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SAGE Open Med Case Rep


Case report: Manual therapies promote resolution of persistent post-concussion symptoms in a 24-year-old athlete.


This case report illustrates the treatment outcomes of a collegiate athlete presenting with an 18-month history of post-concussion syndrome who received a series of mixed manual therapies in isolation of other therapy. Persistent symptoms were self-reported as debilitating, contributing to self-removal from participation in school, work, and leisure activities. Patient and parent interviews captured the history of multiple concussions and other sports-related injuries. Neurological screening and activities of daily living were baseline measured. Post-Concussion Symptom Checklist and Headache Impact Test-6™ were utilized to track symptom severity. Treatments applied included craniosacral therapy, manual lymphatic drainage, and glymphatic techniques. Eleven treatment sessions were administered over 3 months. Results indicated restoration of oxygen saturation, normalized pupil reactivity, and satisfactory sleep. Post-concussion syndrome symptom severity was reduced by 87% as reflected by accumulative Post-Concussion Symptom Checklist scores. Relief from chronic headaches was achieved, reflected by Headache Impact Test-6 scores. Restoration of mood and quality of life were reported. A 6-month follow-up revealed symptoms remained abated with full re-engagement of daily activities. The author hypothesized that post-concussion syndrome symptoms were related to compression of craniosacral system structures and lymphatic fluid stagnation that contributed to head pressure pain, severe sleep deprivation, and multiple neurological and psychological symptoms. Positive outcomes over a relatively short period of time without adverse effects suggest these therapies may offer viable options for the treatment of post-concussion syndrome.