If my children wanted to play a sport that involved head contact, would I be concerned? You bet I would. And I’d encourage them to think twice about their decision. But concussions can also occur after a car accident and in unusual circumstances. To date, taking time off to smell the roses for months, has been the usual medical treatment. Now, a study shows that Low-Intensity Laser Therapy (LILT), is producing amazing results. To learn more about this procedure I interviewed Dr. Fred Kahn, an international authority on LILT, in Toronto.
Dr. Kahn’s clinic has been using LILT for years to treat arthritis, sport injuries, wounds and dermatological diseases. This year he will also treat 500 cases of acute and chronic concussion with a greater than 90 percent improvement rate!
Kahn explains that laser therapy utilizes superluminous and laser diodes to irradiate traumatized tissue with photons. These particles of energy are absorbed by mitochondria, the power plants within the human cell. This triggers a cascade of complex physiological reactions which results in a return to normal cell structure and function. It also enhances the immune system.
The Doctor Game
Studies at Johns Hopkins University report that it does not need a hockey blow to trigger a concussion. For instance, in the U.S., there are annually 1.7 million concussions reported and 75 percent are mild.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention also report a disturbing trend. The number of cases of concussion in older people is increasing as they fall and strike their heads. Today, many seniors are also taking blood thinners that increase the risk of brain hemorrhage when they fall.
This movie starring Will Smith is illustrative of sports-caused concussions:
Dr. Kahn described several cases of concussion that were treated in his clinic. A 17-year-old girl developed concussion after heading a soccer ball. Later, while skiing downhill, she collided heads on with another skier. This was followed by daily headaches, memory loss, inability to concentrate, sleep disorders, fatigue and blurry vision. Prior to seeing Dr Kahn she was treated by acupuncture, massage, osteopathic manipulation, and chiropractic therapy, none of which provided any benefit.
After ten treatments with LILT, all of her symptoms had disappeared, and her memory loss had decreased by 80 percent.
Another patient, a 53-year-old bank marketing executive, developed a concussion in a most unusual way. Someone told her a hilarious joke. In reaction she threw her head backwards in laughter. Her head hit a hard wall. The noise could be heard two offices away, and she had not been able to work for four years. She suffered from short and long term memory loss, chronic fatigue, found it difficult to find the right words, could not concentrate, and had fuzzy vision. And a variety of ante-depressants had caused more depression!
This case is particularly interesting because all of the doctors who initially saw her diagnosed a severe sprain of the neck. None considered the diagnosis might be concussion! Dr Kahn’s treatment consisted of LILT twice a week. After eight weeks the majority of symptoms had disappeared. With her recovery 85 percent complete, she can return to work within the year.
In another situation, a medical secretary fell down a flight of stairs causing a fractured skull and brain hemorrhage. She remained unconscious for eight hours. Fortunately, she was sent home from hospital after seven days along with an ample supply of Percocet. But the painkiller did not help her. In addition, she lost her sense of taste and smell, developed vertigo, bouts of nausea and depression. After 10 treatments of Dr. Kahn’s LILT, the patient showed 90 percent improvement. Three weeks later she returned to work.
Hockey star Sydney Crosby would tell you that, in the past, concussion has required long periods of rest in hopes that the brain will recover. But, “smelling the roses”, is time-consuming, frustrating and does not quickly relieve symptoms.
So LILT now offers a new exciting therapy. But new medical treatments are not easily accepted. As one wise sage once remarked, “All truth passes through several stages. First, it is ridiculed, then violently opposed, and finally it’s accepted as being self-evident.”
— W. Gifford-Jones M.D.