Concussion and Whiplash Clinic

Your Expressway to Recovery:

Dedicated to helping you regain control of your life quickly and completely.

If you or someone you know is suspected of having any concussion Dr. Nelson is available for a complimentary phone consultation without obligation at 503.512.5359 He can also be reached by email at [email protected]

What is a Concussion / Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)?

Concussion is a Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) to the soft tissues of the brain including nerve cells, supporting tissues and blood vessels. Concussion / Traumatic Brain Injury may be caused by a blow to the head or body, a whiplash of the head and neck, a fall or other trauma that violently shakes the brain inside the skull.

Concussion / Traumatic Brain Injury can occur without the individual having to lose consciousness. Often times there are no visible signs of a concussion (and whiplash) but there may be symptoms or changes in behavior as listed below:


  • Difficulty thinking clearly
  • Taking longer to think, feeling slowed down
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Difficulty remembering new information

Physical Symptoms:

  • Headaches
  • Neck and Back pain and stiffness
  • Fuzzy and/or Blurred vision
  • Nausea and/or Vomiting
  • Dizziness and/or Balance problems
  • Numbness and/or Tingling
  • Increased Sensitivity to light and/or sound
  • Feeling tired and/or having no energy


  • Feeling more emotional
  • Being irritable, frustrated, and/or easily angered
  • Feeling sad and/or depressed
  • Feeling nervous, restlessness and/or anxious


  • Sleeping more than usual
  • Sleeping less than usual
  • Having trouble falling sleep
  • Having trouble staying asleep

Physicians can significantly improve patient outcomes when concussion/ traumatic brain injury (TBI) is suspected or diagnosed by implementing early management and appropriate referral. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

Dr. Lawrence Nelson is a Board Certified Chiropractic Neurologist with over 30 years of training and experience in helping patients accelerate their recovery from Concussion / Traumatic Brain Injury and Whiplash.

I was delighted to discover that after my first visit I began to feel better. With the sleeping tips I started to sleep better. Learning about pacing helped me to think better. My hope returned and I realized for the first time since my injury I was going to get my life back. Patti B…

For more information on How is a Concussion / Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) is diagnosed please click on read more.

How is a Concussion / Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) diagnosed?

Any person suspected of having a concussion / traumatic brain injury should see a doctor specializing in the management and recovery of TBI - ASAP. The doctor will ask specific questions to determine how your brain is currently functioning including your ability;

  • to pay attention
  • to solve simple problems and
  • how your memory is working

Other tests will include;

  • checking your balance and movement through space
  • checking your strength, reflexes, and sensation

Additional tests may be ordered including;

CT scan and/or MRI to ensure there is no internal bleeding or other damage

Neuropsychological tests to check your brain regarding any;

  • information processing difficulties,
  • memory deficits,
  • language difficulties,
  • organization and planning difficulties

The compassion expressed and thoroughness with which Dr. Nelson approached my first visit was very welcoming and reassuring. He asked important questions and listened intently to my answers. The comprehensive nature of his exam and how he shared his findings throughout the process helped me better understand my condition. His treatment was gentle and I left feeling better and confident that I was in the right place to recover. -Jonathan W…

For more information on How is a Concussion / Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) is treated please click on read more.

How is Concussion / Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) treated?

The best way to recover from a concussion / traumatic brain injury (TBI) is to see a functional neurology doctor specializing in the management and recovery of TBI and whiplash.

This will ensure;

  • early diagnosis,
  • appropriate treatment,
  • timely referral and
  • implementation of a concussion self-management plan.

The functional neurology doctor will examine you to determine how your brain and nervous system are working and where nerve disruption is occurring. He/she will then design a customized program of care for your specific needs. Treatment may include;

Chiropractic Adjusting, Functional Neurology Stimulation, Acupuncture and Massage: Designed to improve function, balance muscle symmetry, increase spatial awareness, reduce joint position errors and reduce muscle tension:

  • Chiropractic Percussion Instrument Adjusting – very gentle and without the “cracking”
  • Functional Neurology Stimulations – very gentle
  • Acupuncture and Physiotherapies – very gentle
  • Massage and Cranial Sacral Therapy – very gentle

Therapeutic Neuromuscular Re-Education Exercises:

  • Specific therapeutic exercises designed to address weakness or loss of joint mobility.

Therapeutic Activities and Instruction on ADL’s:

  • Specific therapeutic activities designed to address use of functional, dynamic tasks mimicking real-life activity from everyday living to improve ROM and strength, weakness or loss of joint mobility:

Functional Neurology methods provide immediate “real time feedback” from your brain and body. This biological feedback allows the functional neurology doctor to refine your program of care each visit according to what your brain and body needs to further its healing.

Dr. Nelson is a kind, gentle man with good listening skills. He listens to you, evaluates you and then uses is many years of experience & knowledge to help fix your problem or problems. I had a very good experience with him and would recommend family, friends and clients to him. Kristine P…

For more information on How is a Concussion / Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) is treated please click on read more.

Concussion / Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) self-management planning includes:

  • Getting plenty of sleep at night, and taking it easy during the day.
  • Use ice or a cold pack on any swelling for 15 at a time with 15-30 minutes in between the next application. Always put a thin cloth between the ice and your skin.
  • Ask your doctor when it's okay for you to drive a car,
  • Avoid activities that are physically demanding such as housework, exercise, riding a bike, operating machinery and strenuous labor. *
  • Avoid activities that are mentally demanding such as schoolwork, video games, text messaging, or using the computer. *

*Your doctor may require you to take time off from work if necessary or change your school or work schedule while you recover.

  • Avoid alcohol and illegal drugs.

Take only prescription medications and over the counter medications as directed by your functional neurology doctor.

  • Ibuprofen or acetaminophen: These medicines decrease pain. They are available without a doctor's order. Ask your functional neurology doctor which medicine is right for you. Ask how much to take and how often to take it. Follow your functional neurology doctor’s directions.
  • These medicines can cause stomach bleeding if not taken correctly. Ibuprofen can cause kidney damage. Do not take ibuprofen if you have kidney disease, an ulcer, or allergies to aspirin. Acetaminophen can cause liver damage. Do not drink alcohol if you take acetaminophen.
  • Take your medicine as directed. Call your functional neurology doctor and or primary care doctor if you think your medicine is not helping or if you have side effects. Tell him/her if you are allergic to any medicine. Keep a list of the medicines, vitamins, and herbs you take. Include the amounts, and when and why you take them. Bring the list or the pill bottles to follow-up visits. Carry your medicine list with you in case of an emergency.

For more information on How is a Concussion / Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) is treated please click on read more.

What happens to the brain with Concussion / Traumatic Brain Injury and Whiplash?

The brain is normally protected by the bony skull and insulated from jarring by fluid that cushions the brain during movement. When the head or body experiences any sudden movement (i.e. whiplash) brain movement can overcome the fluid cushion and be stretched, damaging nerves and become bruised by bumping into the inside of the skull. These tissue injuries disturb the transmission of nerve signals causing pain, dysfunction and symptoms.

Some common ways to get a concussion / TBI are from car accidents that result in whiplash, sports injuries and falls. Most people sustaining a mild concussion, with appropriate care will generally recover fully within weeks or months. Recovery may be slower for older adults, young children and teens. More serious concussions or repeated concussions often take longer to recover and may lead to long-lasting problems with thinking, communicating, learning and movement. Some symptoms may appear right away, while other symptoms may not appear for days or even months after the injury. Some symptoms may not show up until the person begins to resume their everyday activities, and when additional demands are placed upon themselves.

Sometimes people may be unwilling to admit that they are having a problem or may not recognize a problem. They can become angry, frustrated and/or confused about what is happening to them. They may think they are okay even though they are behaving differently. It is important that family members and others acquainted with the person assist in pointing out changes in symptoms and behavior to the doctor.

Young children and concussion

Young children may have the same symptoms of concussion / TBI. However concussion may be harder to diagnose because of their inability to communicate. Symptoms listed below may indicate a concussion:

  • Crying more than usual
  • Changes in the way the act or play
  • Changes in nursing, eating or sleeping
  • Becoming easily upset, exhibiting more tantrums
  • Loss of new skills, such as toilet training
  • Lack of interest in favorite toys
  • Loss of balance and trouble walking

Older adults and concussion

Concussion / TBI in older adults are often missed and can be dangerous if not addressed quickly. Identifying a serious problem may include sudden onset of headache, increasing confusion or other symptoms previously not expressed. When concussion / TBI is suspected in any age group, the person should be seen by a doctor right away to ensure early diagnosis, appropriate treatment and timely referral.

Dr. Nelson, a Board Certified Chiropractic Neurologist, practices functional neurology in addition to traditional chiropractic care. He will combine functional neurology and chiropractic treatments with “homework” personalized for your situation to facilitate your body’s innate healing systems, which will help you heal faster and more completely.

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