Each year, an estimated 2 million people will suffer a head injury and about 500,000 to 750,000 will be severe enough to be hospitalized. These accident victims will be classified as having a moderate to severe brain injury. However, approximately 85 percent of accident victims will sustain a "mild head injury" or concussion and will not be hospitalized. Although these patients generally seek relief from physical pain, i.e., neck, back, and muscle, they may also be suffering the consequences of a closed head injury. An accident victim who has sustained a mild closed head injury may show no noticeable signs of physical damage to the head area, but he or she may be suffering from a traumatic brain injury. It is also necessary to realize that the term "mild brain injury" is a misnomer since any insult to the brain can have significant and devastating effects on cognitive functioning.
Along with head and brain injury, there may also be injury to the neck. The spinal cord is thickest in the upper cervical (neck) region where it completely fills the spinal canal. The spinal cord is insensitive to pain and is often overlooked. If injured, it may become swollen, creating symptoms indistinguishable from mild brain injury.
One of the most important contributions in the treatment of head and neck injury cases is the upper cervical chiropractic adjustment. Compression of the spinal cord will result in disturbance of the function of the body below the area of subluxation. Symptoms often affecting the head above the subluxation may be due to compression of the nerves and blood vessels which supply the head, especially the vertebral arteries. Dramatic results often occur following the release of spinal cord compression to permit impulses to flow through the spinal cord thus allowing many symptoms of head and neck injury cases to subside.