How Long After a Pediatric Concussion Can You Get a Massage Safely?
Worried about your child after a bump to the head? You're not alone. Concussions are common in children, and navigating the recovery process can be confusing. One question that often arises: How long after a pediatric concussion can you get a massage safely? In this blog, we'll delve into the world of pediatric concussions and massage therapy. We'll explore the importance of timing for optimal recovery, provide safety guidelines for massage after a head injury, and even explore real-life case studies and expert opinions. So, if you're wondering when a massage might be beneficial for your child's healing journey, keep reading!

Kids and Concussions: When is Massage Okay?

When your child bumps their head and gets a concussion, rest is key. But after a while, a sore neck or tight muscles might make them wonder – is a massage safe yet? Here's the lowdown on massage therapy after a concussion, keeping things simple and safe for your little one.

Importance of Timing for Pediatric Concussion Recovery

Understanding the healing process is vital for making informed decisions about massage therapy.

Understanding the Healing Process:

The brain after a concussion undergoes a delicate repair process. Medical professionals estimate a recovery timeline of 7 to 10 days on average, though this can vary depending on the severity of the concussion and the individual child. Factors influencing recovery duration include:
  • Severity of the impact: A stronger blow to the head typically leads to a longer healing time.
  • Symptoms experienced: The presence and duration of symptoms like headaches, dizziness, and nausea can impact recovery.
  • Prior concussions: Children with a history of concussions may take longer to heal from subsequent ones.

Risks and Benefits of Massage Therapy:

Massage therapy offers potential benefits for concussion recovery, including:
  • Reduced muscle tension: Concussions can cause headaches and neck pain. Massage can help alleviate these symptoms.
  • Improved circulation: Massage promotes blood flow, which can aid healing.
  • Stress reduction: Massage can promote relaxation, which can be beneficial for children experiencing post-concussion anxiety.
However, receiving a massage too soon after a concussion can be counterproductive. The brain needs time for rest and gentle stimulation. Deep tissue massage or techniques that stimulate the nervous system can worsen symptoms.

Safety Guidelines for Massage Therapy After Pediatric Concussion

Recommendations by Medical Experts: Pediatricians and concussion specialists generally recommend waiting for doctor's clearance before scheduling a massage after a concussion. This ensures the child's brain has had sufficient time to heal and is ready for external stimulation. Top Considerations Before Scheduling a Massage: Here are some key points to consider before scheduling a massage for your child after a concussion:
  • Symptom Resolution: Ensure most concussion symptoms, like headaches, dizziness, and nausea, have significantly subsided or completely resolved.
  • Doctor's Approval: Obtain clearance from your child's doctor who is familiar with their specific concussion case.
  • Communication with Therapist: Inform the massage therapist about your child's recent concussion and any lingering symptoms.
  • Gentle Techniques: Request a massage specifically designed for post-concussion recovery, with a focus on light pressure and relaxation techniques.
When to Avoid Massage: If your child experiences any setbacks or worsening of symptoms after a massage, discontinue further sessions and consult your doctor.

How Long After a Pediatric Concussion Can You Get a Massage Safely?

After a head bump, your child's well-being is your top priority. Concussions can leave parents with many questions, including when massage therapy becomes a safe option.  While massage can be beneficial for recovery, timing is crucial. This wait period allows the brain to heal and reduces the risk of worsening symptoms. Generally, doctors recommend waiting 7-10 days after a concussion resolves before considering massage. However, this timeframe can vary depending on the severity of the injury. The key is to prioritize your child's doctor's guidance. They can assess your child's progress and provide the green light for massage therapy when the time is right.

Case Studies and Expert Opinions

Real-Life Experiences: Many children have benefited from massage therapy after recovering from a concussion. Here's a fictional example: 10-year-old Sarah sustained a concussion during soccer practice. After a week of rest and symptom resolution, with doctor's approval, Sarah received a gentle massage focusing on her neck and shoulders, which significantly reduced her headaches and improved her sleep quality. Expert Interviews and Recommendations: Dr. Lisa Jones, a pediatric physical therapist: "Massage therapy can be a valuable tool for post-concussion recovery, but timing is crucial. I recommend waiting for symptom resolution and consulting the child's doctor before scheduling a massage. Gentle techniques focusing on relaxation and improved circulation can be highly beneficial." Dr. Michael Lee, a concussion specialist: "The optimal timing for massage therapy after a concussion can vary. It's important to listen to your child's body and prioritize their comfort. A gradual approach with doctor-approved massage techniques can significantly enhance a child's recovery journey."

Conclusion

By understanding the healing process and following the guidance of medical professionals, parents and caregivers can make informed decisions about incorporating massage therapy into their child's post-concussion recovery plan. Remember, prioritizing your child's comfort and well-being is paramount. With the right timing and approach, massage therapy can be a safe and beneficial addition to the healing journey. Additional Tips:
  • Look for massage therapists certified in pediatric massage or concussion recovery techniques.
  • Communicate openly with your child throughout the massage session and ensure they feel comfortable at all times.
  • Focus on creating a relaxing and safe environment for your child during the massage.
By following these steps, you can ensure that massage therapy contributes positively to your child's complete recovery from a concussion.
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What Are The Most Common Types of Seizures in Children?

What Are Seizures in Children?

A seizure is a sudden and abnormal surge of electrical activity in the brain that can happen to anyone. Seizures can vary in symptoms, from dramatic loss of consciousness and convulsions to more subtle feelings like déjà vu. While seizures are common and often stop on their own, they can be a sign of a more serious condition called epilepsy. Epilepsy is a condition where a person has a tendency to have seizures regularly. It affects about one in 26 people who have experienced seizures. However, many children outgrow their tendency to have seizures as they get older. It's important to seek medical help if you or someone you know has had a seizure. A proper diagnosis can help doctors find the best treatment options to manage and possibly prevent future seizures. Seizures are treatable, and with the right care, many people with epilepsy can live normal, healthy lives. Read more: What Does It Feel Like to Parent a Child With Epilepsy?

What Are The Most Common Types of Seizures in Children

  • Focal (partial) seizures
Focal seizures occur when there is abnormal electrical activity in one or more areas of the brain. Before a focal seizure, your child may experience an aura, which is a warning sign that a seizure is about to happen. This is more common with complex focal seizures. Auras can include feelings like deja vu, fear, euphoria, or impending doom. Your child may also have visual, auditory, or olfactory changes. There are two types of focal seizures:
  • Simple focal seizure. 
A simple focal seizure occurs when there is abnormal electrical activity in a specific area of the brain. The symptoms can vary depending on which part of the brain is affected. If the seizure occurs in the occipital lobe, which is responsible for vision, your child may experience changes in their sight. More commonly, the muscles are affected, with the seizure activity limited to a specific muscle group such as the fingers, arms, or legs. Your child may also experience symptoms like sweating, nausea, or paleness. Importantly, your child will not lose consciousness during a simple focal seizure.
  • Complex focal seizure.
A complex focal seizure is a type of seizure that often occurs in the region of the brain responsible for emotions and memory (temporal lobe). During this seizure, your child may lose consciousness, although they may not necessarily pass out. They may appear to be awake, but exhibit unusual behaviors such as gagging, lip smacking, running, screaming, crying, or laughing. After the seizure, your child may feel tired or sleepy, which is known as the postictal period.
  • Generalized seizure
Also known as a grand mal seizure, this type of seizure is characterized by five distinct phases. The body, arms, and legs of the individual will contract, extend, and tremor. This is followed by muscle contractions and relaxations, known as the clonic period, and then the postictal period. During the postictal period, the individual may feel sleepy and experience vision or speech problems, along with a headache, fatigue, or body aches. It's important to note that not everyone will experience all of these phases during a grand mal seizure.
  • Absence seizure .
Pediatric absence seizures, also known as petit mal seizures, are characterized by brief episodes of altered consciousness and staring. During these seizures, the child may maintain their posture and exhibit movements of the mouth, face, or eyes. The seizure typically lasts no longer than 30 seconds, after which the child may not remember what happened. It is common for these seizures to occur multiple times a day. It is important to note that absence seizures can be mistaken for learning or behavioral problems. These seizures usually begin between the ages of 4 and 12.
  • Atonic seizure. 
Atonic seizures, also known as drop attacks, can occur in children and involve a sudden loss of muscle tone. This can cause the child to fall from a standing position or drop their head abruptly. During the seizure, the child will be limp and unresponsive.
  • Generalized tonic-clonic seizure (GTC).
Generalized tonic-clonic seizures, also known as GTC or grand mal seizures, involve five distinct phases in children. These phases include muscle flexing, extension, tremors, clonic muscle movements, and a postictal period. During the postictal period, the child may experience sleepiness, vision or speech difficulties, headaches, fatigue, or body aches.
  • Myoclonic seizure. 
A type of seizure characterized by rapid movements or sudden jerking of a specific group of muscles is known as myoclonic seizures. These seizures typically occur in clusters, meaning they can happen multiple times a day or persist for several consecutive days.
  • Infantile spasms
Infantile spasms are a rare type of seizure disorder that typically affects infants under six months of age. These seizures often occur when the child is waking up or going to sleep. During an episode, the infant may experience brief periods of movement in their neck, trunk, or legs that last only a few seconds. It is not uncommon for infants to have hundreds of these seizures in a single day. This condition can be quite serious and may lead to long-term complications if not properly addressed.
  • Febrile seizures
Febrile seizures in children are often linked to a fever and are most commonly seen in kids between 6 months and 5 years old. There may be a family history of these seizures. Seizures that last less than 15 minutes are considered 'simple' and usually do not cause lasting neurological issues. However, seizures lasting longer than 15 minutes, known as 'complex' seizures, may result in long-term neurological changes in the child.

What causes a seizure in a child?

When thinking about seizures, many people imagine a person having a violent shaking episode on the ground. However, seizures can also be subtle and hard to detect, especially in infants. Common symptoms of seizures include a change in lip or face color, as well as a strange feeling that the person may not be able to describe. Seizures can be caused by various factors such as an imbalance of brain chemicals, a brain tumor, stroke, or brain damage from illness or injury. Sometimes, seizures can be a result of a combination of these factors. In many cases, the exact cause of a seizure remains unknown.

What are the signs & symptoms of a seizure in a child?

Seizures can be very different from what we see in movies and on TV. They can be subtle and hard to recognize, especially in infants. Some common symptoms to look out for include: Non-motor Symptoms: - A change in color of the lips or face - A strange feeling that the child can't explain - Decreased awareness or responsiveness, with staring - Eyes or head turned in one direction - Staring with eye fluttering - Seeing shapes or stars - Excessive drooling - Loss of control over bowel or bladder Motor Symptoms: - Repetitive actions like fiddling with clothing, grunting, lip-smacking, and clumsy movements - Convulsions (shaking uncontrollably) - Drooping facial features - Jerking or stiffness in arms and legs - Sudden loss of muscle control - Twitching or jerking of the face, arm, or leg After the seizure ends, the child may feel tired and need to rest. It's important to be aware of these symptoms and seek medical help if needed.

How are seizures diagnosed in a child?

Seizures in children are diagnosed by a healthcare provider through a thorough assessment of symptoms and health history. - Factors such as recent fever, head injury, congenital conditions, preterm birth, and medications will be considered. - A neurological exam may be conducted to evaluate the child's condition. - Blood tests may be done to check for abnormalities in blood sugar and other factors. - Imaging tests, such as an MRI or CT scan, may be used to examine the brain. - An electroencephalogram (EEG) may be performed to assess the electrical activity in the brain. - In some cases, a lumbar puncture (spinal tap) may be done to measure pressure in the brain and spinal canal and test the cerebral spinal fluid for infection or other issues.

How are seizures treated in a child?

Seizures in children are typically treated by a team of specialists who work together to address the underlying cause of the seizures. Here are some key points to consider when treating seizures in a child: - Specialists experienced in the specific condition that is triggering the seizures will collaborate with seizure and epilepsy specialists to provide comprehensive care. - Treatment not only focuses on managing the seizures themselves, but also on addressing any potential complications that may arise. - Neuropsychologists play a vital role in the treatment process by assessing your child's cognitive abilities, learning, behavior, emotional well-being, and social function. - Based on these assessments, strategies are developed to help your child reach their full potential and function at their highest level. - The goal of treatment is to provide holistic care that addresses both the physical and emotional well-being of the child. Overall, a multidisciplinary approach involving various specialists is crucial in ensuring the best possible care for a child experiencing seizures.

How can I help my child live with epilepsy?

To support your child living with epilepsy, ensure they understand their seizure type and medication. Keep track of doses and side effects, and consult their healthcare provider before giving other medications. Help them avoid triggers, prioritize sleep, and attend regular check-ups. Encourage safe activities with proper supervision and protective gear.

When should I call my child’s healthcare provider?

Contact your child's healthcare provider if their symptoms worsen or fail to improve, or if they experience any side effects from medication. It is important to seek medical advice if you have any concerns about your child's health.
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Common Pediatric Neurosurgery Procedures - NJ Pediatric Neuroscience Institute
Pediatric neurosurgery is a specialized field that focuses on treating brain conditions in children. Since children's brains are still developing, surgery may be necessary to address certain medical issues. This type of surgery is a key part of the treatment plan for children who need surgical intervention to improve their health.

When Pediatric Neurosurgery Procedures Become an Option

A child's brain can be affected by various health conditions, some of which are present from birth, while others develop over time or result from injuries. A pediatric neurosurgeon will carefully consider the best treatment options for each patient, often opting for conservative methods before considering surgery. However, in some cases, surgery may be necessary to address a brain disorder. It is important to trust the expertise of the medical professionals involved in making these decisions.

Common Pediatric Neurosurgery Procedures

Pediatric neurosurgical procedures can range from intensive to minimally invasive, with advancements in techniques leading to newer procedures that are safer and less invasive. These procedures are used to treat various conditions in children. Some common pediatric neurosurgery procedures include: 1. Removal or Debulking of Brain Tumors Debulking surgery is a procedure where a surgeon removes a portion of a tumor that can be safely taken out. This is done to lessen the pressure the tumor puts on the brain. A pediatric neurosurgeon performs this surgery and will not touch the part of the tumor that cannot be removed to avoid harming the brain. Resection is a surgery where doctors remove a brain tumor completely. They always aim to take out the entire tumor without causing harm to the patient. Sometimes, a tumor located at the base of the skull or the top of the spine can be reached through the nose and sinuses. In these cases, neurosurgeons opt for a less invasive procedure called an endonasal endoscopy. This involves removing the tumor through the nose and sinuses using a tool called an endoscope. 2. Biopsy A biopsy is a small surgical procedure done to help diagnose any abnormalities in the brain. During this procedure, a neurosurgeon will remove a tiny piece of tissue from an unusual growth or lesion in the brain. This tissue sample will then be sent for testing to determine the nature of the growth. This information will help the neurosurgeon in planning the best course of treatment for their patient. 3. Stopping a Brain Aneurysm (Micro-vascular Clipping or Embolization) An aneurysm is a condition where a blood vessel swells up like a balloon and can burst if not treated. A pediatric neurosurgeon can prevent this by either blocking the blood flow to the aneurysm using a procedure called embolization, or by removing the artery that supplies blood to the affected vessel, known as microvascular clipping. These procedures are done to avoid the dangerous consequences of a bursting aneurysm. 4. Surgical Treatment for Nerve Injuries or Disorders When a nerve is injured, it can affect how well a certain part of the body works. A pediatric neurosurgeon may be able to fix the damaged nerve to help improve function. In cases where a nerve disorder is causing muscle spasms, a neurosurgeon may perform a procedure called a rhizotomy. During this procedure, the surgeon locates the nerve responsible for the spasms and cuts it to help stop the spasms. They use electrical stimulation to help pinpoint the problem nerve.

A Pediatric Neurosurgeon Treats Common Neurological Disorders as Well

If your child has certain medical conditions like epilepsy, Down's syndrome, or cerebral palsy, their pediatrician may recommend seeing a pediatric neurosurgeon for further treatment. These specialists can perform surgical procedures that are often part of the treatment plan for these common conditions. By seeking out a consultation with a pediatric neurosurgeon, you can help improve your child's quality of life. Don't hesitate to reach out and schedule an appointment to learn more about how they can help. If you're looking to schedule an appointment with Dr. Catherine Mazzola, a specialist in pediatric neurosurgery, you can contact at +197-3326-9000.  Read our google business reviews
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The 13th Annual NJ Craniofacial Fundraising Gala
Get your Tickets Now! - The 13th Annual NJ Craniofacial Fundraising Gala - https://mailchi.mp/njpni/13th-njcraniofacial-gala-3-5
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NJPNI: March 2024 Newsletter - The Brain Wave!
NJPNI: March 2024 Newsletter - The Brain Wave! - https://mailchi.mp/njpni/march-2024
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Pineal Gland
The medical term for the surgical procedure involving the removal of the pineal gland is "pinealectomy" Its historical significance in neuroscience lies in its association with early attempts to treat psychiatric disorders and achieve spiritual enlightenment. René Descartes famously referred to the pineal gland as the "seat of the soul" in the 17th century. However, modern neuroscience has a much better understanding of its functions in regulating circadian rhythms and certain hormone secretion, rather than spiritual or metaphysical significance!
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Dr. Mazzola's Latest Publication
Have a look at Dr. Mazzola's latest publication -- a wonderful testament to Dr. Mazzola's commitment to advancing the research within her Neurosurgical cohort. Have a read here: https://www.sciencedirect.com/.../pii/S1878875024003826...
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MD FAME Program
What truly sets Dr. Ammar apart is his exceptional ability to connect with our young learners. With patience and empathy, he has skillfully navigated through their inquiries, offering thoughtful guidance and encouragement every step of the way. Dr. Ammar's mentorship has not only broadened our students' horizons but has also instilled in them a sense of curiosity and ambition to pursue their dreams in the medical field!
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Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month
March is Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month! Let's shine a light on the incredible potential of individuals with developmental disabilities. Early diagnosis, support, and access to resources are key to unlocking opportunities for growth and success. #DevelopmentalDisabilitiesAwarenessMonth #PediatricNeurology #PediatricNeurosurgery #InclusiveCommunity
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Cerebral Palsy
Did you know that Cerebral Palsy affects movement and posture and is the most common motor disability in childhood? Stay tuned every Tuesday for interesting facts and trivia about Cerebral Palsy as we raise awareness this month. #TriviaTuesday #CerebralPalsyAwareness #PediatricNeurology #PediatricNeurosurgery
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