may have a drastic effect on the rest of your life. It may be the difference between enjoying the rest of your life and doing all the things you want to do OR suffering on the sidelines, watching everyone else do the things you wish you could do. This decision is a serious as a heart attack and I hope you make it wisely.
Click Here To Schedule Now
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