The Importance of Your Cranium (Concussions)

The cranium is extremely sensitive. Your cranial bones should move and the rhythm they move with should have a certain pattern to it.

The points where the various bones of the skull join together are called sutures and there should be a very small amount of movement available at all the sutures. This is very important to keep the balance of pressures right in your head.

Why is this so important?

  • Your blood vessels have to be able to bring blood into your head and drain it out. This is super important. Anything that impacts this flow in and out of your head can impact the health of your brain, your mental function, your pain, and your general wellbeing. Congestion due to poor drainage out of the head can lead to headaches as well.
  • You have lots of cranial nerves that impact the muscles of your face and eyes and that impact your senses like taste and smell. The function of these nerves can be significantly impacted by cranial restrictions and poor alignment.
  • There’s also the aesthetic side of things. Restrictions and alignment issues in the cranium can impact your smile and, for example, whether your eyes look symmetrical or not.

The cranium also houses your brain – a really important part of the nervous system 🙂 This means that issues in the cranium have huge implications for other areas of your body including muscle function.

How can your cranial bones become compressed? How can the movement of the cranial bones be restricted/altered?

  • Nasal and dental surgeries
  • Orthodontics
  • Hits to the head
  • Trauma that puts tension in the nervous system e.g. epidurals, disc bulges, falls where you land on your tailbone, whiplash

…. the list goes on.

In sports such as rugby, concussions are unfortunately something that happens. There are concussion protocols in place – particularly with higher grades of sport where they monitor things like dizziness, the presence of headaches and mental health – all of which is extremely important. Unfortunately at this time treatment to the cranial bones is not generally part of standard concussion management.

Side effects of multiple concussions such as the changes to mental health, pain, and development of chronic diseases are well known. The aim should always be to do everything possible to minimise the effects of concussion and that includes cranial work by specifically trained therapists.

There is research that shows that craniosacral therapy, visceral manipulation and neural manipulation (fancy names for treatment techniques) were extremely helpful in treating people who have post-concussive syndrome. This recent research showed that these therapies helped reduce pain intensity, range of motion, memory, cognition and sleep in these patients.

If you’ve had a concussion, orthodontic work or any of the other things mentioned above, then we strongly recommend you get your cranium checked. If you play sports – such as rugby – where concussions unfortunately happen then you definitely need to pick up the phone and get in to see one of our the therapists at Sydney Advanced Physio that does cranial work to minimize the impact of it once you’re out of the acute recovery phase.

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