Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Concussion Diagnosis and Treatment

What is the best treatment for concussion?

There are many different treatments for concussion depending on the part of the brain that is injured. There are hundreds of billions are neurons in the brain and that is why symptoms can vary greatly with different concussions.

However, there are structures in the mid-line of the brain that are more susceptible to injury that we see more frequently involved. Since about 67% of the brain has something to do with eye function, we very often see a complaint and finding of eye dysfunction. (blurry vision, nausea etc.)

Essentially, only after a thorough examination and diagnostic testing can a specific treatment program be proposed since there are literally hundreds of different treamtnets that may be necessary.

This is the reason why a specialist is needed and generalized, less than adequate treatment be avoided.  Specificity is critical if you want the best end result.

What is functional neurology?

Functional neurology is a fairly new discipline in neurology which looks at deficits of areas of the nervous system and uses stimulation of various types to integrate areas and regain lost function.

This differs from traditional neurological treatment where function is viewed as lost or normal without thought of regaining functional loss.

Essentially, functional neurologists use several diagnostic procedures and tests with state of the art technology,  to test areas of the brain and pinpoint non-functioning or poorly functioning areas. We then prescribe activities to drive sensory input into these area so that they will function better.

Due to the plasticity of the brain, it is often possible to regain lost function if specific treatments are used in combination with each other.

If integration cannot "fix" the deficit , then compensatory mechanisms are used to increase other function and reduce the patients problems.

Do all chiropractors have the same training?

No, they do not.  Like in medicine, chiropractors can be trained and certified in several sub-specialties.  Functional neurologists have taken years of additional training and are board certified in chiropractic neurology and then often have other certifications in traumatic brain injury, vestibular rehabilitation etc.

I have a Board Certified chiropractic neurology degree and have studied functional neurology for years.  Presently, for example,  I am board eligible for a fellowship in vestibular rehabilitation.

As in medicine, a regular family physician may treat diabetes and hypo-thyroid conditions but a medical specialist, called an endocrinologist is better trained to handle hormonal conditions.

Very few physicians in the area have the training to diagnose and treat concussion.

What is a chiropractic neurologist?

A chiropractic neurologist is a chiropractor that has taken additional training for 2-3 years and passed a comprehensive examination to obtain his or her board certification in neurology.

A chiropractic neurologist is much better equipped to evaluate and treat neurological conditions and especially concussion.

How long will a typical visit take?

A visit for concussion treatment very often is over one hour long due to the several types of brain therapies that are necessary to perform.  This treatment is always highly individualized and may take 45 minutes up to 90 minutes. We often need to follow what the metabolic limit of the patient is and build on that.  In other words, after concussion there may be areas of the brain that are compromised as to the amount of energy that they can produce and activities must not over extend these areas.

Very often head injury occurs with neck injury so that treatment for neck injury will be added to the concussion therapy.

How do I know if my physician is doing what is right?

Unless you have a very good understanding of neurology, you will not know if the best procedures for your specific problem are being addressed. A good guideline is to ask questions as to why you are doing certain things and if the answer is vague or unclear think twice.  Also, if you are performing simple eye exercises and they are very symmetric that is a sign that the treatment is not specific.  Many physical therapy locations perform, for example, vestibular therapy and often it is a watered-down symmetric, non-specific treatment which will not produce the best results.

It never hurts to get another opinion.  Anyone that is secure with there knowledge will be fine with you getting a second opinion.

What types of treatment will I have?

As stated earlier, many varying deficits or problems may be diagnosed, necessitating varied treatment. We use Laser Guidance systems with head, hand, double laser and many varied protocols, again, specific to the deficit diagnosed. We use Neuro-sensorimotor integrator activities which may be any one or group of hundreds of different activities. We use computerized balance activities, many physical exercises, RightEyes saccade, visual persuit etc actiities.

The treatment is highly specific and very diverse dependent on the emotional, somatic, physical, visual, cognitive and sleep related deficits present for that case.

What type of physicians will be treating me?

Primarily a Chiropractic Neurologist although we are affiliated with area functional Optometrists, Ophthalmologist, Medical Neurologists, Psychologists and Psychiatrists. It is possible that anyone of these specialists may be used , again, dependent on the specific case.

Has Doctor Bates ever had any complaints or
legal action taken against him?

Dr. Robert Bates is proud to be one of the local physicians who has never had a complaint to the Chiropractic Board, Better Business Bureau, Attorney General or any other governing board.

How successful is treatment for concussion?

Our success is very good. However, every case is specific and may create its own residuals. As noted earlier, sometimes if enough function is lost a compensation must be used to help the patient and full function may net be attained.

Only after a very thorough examination can a prognosis be given.  We do accept patients we feel we can help and will not accept you for care if we feel we cannot help you.

How long will I need to receive treatments?

Again, treatment length  is highly variable. We usually perform about ten 1+ hour treatments after evaluation to produce a good, lasting result. Some individuals will do well with this and others may need more treatment. All patients are given home activities to help speed there recovery.

Some patients will recover completely and others will have compensation mechanisms and no two patients are the same.

What is the cost for evaluation and treatment for concussion?

Our Clinic charges $450.00 for the first two hour diagnostic work-up which includes a Computerized Balance Evaluation, a RightEyes infrared complex eye function test, and a very thorough neurological evaluation.

Treatments are then set at ten treatments over three weeks with home exercises in between clinic treatnents. The ten treatment protocol is about 13 hours of in-clinic treatment and the cost is $1950.00.