When you are dealing with the aftermath of a concussion or stroke it is very likely that you have lower levels of energy and experience much more fatigue than you used to.
Several mechanisms are underlying the fatigue and energy crisis that you are experiencing. In previous blogs, we described mechanisms as:
- Neurovascular uncoupling affects blood flow to the brain and interrupts the cognitive function
- Neuroinflammation where the immune system of the head is on alert and causes brain fog and inability to think
- Energy crisis in the energy factories of your cells, the so-called mitochondria
- The stress system goes on alert mode all the time, which disrupts the normal vagal tone
- Disrupted hormone and neurotransmitter levels
Next to these, factors such as disruption of the blood-brain barrier, gut-brain axis and increases in low-grade inflammation throughout the body because of degraded regulatory top-down control from the brain to the immune (increased immune responses result), autonomic nervous system, increased sympathetic nervous system drive (means increased systemic low-grade inflammation) and gastrointestinal tract dysfunction all can play a role in the fatigue you are experiencing. The star of the energy crisis and fatigue experienced if we believe researchers, is the energy production system in all of your cells.
We realize that perhaps all of this does not make complete sense at this point or even seems a little overwhelming. Fear not, what you are experiencing is normal and it will get better. Our bodies are made to change and adapt to specifically imposed demand.
Small, yet significant, things that you can do like introducing small short-lived stressors such as heat, cold, light, exercise to increase resilience in your energy production, will compound and be of great benefit to your recovery. By contacting VanCityPhysio and arranging an appointment with one of our physiotherapists, we will help guide you through this difficult time by not only helping you in your physical rehabilitation, but also provide contacts to other allied healthcare professions that, as a team, will work to help you be the best version of yourself.
Visit our website at www.vancityphyiso.com or simply call our front desk at 604.398.5584 to book an appointment!