Post-concussion syndrome, also referred to as PCS, is the persistence of concussion or mild traumatic brain injury (TBI) symptoms beyond the normal course of recovery. In most cases, concussion symptoms occur within the first seven to ten days after the injury, and completely dissipate within three months. For those suffering from PCS, symptoms can persist for a year or more. Post-concussion syndrome is a complex disorder that changes the everyday lives of those affected.
Some experts believe that post-concussion syndrome is caused by structural damage to the brain, such as disruptions of the messaging system within the nerves, resulting from the collision that caused the concussion or TBI. Others think that PCS symptoms are more closely related to psychological factors, as the most common symptoms for PCS are very similar to those of mental health disorders like anxiety, depression, and post-traumatic stress disorder.
It is not understood why some develop PCS and others do not. Demographic variables appear to play a role, with research showing women and older adults at higher risks than men and younger individuals. Additionally, those with a history of depression, anxiety, or PTSD tend to develop PCS more commonly than those who do not. There is no proven connection between the severity of the injury and the probability of developing post-concussion syndrome.
The most common PCS symptoms include headache, fatigue, dizziness, insomnia, impaired memory and concentration, and irritability, but many others experience anxiety, blurry vision, ringing in the ears, and sensitivity to noise and light. The combination of symptoms varies depending on the person, and there is no single way to diagnose PCS.
Similarly, no one treatment for PCS exists. Although doctors will tailor their recommendations on a case-by-case basis, the most common course of action is attempting to effectively manage persisting symptoms. A period of rest is advised to allow the brain’s natural recovery process time to heal the damaged caused by the injury. Unfortunately, this doesn’t work for every patient, and the debilitating symptoms associated with PCS may continue to linger.
Medical Marijuana as a Solution
While recovery is often a matter of waiting for symptoms to resolve on their own, medical marijuana can help relieve symptoms, so patients can be more comfortable as the brain heals itself naturally. A recent study showed the potential benefits of medical cannabis for post-concussion syndrome. Chemicals present in cannabis reduce swelling in the brain, which is a main cause of pain, pressure, and continued damage. It also increases the supply of blood to the brain, which speeds the healing process by bringing more oxygen and nutrients to the injured areas and carrying toxins away. Additionally, medical marijuana is effective in treating anxiety and insomnia, two major symptoms associated with PCS.
Post-concussion syndrome symptoms can be painful and restrictive, preventing people from participating in work, everyday activities, and their social lives. If you are suffering from PCS, medical marijuana treatment is an effective way to manage symptoms and maintain your everyday life.
The expert staff at Greenhouse will help find the right plan for your condition. Contact Greenhouse today to get started.