Oakland Co doctor changing the way we evaluate concussions

- 90 Gs of force. That's what it takes to deliver a concussion. It's also the talk on the football field, from the pee wees to the pros.  

When an athlete takes repeated blows to the head, we know that can have serious consequences and possibly even lead to brain disease. An Oakland County doctor is at the forefront of how experts are evaluating athletes who may have a concussion. 

"My dad actually got drafted by the Cleveland Browns. He was a quarterback, so football has always been a big part of our family life," Dr. Cody Senkyr says. He followed suit, too, and played football from elementary school into college. He says he was never actually diagnosed with a concussion, but after every game he would have a headache. 

It's a familiar situation for many families, too. Does my child have a concussion or not? Is it safe to head back onto the field? 

Dr. Senkyr has a new program at his clinic in Clarkston that helps test student athletes on their neurological capabilities. He's hoping this program will create a baseline, so doctors know what they're dealing with and whether or not to send student athletes back on the field. So, if they take a hit on the field, Dr. Senkyr can tell how much damage is being done. 

"It started because, I'm seeing all these athletes, and seeing concussions absolutely on the rise," he says.

He's using a new FDA approved app called Sway Medical. Unlike an MRI machine, it gives real-time feedback to the doctor and patient.

"You put it against your chest and it can judge any kind of movement that's happening based on the different positions we put the athlete in," he explains. The results are then compared to normal neurological activity. Then, Dr. Senkyr can suggest chiropractic strategies to heal the brain or, in serious cases, make a referral to a neurologist. 

Dr. Senkyr says the NFL is using the Sway Medical app this season on the sidelines as part of their concussion protocol.  

"We want to make sure they are absolutely sure they are going back on the field when they are ready." he says.

Right now, Dr. Senkyr is focusing on Clarkston High School athletes but says he wouldn't turn down anyone to wants to get their child tested. If you'd like more information, his practice is Cowan Chiropractic in Clarkston. You can get more information online here, or by calling (248) 625-7600.

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