Concussion Assessment

Playing sports can sometimes result in head injuries and concussion.
A concussion injury is a serious condition in itself and should be taken care of. If it is not resolved however, it can lead to post concussion syndrome, where the effects of concussion can last for many months following the injury.

In this blog we explain the role we play in screening, assessing and treating a person, whether it’s an adult or a child. Here are some of the questions we will answer:

  • The 2 types of concussion screenings
  • Symptoms of concussion
  • How does Post Concussion Syndrome (PCS) present
  • Role of chiropractic care in treating concussion
  • What are important self help tips we recommended
  • When can someone with a concussion consider returning to work/school
  • Times frames for healing for both concussion and PCS

Whether you or your child has recently undergone a concussion screening at Level Spine Chiropractic, had a concussion (or suspected concussion) or has post concussion syndrome, then please take your time and read the following information.



You or your child may have attended a concussion baseline screening. This is something we recommend prior to the start of a sports season or commencing an activity with risk of injury.

If a concussion injury occurs during a sporting season or at another time, then you can be re-tested, comparing scores and noting any changes. This comparison allows issues to be identified, guiding appropriate care, to ensure you or your child heals to full capacity and can confidently return to play.


Post concussion assessment.

If you haven’t had a baseline score but have experienced a concussion or post concussion syndrome, then your concussion assessment will be used as a tool to assess for areas of dysfunction and guide your recommended care. Once you have completed your care program, retesting will occur.


What are the symptoms of a concussion?

There are a range of physical, mental and emotional symptoms that can occur with a concussion. Often there will be a combination of different symptoms so it’s important to know what to keep an eye out for.


  • Headaches or neck pain
  • Dizziness
  • Sensitivity to light or sound
  • Physical fatigue
  • Balance problems 
  • Fuzzy or blurry vision


  • Brian fog or mental fatigue 
  • Hard time thinking clearly
  • Problems concentrating


  • Irritability
  • Sadness
  • More emotional 
  • Anxious or depressed
  • Mood swings


Post concussion syndrome (PCS) is when concussion symptoms, spinal dysfunction and nervous system injury persist for greater than 3 months. The PCS symptoms can be the same symptoms listed above.

Chiropractic care and concussion.

Following a concussion or when experiencing post concussion syndrome, your Newcastle Chiropractor will create a personalised care program for you. This will be based on your concussion assessment results.

This will likely include a series Chiropractic adjustments combined with specific exercises and neuro rehabilitation.

Your Chiropractic care program will be different depending on if you have recently experienced a concussion or if you have post concussion syndrome.

What should I be doing outside the office if I have had a concussion?

As well the Chiropractic care you will receive at Level Spine Chiropractic Newcastle (Mayfield), it is important to be aware of a number of other factors to assist in your healing. Our Newcastle Chiropractor has put together a list of do’s and don’ts.

Things to do:

Adequate sleep.

Blue light blocking glasses for when sun goes down.

Turn or dim lights 2 hours before bed. 

No screen time 1 hour before bed.

Drink plenty of water.

Appropriate rest and downtime. If you start to feel fatigue, it’s ok to give yourself a rest.

Gentle aerobic exercise to tolerance. If you start experiencing any symptoms then that has likely exceeded your tolerance. 

Eating good fats such as:

  • Olive oil
  • Olives
  • Avocado 
  • Coconut oil
  • Non farmed fish

Once you are well and truly into the healing process (minimal fatigue, building up cardiovascular tolerance, sleeping well, good concentration levels) you can talk to your Chiropractor about using an infrared sauna to help increase blood flow during the healing process.

What to avoid:

ANOTHER HEAD INJURY. This is generally good thing to avoid… but especially in the following 4 weeks. 

Stimulants like coffee, artificial colours and flavours, alcohol.


Excessive screen time.

Inflammatory food.

  • Gluten
  • Refined sugar
  • Processed foods
  • Processed dairy
  • MSG
  • Artificial sweeteners 

Simple exercises everyone can do.

As well as your specific rehab tasks you Newcastle Chiropractor will prescribe you, there are some exercises which we recommend everyone does for the following 4-6 weeks post concussion. 


  1. Brushing your teeth:
    For the duration of your care program, learn to brush your teeth with the opposite hand.
    This will help strengthen different parts of your brain!
  2. Gargling:
    After brushing your teeth, gargle with warm water. Build up to 60 seconds – you may spit out and top up the water in your mouth as required.
    This action helps to activate your vagus nerve, which is part of your parasympathetic nervous system – the rest, digest and healing component of your nervous system.
  3. Figure 8:

Using your non-dominant arm, make a figure 8 – focusing on the movement coming from your shoulder. Try doing this in a vertical, horizontal and diagonal plane for 60 seconds, 2-3 times per day. 

  1. Finger tapping:
    You are going to to your fingers together 4 times in this pattern
    1) Thumb to index
    2) Thumb to middle finger
    3) Thumb to ring finger
    4) Thumb to pinky

As you tap each finger, repeat “saa, taa, naa maa” i.e. when you tap your thumb and index say “saa”. When you tap your thumb to the middle finger say “taa” etc. Then repeat from the start again,

Start with your dominant hand first, then try your non dominant hand. Once you are comfortable with that, do both at once!

If you want more of a challenge, go backwards.

Do it periodically throughout the day for 60 seconds as this will help to activate the frontal lobe of your brain.


There are some supplements that can help with brain health and inflammation. Talk to your Chiropractor (or health care professional) about the right dose.

Here are what our Newcastle Chiropractor recommends:

  • Omega 3 (Make sure the supplement has both EPA and DHA). This the fatty acid vital for neuron membranes and helps with inflammation.
  • Glutathione. A potent antioxidant that will help mop up free radicals from damage and toxins.
  • Ginkgo Bilboa. May help to improve blood circulation to your brain and assist in glutathione production. 
  • Magnesium. Magnesium is involved in over 300 biochemical processes in the body and brain. It can also help with muscle tension that can follow a concussion/whiplash injury. It often runs low in the body. It can be taken in powder/capsule and can also be bought as a spray which can be used directly on muscles. 
  • Creatine Monohydrate. Stress and damage to the cell mitochondria can cause disruption of energy production within the neurons. Creatine may help to stabilise energy stores thus helping the bodies healing process.


This can be a great practice to start doing following an injury and even beyond! It can be difficult to start, but as you continue it will become easier. 

Find a quiet place, where you can spend 5-10 minutes undisturbed. 

Close your eyes and meditate on the question: What do I want my health for?

Your body is smart, it is designed to heal. You need to think deeply about what the reasons are for why you need to heal. There is no wrong or right answer – just whatever is true to you.

Then imagine you are in that place and have achieved your health goals for this reason.

What does it feel like? What do you see? What are your emotions? Be present in that experience.

Return to school and sport following a concussion.

“When is it safe for my child to go back to sports?”, “When can I get back out on the field?” or “When can my child go back to school?” are questions you may be asking yourself.

There is no black and white answer.

The severity and mechanism of injury will be different for everyone. Each person has different healing capacities as well as different lifestyles.

Adults and children’s healing times differ. 

  • Adults often heal within a 1-2 week period of time.
  • Children may take up to  2-4 weeks following the initial injury.

Below is a guideline for a graduated return to play and sport following a concussion.

Please note this guide is only based on symptoms, it does not take into account functional aspects of the injury, which is assessed by your Chiropractor.

How long will my PCS take to heal.

PCS is when some or all of the initial symptoms persist for more than 3 months following the initial injury.

As mentioned above there is no black and white answer as all injuries are different and everyone’s healing capacity is too. 

However, there are some factors which may help guide healing time return to normal sporting activities.  

Healing time can be different between children and adults, with children generally taking more time for a full recovery.

Post concussion syndrome can take 6 weeks to 3 months before reaching a resolution. 

Whatever your age, mechanism of injury and functional issues, it is important to listen to your body during your healing journey. 

Please consult with your Chiropractor or health professional for further guidance.  

How can you book a concussion baseline assessment or post concussion assessment?

You can easily organise a concussion baseline assessment or post concussion assessment with our Newcaslte Chiropractor at Level Spine Chiropractic Mayfield.

Click the button below for online bookings.

If you’d prefer to talk to us in person, please call the office on (02) 4044 3512 – we’re more than happy to answer questions you have!