Concussion Action Plan
If your child is playing contact sports you should NOT be thinking “IF they get a concussion…” but rather “WHEN they suffer a concussion…” this is what I will do.
No matter what rules are established, no matter what equipment is created accidents will happen and being prepared with your own comprehensive program is key.
So the questions are:
- “What should I do NOW to prepare for a probable head trauma?”
- “How can I be proactive when it comes to concussions?”
- “If helmets are not the answer than what is?”
Dr. David Burns has provided his patients with expert advice and guidance on concussion management for over a decade.
Download a must read PDF on concussion management below and create a Concussion Action Plan for your child.
Avoiding the reality of sports and the potential consequences will not make the issue go away. Being proactive when it comes to their brain health is a step in the right direction.
“As such, I highly support and conquer with Dr. Burns’ recommendation that anyone involved in sports with the potential for head injury or concussion, should undergo comprehensive baseline testing. These assessments should be done BEFORE the injury happens, and should be comprehensive in nature, creating the necessary reference point, which would help in designing an effective treatment plan to enhance neurological recovery AFTER concussion.” Dr. Mark Piker, board-certified neurologist
For 10 years, since the age of 37, I had gone to medical doctors, naturopathic doctors and chiropractors in search of an answer. And after hours and hours of treatments and thousands of dollars later, I had not experienced even temporary relief from the symptoms that had started to accelerate at an alarming rate. No practitioner could even diagnosis it. They could only give a name to the symptoms. So I was no longer interested in seeing any more doctors.
I’m so thankful for the rehab I received by Dr. Burns. Before I saw him I had gone with constant headaches, dizziness and tiredness for more than a month after a concussion. After only three days of Dr. Burns’ therapy with a variety of exercises, I felt much better and the symptoms started to go away.
There were only two weeks left of my first year of college when I fell backwards and landed on the back of my head. I saw a doctor who said I had a concussion. She told me to rest and not to read or be in front of screens. For three weeks I had constant headaches, felt dizzy and barely had any energy.
The doctor had given me the diagnosis, but not a way to get better. My mom was finally recommended Dr. Burns from a friend whose daughter had been helped by him after suffering a severe headache and dizziness for a long time after a concussion. She told us to contact Dr. Burns, and that the sooner we start, the better.
A week of his exercises relieved my headache and my dizziness. I still had to take it easy after the brain rehab, but I felt so much better! After the first week of intense therapy I have continued to do daily exercises on the computer to work on skills such as memory, focus, and attention.
I really have confidence in Dr. Burns and his skills. I would recommend him to anyone who has suffered a concussion and wants a proactive approach to get better.
Dear Dr. Burns:
My husband and I cannot possibly find the words to express our enormous gratitude for your excellent work. As you may recall, my husband suddenly became ill in August 2014. His first symptoms were dramatic weight loss over 2 weeks of more than 10% of his body weight. His hair and beard stopped growing. He became anxious and immobilized by fear. Although we sought medical attention, all efforts failed. My husband was disabled by his condition and we did not received a correct diagnosis until after his recovery. His illness necessitated a leave of disability from work.
After local medical teams failed to diagnose and treat my husband, we traveled to physicians in California and obtained clues as to what could be happening, but still no definitive diagnosis. We did finally, 8 weeks into the illness, obtain medications that stabilized his condition. And, we learned that his brain scans seemed to indicate he had suffered something like a traumatic brain injury, though we knew of no such injury.
With that as our only clue to the true nature of his illness, I began looking for therapists that work with brain injury victims. I found you – and you were only 15 minutes from our home. Providence!
At the time my husband started working with you, he had loss of balance, marked short-term memory loss, delusional anxiety where his worries were exaggerated far beyond the facts of real circumstances, he was terribly thin, argumentative, and lethargic. He had lost his normal jovial personality and his good natured sense of humor. In many respects he looked and acted like a mild to moderate Alzheimer’s case.
10 weeks into this illness, my husband spent a 40 hour week with you. You may recall that upon initial evaluation, some of his neuro test results were in the 90th percentile and others were in the 4th and 5th percentile. Although we didn’t see improvement on days 1-3, my husband’s mind “unlocked” on days 4 & 5 with you. He returned to work 1 week later, 95% back to himself. The remainder of his healing occurred over the next month. So that by December 1st, 2014, he was 100% back to himself. His weight finally recovered by March 2015.
My husband was evaluated by the Univ. California at San Francisco Encephalitis Clinic 2 weeks after completing his work with you. Their evaluation was very thorough – a team of 8 physicians spent 8 hours testing and evaluating my husband. They also had obtained CSF and blood samples from the UW and conducted their own blood tests. They concluded that my husband had suffered an encephalopathy (brain swelling) syndrome. As we prepared to leave the UCSF clinic, the lead physician told us that we “are very lucky. No one gets well from an encephalopathy syndrome as quickly” as my husband “nor do they get 100% better” as my husband appeared to have.
David, we are certain God brought us to you, and we are certain your excellent work restored my husband’s functioning.
In gratitude, we wish for you all the best that life has to offer.
With sincere appreciation,
Our 9 year-old son fell down at home and suffered bad concussion. Initially, he had classic symptoms; headaches and dizziness. We went to the concussion clinic at Children’s Hospital and MRI showed nothing.
About 2 weeks of resting at home, he became unable to balance himself and can barely walk. Along with the balance problem, he developed constant body twitching. He saw different specialists but no one was able to help him. Meanwhile, our son missed 6 weeks of school and the symptoms were getting worse.
By chance, someone recommended Dr. Burns. During first appointment, Dr. Burns isolated the problem area of the brain. After working mainly with our son’s eye movement I noticed immediate improvement on his balance and walking. It was
like a miracle after 6 weeks of lots of anxiety, prayers, and frustration.
After working with Dr. Burns for next 2 weeks straight, our son was back to normal and was able to go back to school. Everyone was amazed how fast he had bounced back from such a debilitating condition. I can’t say enough good things about Dr. Burns. He is excellent at explaining and working with children.
Even after the therapy was over, he kept in touch to see how
our son was doing. He would follow up on home exercises and any residual symptoms.
Without a doubt, I highly recommend Dr. Burns for concussion related problems.
Johann Yi DDS
When our daughter suffered her fourth concussion from semi professional snowboarding we quickly realized that this one was different. Past medical advice from concussions had been to rest, stay in a dark room for a while and wait for the brain to mend. It’s seemed to have worked in the past (now I know better though). It became apparent that her symptoms of headaches, irritability, inability to focus and process cognitive information were profound and not getting better. After consulting with what is known as one of the best neurology/concussion sports treatment centers in Seattle her neurologist said she should be fine in a couple weeks and put her on a plane back to Utah. She continued to suffer debilitating symptoms and return to Seattle for a consultation with another neurologist… He was kind and compassionate and offered several alternative therapies to help ease her condition like acupuncture, medical massage and etc. She still did improve. She continued to complain of vision problems and he referred us to an ophthalmologist very experienced and well-known.
The ophthalmologist diagnosed our daughter as 100% “fine, no problems’s” during this medical Odyssey she was twice recommended to go on antidepressants to help cure her anxiety and depression. We trusted the best medical doctors in our area and relied on their opinion and how we treated her. We continued to encourage her to have a positive attitude and “feel better”. The effect on a family when a loved one is dealing with postconcussion syndrome and mild traumatic brain injury cannot be understated… The stresses of the patient are challenging in themselves but compound that with medical professionals that say nothing is wrong with the patient and you have a recipe for tension and negativity, which is exactly what our daughter did not need!
After a ton of Internet research we became familiar with Dr. David Burns of the Brain Center NW inIssaquah Washington. Dr. Burns is one of the only practitioners in the northwest that truly understands concussions he immediately responded to our phone call and found time to meet with our daughter within 24 hours. It is not an understatement to say that we were at an emergency level in our household. Within about two hours of diagnostics Dr. Burns was able to visually and statistically illustrate what was wrong with our daughters vision why it was causing double vision why she was unable to drive and what was giving her such severe headaches. He made space to start his intensive treatment with her the following Monday for one week. He also promised me that he would have for driving by the following Thursday. I thought that was amusing given what we were experiencing. The following Thursday when she drove herself to her treatment with Dr. Burns I had a newfound respect for his intensive all-encompassing treatment. when he works with the patient he is 100% devoted to their recovery and success. He would email us later the evening to follow up on items and track her progress when she was working on homework and etc. his approach is miraculous and was the only reason she was able to get started on her normal life. As an addendum we recently visited the Carrick Brain Institute in Texas that pioneered many of the techniques that Dr. Burns happens to be exceptional at. After suffering multiple concussions we began to take her condition seriously and have explored improving her cognitive responses as well as future long-term health and getting her back to where she was. Looking at what The Carrick Institute does substantiated the superior level of skill that we have in a local doctor in Dr. Burns. He is bringing cutting edge concussion and MTBI practices, therapies and knowledge to the Seattle area.
We are incredibly grateful to Dr. Burns for helping to restore a healthy life to my daughter.
In January 2015, my daughter Victoria suffered a concussion while on a ski trip with some family friends. She was testing her limits by trying to find her top speed on a run in Sun Valley, Idaho, but since she was unfamiliar with the trail, she chose the wrong line through a turn and went through a plastic barrier fence into an ungroomed area. The fall was reportedly spectacular, leaving a “yard sale” of equipment strewn about, a significantly dented helmet, and a very dazed girl in the snow.
Victoria took a few minutes to collect herself, but since no ski patrols came to investigate, the girls eventually gathered up Victoria’s equipment, and then skied down to the lodge where they took a break to allow Victoria a little time to recover. It was not enough though. Still feeling dazed, but not wanting to put a damper on her friends’ fun, Victoria decided to ski with them the rest of the day.
And the next.
Her friends dutifully kept checking with her, but Victoria bravely tried to push through it. She continued to feel dazed and, as time passed, became irritable, wanted to sleep, lost her appetite, lost her desire to ski, and, when her friends began to talk of extending the trip by an extra day, simply wanted to go home. At no time did she see a doctor and no one recognized how significantly her crash may have affected her.
She got back to Seattle on a Monday night. Victoria’s mother took one look at her and knew that things were much worse than had been reported. She took Victoria to her pediatrician’s office where a covering doctor ran her through several different concussion protocols and diagnosed her with a “mild concussion.”
Upon hearing the word “mild,” all sense of urgency dissipated. We kept her home from school, let her sleep as much as she wanted, cut down (but didn’t eliminate) the time she spent watching television, and expected her to be her normal self within a couple of days. Unfortunately, this didn’t happen. Two days became three; three became four, until two weeks had gone by with absolutely no improvement. We began to understand that “mild” was an inaccurate and misleading word, so we took Victoria to a
Now that we were seeing a specialist, we expected things to progress. Our neurologist put Victoria through another, more thorough, series of concussion testing, explained a little more about what happens in the brain when a concussion occurs, and sent her home with a stricter regimen: no school, zero TV, dark rooms, and occasional Tylenol for her worsening headaches.
Still no improvement.
We returned to her neurologist after two more weeks. Victoria reported a small level of improvement, enough so that the neurologist believed she could start to push herself cognitively and return for part days at school. Later we came to realize that the reported improvements were simply Victoria’s desire to be normal and do normal things again. School lasted about three days, until the pain and vestibular difficulty became too much for her, at which time we again kept her home.
This went on for almost five more weeks. Finally, at wit’s end, we called a Sports Medicine doctor friend who suggested that we see Dr. David Burns. Our friend said that if a person’s recovery from a
concussion doesn’t follow the normal concussion recovery curve, a more aggressive treatment plan can be attempted. The truth is that we are very lucky that our friend is open to different forms of treatment as most of the traditional doctors have a strong reluctance to do anything different than established treatment programs. Our friend further endorsed David’s treatment plan by telling us he’d send his own daughter to see him if (or when) she gets a concussion.
We immediately called and got a very fast response. After some questions to determine what had happened and what we had done, David agreed to take Victoria on as a patient. He explained a little about the therapy and a little about the results he had previously experienced, but we didn’t really understand what the treatment entailed, or what to expect. Would it be similar to that which we had been receiving from our neurologist? Would it be increased cognitive thought? Did it encompass aspects of physical therapy?
As it turned out, our treatment plan by David was extraordinary. It included aspects of each, but also much more.
Five days of 4 hours per day treatment led to the abatement of almost all of Victoria’s symptoms by the end of the week. The repetitions of saccades and smooth pursuits as well as the variety of simultaneous vestibular input did wonders for brain function and brought her ImPact scores from the bottom one percentile back to her normal mid-90’s percentile. Her headaches largely disappeared and her ability to sleep returned. Some residual convergence (later to be recognized by David as divergence) issues remained, however. David gave us some homework exercises to do over the next week, but when they did not improve that area, we went back for one additional hour period of therapy, after which her symptoms disappeared altogether.
I was extremely impressed with David’s knowledge of brain activity, the levels of the brain that are active during specific processes, and the ways to stimulate the neurons in order to get a specific
response. His background in optometry and chiropractic care gave him further insight to other aspects which affected Victoria’s physical recovery as well as that of her brain. Throughout the process, David was extremely willing to explain what he was doing, how it should affect Victoria, and readily pulled out medical references for me to better understand the treatment.
It was very apparent that his focus was specifically on Victoria’s case. Of course, having small numbers of patients in his practice makes that easier, but I could definitely tell how much extra research and review he was doing to assure he was treating Victoria with the best possible care. David’s level of attention and care was exceptional.
So, finally, after over eight weeks, Victoria began the process to return to school and to athletics, both of which she was successfully able to accomplish without any recurrence of concussion-related problems. She has been able to put in the same level of academic performance that she had previously (straight A’s) and she even was able to qualify for the Metro Championships in track a mere three weeks after the
I have no doubt that we would still be suffering through the recovery process had we not gone to see David. With all of the research on concussions which I have done since her treatment, I have been amazed at the large number of concussion sufferers whose symptoms and continuous pains have lingered for months or years. For over two months, Victoria did not make any progress whatsoever on recovering. Then, following the functional neurological therapy that David administered, she was
completely recovered in a mere few weeks. The correlation is clear. And, it is amazing.
In 2013 I was in a very bad car accident. I was just starting to drive after the light had turned green when I was hit from behind by another car going at least 35-40 miles per hour. The paramedics came. I asked the paramedic if I could drive my car to the hospital. He convinced me it was a bad idea and to let them drive me. My car was totaled. I was in shock. The paramedics could not find my pulse. It was not until they distracted me by asking me about my kids, that I all of a sudden took a very deep breath, that they were able to find my pulse. The person that did the estimate on my car said I was lucky to have walked out of it. My body walked out of it, but my brain never did. It was over a year of up and down/all over the place emotions, headaches, neck and back discomfort that I met a doctor that diagnosed me with a significant brain injury. I started to get better with the doctors I had found, but I was still disoriented and told that because of the amount of time that had passed since the accident I would probably not make a full recovery.
My emotions were more stable so I almost accepted what they told me. But since I’m a very stubborn person, I did not want to give up on making a full recovery. I begged my doctor to help me get further in my healing. That’s when she found Dr. Burns. For such a long time I was searching for someone to help me ‘wake up’ my brain, but kept hitting a wall until I met Dr. Burns. It was fortunate that I had met him because about 2 weeks later in December of 2014, I was in another accident with someone that was not paying attention to what they were doing. This accident was not as bad but because I had not been through Dr. Burns treatment program my brain was more prone to an even worse concussion. Dr. Burns had to convince me to come in to be checked because I thought I was fine. Unfortunately I was not. My emotions were double what they were in 2013. I was horrible to live with. It was so bad that I did not want to go on living anymore. One night I started walking until I could not walk anymore hoping I would not make it another day. My love for my kids brought me home that night. I told myself that night to not give up yet because Dr. Burns can help me. For the next two weeks I kept repeating that same phrase ‘don’t give up yet’ in my head over and over until my appointment with Dr. Burns. Within one week of his treatment I was back to wanting to live again. I felt like a new person. His treatment is normally only 1 week long but because he had to heal me from the 2014 accident first I had to go back for another week of intense training. Dr. Burns is a very no nonsense tough coach, but that is what I needed and it worked. By the time he was done with me some of my cognitive and balance scores were above average. I was a new and better person. I had forgotten who I was but thanks to Dr. Burns I now do indoor rock climbing, ride my bike to work (6.5 miles each way), do Yoga, and Lumosity.
I’m up for any adventure that comes my way because my life is full of a lot of possibilities. I’m forever grateful to Dr. Burns for not only saving me from myself but not giving up on an all over the place emotional 46yr old woman.
Thank you Dr. Burns!
A mother’s perspective-
My daughter, Kaeli, is an active girl involved in varsity cross country, track, hiking, biking, playing the French horn in the high school band, and playing the piano as a classical pianist. A concussion while snowboarding on February 16th brought her to a stand still. My happy teenager turned moody and over emotional, could not focus, and had severe headaches all the time. She was always cold and had stomach aches ever since the accident. Even though she was a straight A student, she could now not read or look at a computer screen without pain. Noise really bothered her. She could no longer play the piano or French horn. She stayed home from school and didn’t feel good enough to do anything. We were careful not to push her back to school, music, or sports because of our experiences with an older son who had had a concussion. I was worried. We went through an extensive test (SCAT III Protocol Concussion test) to find out when she could return to normal activity. The answer seemed to be wait and it would heal. Yet, Kaeli did not heal well. I began to be really disheartened.
After three weeks, we were given Dr. Burns’ name as a resource. In our assessment exam, it became obvious that there specific parts of Kaeli’s brain that were injured. All of her behavior began to make sense. We had a diagnosis that was precise and clear. It was unlike any of the other medical help we had received. We were told exactly where the brain was fatiguing, and why things were happening.
The next week of intensive brain rehab brought hope every day. The exercises were specific to Kaeli and addressed exactly what was not functioning well for her. Dr. Burns was creative, detailed, and exact. He was careful not to damage, but to rehabilitate the brain in very specific ways using Kaeli’s eyes as indicators of what was going on with the different areas of the brain. Kaeli began to recover by leaps and bounds under his care… literally by the 3rd day of rehab, Dr. Burns had Kaeli doing specific brain exercises while she ran and jumped for a full hour. I sat on the sidelines and cried from both relief and happiness. My daughter was coming back from an injury that seemed debilitating to her entire life style. By the end of the week of rehab, Kaeli was laughing and joking again. Now, one week later, she is catching up in school after being out for almost 4 weeks, training for her 400 m sprint in track, and playing the piano and French horn again. We are still being careful, but there is measurable progress every day. She is no longer moody, her body temperature is normal, and her stomach is functioning again, something we did not expect to heal from the brain therapy. She is able to study, and is getting stronger and stronger. It is a complete turn around. Dr. Burns continues to follow her progress closely. I am so grateful for his therapy methods that have changed the course of our daughter’s recovery.
When I first went to see David Burns my understanding was that he was going to help me heal from the multiple concussions I have had during my professional Big Air Snowboarding career. I wasn’t even sure what I needed or what it meant to heal or how I would feel after I had healed.
I did know that I had had many concussions and that David could tell without testing me that something was off just by looking at my eyes and watching me while he was working on my daughter who was working with him in recovery from a concussion.
I was shocked at the below below average results I received because I have been very high functioning person, working as a high performance tennis coach, raising 3 kids and taking care of a family.
After my 1st week with David my awareness started to open and I got a glimpse of how David was training my brain so I could be more fully present in my daily life and 100% more high performing in everything I did.
I began to understand and know the feeling of what it meant to focus…to be in the moment and not distracted. Until my brain “ muscle “ had been developed I wasn’t even able to know if I was focusing because nothing was firing. Previously I would just will myself and say come on now…focus. I thought that would happen just by telling myself to do so. That was not the case. My brain had no “ muscle” to even be able to do that….until I started to work with David.
The level of my life in all areas have changed for the better:
I am present with my kids on a different level that is more fulfilling and enjoyable with much less stress.
I am able to complete simple tasks that I wasn’t able to do before because I thought it just wasn’t my thing.
My vision has improved. I teach tennis and the ball used to disappear for about 8 feet….now I can watch the ball the entire time.
I am able to focus at an entirely new and more advanced level. The level of my play has gone up significantly in a short period of time since I have been working with David.
My decision making skills, strategizing and planning has become a part of my life consciously in every part of my life.
I can’t believe I could be such a high achiever in so many things even though I was now obviously compensating at an extreme level. ( World Champion Big Air Jumper, Full 4 year scholarship for tennis, School teacher with a masters and speciality in curriculum development, raising 3 kids etc)
I am so excited about the possibilities that lie in front of me in a conscious state while I continually work on developing a higher functioning brain.
Thanks to David for having the passion and developing such an amazing business to help people.
I have new goals and new dreams that I feel even more confident in achieving than I ever had before.
I plan on doing my brain training with David forever. I know the sky is the limit and I want to experience my life fully with a high functioning brain. Just like we train our bodies in the gym or take classes to learn. My brain is the foundation of everything. With a healthy high functioning brain my chances of a beautiful life living to my highest potential are more possible than ever!
Our son, Aidan (age 12) suffered one concussion in January this year, and second concussion in May. While the first concussion did not initially seem too severe, he ended up with all the major symptoms (nausea, dizziness, headaches, poor concentration, etc.), unable to attend school or do much of anything. After following the typical advice of ‘rest, rest, rest’, with no improvement, we tried several alternative treatments including cranial sacral therapy, nutritional therapies, Chinese medicine herbal treatments and massage. While he would have some improvement, nothing truly addressed the issue. In April, he healed well enough (on his own) to get back into school again full-time and also returned to his regular activity. The second concussion in May was severe and landed him in the emergency room with CT scan. He was back to square one, but worse. We started the alternative therapies again, and enrolled him to attend physical therapy as well. At this point, we had done so much reading, examining research on concussions, and talking with other parents, that we knew there was a piece missing in concussion treatment – essentially there is no real concussion treatment and the recommendation to rest is of little use to someone suffering symptoms months after the initial trauma.
We found Dr. Burns while searching for a more functional, pragmatic approach. The approach Dr. Burns uses is unique, and effective. After the intensive testing, and treatment, Aidan’s symptoms all improved by leaps and bounds! After 4 days of sessions Aidan started doing running sprints again, while he had not been able to run at all in the last 8 months. Aidan was able to complete a 3-mile hike 3 days after treatment, where in physical therapy his ‘limit’ on the treadmill was 3 minutes a week earlier. More importantly, his concentration is steadily improving. He can now read with no dizziness or cognitive fatigue and he is building his mental muscle back up, just like he is increasing his tolerance for physical activity.
Dr. Burns possesses an intelligent flexibility and cutting edge testing and treatment. His approach is positive, but more importantly, effective. The effect of post-concussion syndrome on a child is immeasurable. Not only are they reduced to living a small life (rest, no stimulation, not much activity), but they are isolated from peers, miss school and events, and often alienate family through the common symptom of severe irritability. Parents are impacted as well, as they become medical and psychological caretakers which impacts marriages, income and stress levels.
Dr. Burns’ work cuts through all the misunderstandings and identifies what the true issues are, and then addresses those problems, exactly. We are in deep gratitude of his work, creativity and efforts. Aidan’s return to health was long overdue!
After our 13 year old daughter’s 3rd concussion in about 24 months we decided it was time to learn as much as we could about concessions prior to allowing her to play any more sports. We started to talk with several people to determine what they knew or if they knew of anyone they could recommend. A team mates mom that used to play basketball with our daughter told us about Dr. Burns. We were able to get in for an evaluation very quickly. Our daughter spent 4 hours with Dr. Burns in the initial visit testing and assessing what part of her brain was affected. Also, her capabilities and how she responds to different situations. We liked what we were hearing and we decided it was best for her to go back to start working on making
progress with healing. Dr. Burns was very accommodating with our schedule since we live 3 hours away; we scheduled the following week for Dr. Burns to work with our daughter. The testing and time that Dr. Burns spent was amazing, our daughter went through over 20 hours of exhausting testing and strengthening (mentally and physically) to help her improve her motor skills. We appreciated the individual care and time he spent with her. He noticed body postures that were out of line and worked to correct these. We left there with a completely different understanding of concussions and treatment.
As I describe it to my friends, when you have a knee injury you have to go to rehab to build back your muscle, so wouldn’t you do the same with your brain when you cause it to be injured? You have to build back the strength in your brain that was injured. We were not satisfied after multiple concussions with the “wait until you are symptom free for 1 week then gradually go back into activity”. We are true believers in this methodology and our daughter has felt good ever since meeting with Dr. Burns. Our daughter was nervous to even think of returning to the field after her third concussion. On the drive home from Dr. Burns office she said “I can’t wait to get back on the field”. This gave her the confidence to do so. She continues to rehab based off exercises recommended by Dr. Burns. We know that nothing can guarantee that our daughter will never get a concussion again, but we
do know that she can strengthen her brain to help improve her motor skills and quickness which can in the future.
We have and will continue to recommend Dr. Burns to teammates, friends, and coaches!
My name is Brandi and I am a 16 year old athlete that has been involved in sports my whole life. This last year while playing in a water polo game, I took a pretty good blow to the head. I was able to get out of the water myself but soon became very nauseated and dizzy. I was taken to the ER where they diagnosed me with a minor head injury and was told to take a day of rest. After three days I returned to school and only made it a few periods of class before my headaches were too bad. I continued going to school as long as I could last each day then going home and sleeping the rest of the day.
After two weeks I returned to my doctor to what I thought would be a clearance to return to play sports again. To my surprise my doctor would not clear me because I continued to have headaches daily and this wasn’t my first concussion. He wrote me a note to excuse me from testing for the next three weeks and no sports for the next five weeks. I was then referred to a sports medicine doctor who tested me and this doctor diagnosed me with “Post Concussion Syndrome,” and was then referred to a Neurologist at Mary Bridge.
After seeing this Children’s Neurologist I was put on a medication for my continuous headaches and received a six month extension of no physical sports or exercise. My schooling was all dependent on my level of headaches. At this point I became constantly nauseated and was barely attending school. My grade point took a dive from my 4.0 to not even being sure if I was going to pass my last semester of school. After working with my school counselor and principal I was put on a 504 pass/fail plan until the end of the school year to try to save my GPA.
After more than two months nothing was working at this point and my headaches were still an everyday burden. My mom had a friend at work whose son had also received a concussion the previous year and was referred to Dr. David Burns for it. She went on and on how quickly he healed and the amazing work Dr. Burns did for her son in such a short amount of time. After we received this referral we had an appointment within the week to be evaluated.
At my first evaluation there was a lot of testing and found out there were a lot of things in my brain that were not quite right. I was then scheduled for one week of intense therapy (four hours) each day. During my first session I was extremely nauseated in the beginning from basic balancing and brain work. With a few breaks, I was able to complete my therapy session and went home pretty exhausted.
The next morning, to my surprise, was the first morning in over three months that I was headache free! Each day I continued to make progress physically and mentally and most importantly I was headache free. On my last session of therapy I had showed significant improvements and was ready to play sports again and return to school! Dr. Burns set me up with a plan to continue to challenge my brain through a program called Lumosity while working on my physical endurance.
Now, months later I continue to still be headache free. I have returned to being a full time athlete and full time student again all thanks to Dr. David Burns.
I will definitely refer anyone I know for a fast and efficient recovery.
Thanks Dr. Burns,
For 10 years, since the age of 37, I had gone to medical doctors, naturopathic doctors and chiropractors in search of an answer. And after hours and hours of treatments and thousands of dollars later, I had not experienced even temporary relief from the symptoms that had started to accelerate at an alarming rate. No practitioner could even diagnosis it. They could only give a name to the symptoms. So I was no longer interested in seeing any more doctors.
That is until I was given the name of a colleague of Dr Burns in Portland. I found the detailed personal testing and analysis at his colleague’s office fascinating. I was quickly diagnosed with a condition called dystonia, a neurological disorder that had resulted in an involuntary turning of my head down and to the side with an accompanying muscular tremor. Because of the daunting treatment schedule that would require me to drive to Portland twice a week for 2 -3 months from north of Seattle, it was suggested that I consider seeing Dr Burns. I reluctantly agreed to contact him.
After a brief phone conversation with Dr Burns, I wasn’t sure what I had committed myself to! His treatment protocol was even more intense–4 hours a day for 5 consecutive days! The advantage of this would be quickly knowing if it was working. I loved the thought of avoiding the weeks and months of waiting for results.
But I didn’t even need to wait a week! After one day, I could walk without needing to support my head with my hand—something that I had given up hope that i would ever do again. And after five days, I could maintain a normal posture and the tremor had all but disappeared!
I have never before experienced the kind of individual care that Dr Burns offers. He integrated a wide variety of therapies to personalize my treatment, not only focussing on correcting neurological pathways and strengthening muscles that had become atrophied, but also identifying thought patterns that had contributed to the disease process. And Dr Burns’ demeanor and character are as impressive as his clinical skills! I’ve never met a doctor that has been as committed and caring. It has been a
Our 10-year-old son suffered a concussion at school when another student ran down a hill and plowed into him. He had multiple concussion symptoms, including some worsening symptoms, which drove us to the ER to rule out a head bleed. We received conflicting advice from professionals at the same hospital and it became clear to me that very first day that medical professionals have differing views about concussion recovery and what is considered normal neurological function.
In the following weeks, we were seen by specialists at a local spine, sports and musculoskeletal medicine clinic. Our son had neurological examinations which ultimately indicated he was doing
better than his symptoms would suggest. He underwent cognitive testing (ImPACT ) which initially showed gross impairment across all tested areas. A repeat ImPACT test four weeks after the injury
showed one area of improvement while all other areas continued to show significant impairment.
At this point (one month after the injury), despite his relatively “normal” neurological exam, our son was continuing to experience more than a dozen concussion symptoms on a daily basis. He was attending school just 1.5 hours day, because that was all he could manage. It was becoming increasingly difficult to patiently wait for symptoms to improve while doing nothing proactive.
We had heard numerous positive remarks about Dr. Burns’ ability to identify specific deficits in the brain and to rehabilitate them. The clinic specialists did not support our choice to seek treatment elsewhere, but we scheduled an initial evaluation anyway. It was clear from our first visit with Dr. Burns that he has a unique and sophisticated skill set. He uses computerized diagnostic tools to look at posture, balance and visual tracking. These and other assessment tools help to inform him about interventions and treatment exercises best suited for the individual patient. At the end of the first day of treatment with Dr. Burns, my son’s headaches were gone. After the second day of treatment,
his sensitivity to noise and “slowed down” feeling were also gone. After five sessions, his ImPACT scores were dramatically improved. Within one week’s time, all remaining symptoms went away –
dizziness, sensitivity to light, irritability, fogginess, memory difficulties and more. As parents, this progress was the best gift! Our son’s personality and energetic spirit returned. In our son’s words, Dr. Burns “changed everything and made the pain go away.”
Absent the fatigue and struggle of daily symptoms, our focus has now turned to building cardiovascular endurance as well as cognitive stamina. Dr. Burns is combining aerobic exercise and agility training with cognitive challenges with the intent to help our son develop the resilience (or “internal helmet”) needed to cope with a full school day and sports play. We are grateful to Dr.
Burns and are confident we are on the right path!
As a recently “graduated” patient of Dr. David Burns, I can confidently say that working with David has changed my life forever. I can’t express how appreciative and thankful I am
for how David helped me rediscover my mental abilities, my confidence, and my passion for life.
As a former athlete who played NCAA Division 1 Baseball, as well as baseball and football for Issaquah High School, I have found that keeping aches and pains to myself when I was hurting and trying to “grind” through whatever health obstacle got in my way became a
point of personal pride. However, that all changed after sustaining a serious concussion in an auto accident in the fall of 2013.
I’m sure that I had sustained at least two concussions before my auto accident, but had never been officially diagnosed. After checking into the emergency room after my car accident, I was told that “taking it easy” and rest would heal my injuries, and that I should see my physician if that didn’t occur. Well, a week passed and I wasn’t getting any better; I was actually getting worse. I had chronic headaches, was always feeling fatigued, my eyes were very sensitive to light, I had lost motivation at work, and overall was feeling “off” and “in a fog.”
I saw my doctor, who referred me to a sports concussion department at Swedish, since I was a former athlete. However, I was turned away upon telling them that I had sustained
this concussion in an auto accident. They gave me a referral to another local concussion specialist, and said good luck. I tried to contact this doctor, but couldn’t get through to them for over a week (to be fair, it was around Thanksgiving time). Still, my performance at work (advanced financial planning) was quickly spiraling downward, as well as my confidence.
Something had to be done, as I could not carry on working and living feeling that I was in such a deep mental fog and constantly overloading myself with Ibuprofen and caffeine. Thankfully, my chiropractor referred me to David and told me that he worked with athletes and was doing some advanced work in terms of helping people recover from concussions. I reached out to David via the phone, and got a call back from him on a Sunday night saying that he wanted to see me as soon as possible.
The next day, I was in David’s office with cameras aimed at my eyeballs and doing all sorts of tests to determine the problem areas of my brain. David was able to quickly identify these, and we got to work on rehabilitating my brain. Although this was a strenuous and
often frustrating process, I actually came to enjoy the rehab/workout/brain and eye drills that David put me through. It’s hard to actually describe the exercises, but let’s just say that it was unlike anything I had ever done before (in a good way). Better yet – not only were my scores improving on his visual, balance, and mental tests, I was actually beginning to feel much better health wise!
After 3 weeks with David, I went from a patient who thought I might never get full mental functionality, back to functioning better than I ever had, even before my accident! I continue to do many of the mental drills that David led me to, and will keep trying to
“sharpen the sword” of my mind. Even beyond rehabilitation, David is an authority on improving mental performance. I can honestly say that I now feel senses of clarity and confidence that I have not felt in a number of years.
In my opinion, David has one of the only proactive solutions to concussion treatment that I’ve ever been exposed to, as well as an expert at helping one achieve their full mental capabilities. I can’t recommend his services strongly enough, and hopefully the Seattle
Seahawks will get wind of the work he is doing and bring him in to help their players with concussion rehab and mental performance coaching! All in all, I am so thankful that I had the privilege of working with David and will profusely recommend him to anyone I
encounter that is struggling with post-concussion syndrome or other mental performance issues.
Thank you David, for helping me get my mind and my life back. I will always be grateful.
Liberty University ‘12
Issaquah High School ‘08
A couple of months ago, my son Jace landed hard on the back of his head on a cold, solid soccer field. He remained dizzy well after leaving the game, and still had a headache two days later. David Burns, who specializes in concussion rehab (amongst other things) right here in Issaquah, had generously performed ImPACT testing and additional baseline testing for our soccer club a couple of years ago, so I contacted him. After all, my son’s head hurt, and we wanted it fixed.
Dr. Burns saw us immediately, and after having Jace rest and avoid cognitive/physical activity for a few days, Dr. Burns started Jace on his unique path to recovery.
Using his myriad of technical equipment including CAPS Posturography and video nystagmography, Dr. Burns assessed Jace’s balance, vision, and coordination to determine what areas of the brain were affected. Then, he designed a regimen specific to those target areas in order to rehabilitate Jace back to his pre-concussion capabilities.
David Burns provided an innovative and intensive approach to recovery, including daily sessions with constant measurements of function, actual rehabilitation, and combining rehabilitation that is historically separate: vestibular, visual, and cognitive. Jace was also given exercises to be performed at home so that his rehab could continue beyond the scope of the Dr.’s office.
Dr. Burns monitored Jace’s progress via daily communications, checking in with us (multiple times a day in some cases), to make sure that Jace was recovering well. Any time we had a question, David was readily available. He developed a remarkable patient-practitioner relationship that I doubt could be replicated at any other facility.
As part of David Burn’s post-concussion therapy and return-to-play protocol, our son did a physical work-out session with Howard Humbyrd, who is well versed in post-concussion rehab. Jace reported no symptoms for 24 hours after his first attempt at physical activity, and he was excited at the prospect of returning to the soccer pitch with his teammates.
The second workout increased in duration and intensity, and was followed immediately by detailed testing in Dr. Burns’ office. Much to our surprise, after being physically fatigued, Jace’s video nystagmography showed that his frontal cortex activity registered very poor results. His brain was NOT functioning well enough to return to soccer yet. Seeing those results that day completely changed the way I look at concussion recovery and rehab.
It took some convincing for Jace to understand that he had to remain off of the soccer pitch a little longer, but David reasoned with him patiently, and once Jace looked at his nystagmography scores, it became clear to him as well.
Despite his feeling fine and having no physical symptoms, the evidence was right in front of us. The risk was too high to release him back to sports/physical contact this soon.
Jace continued working with David until he was fully released to return-to-play, and the video nystagmography showed that Dr. Burns had succeeded in rehabilitating Jace to his pre-concussion capabilities.
Needless to say, this was quite a journey. We learned an immense amount about brain injuries and rehab potential
along the way.
We also learned the value of thorough, pre-concussive baseline testing. No athlete should go without some sort of baseline measurement. David Burns provides that kind of testing: he is conveniently local, he is involved in our community, and he is passionate about educating his patients and the public about the brain and it’s potential.
Dr. Burns has trained countless individuals to achieve better balance, visual acuity, and quicker response time than they started with. The advantages being potentially less injury, increased balance and coordination, quicker thought processing, and overall increased self-confidence.
David Burns is a caring, dedicated, and passionate practitioner, and his knowledge of and experience with brain and injury recovery is beyond comprehension. The personal and innovative care we received by choosing Dr. Burns of Brain Centers NW should not go unnoticed.
Our 10-year-old son suffered a concussion at school when another student ran down a hill and plowed into him. He had multiple concussion symptoms, including some worsening symptoms, which drove us to the ER to rule out a head bleed. We received conflicting advice from professionals at the same hospital and it became clear to me that very first day that medical professionals have differing views about concussion recovery and what is considered normal neurological function. In the following weeks, we were seen by specialists at a local spine, sports and musculoskeletal medicine clinic. Our son had neurological examinations which ultimately indicated he was doing better than his symptoms would suggest. He underwent cognitive testing (ImPACT ) which initially showed gross impairment across all tested areas. A repeat ImPACT test four weeks after the injury showed one area of improvement while all other areas continued to show significant impairment.
At this point (one month after the injury), despite his relatively “normal” neurological exam, our son was continuing to experience more than a dozen concussion symptoms on a daily basis. He was attending school just 1.5 hours day, because that was all he could manage. It was becoming increasingly difficult to patiently wait for symptoms to improve while doing nothing proactive.
We had heard numerous positive remarks about Dr. Burns’ ability to identify specific deficits in the brain and to rehabilitate them. The clinic specialists did not support our choice to seek treatment elsewhere, but we scheduled an initial evaluation anyway. It was clear from our first visit with Dr. Burns that he has a unique and sophisticated skill set. He uses computerized diagnostic tools to look at posture, balance and visual tracking. These and other assessment tools help to inform him about interventions and treatment exercises best suited for the individual patient. At the end of the first day of treatment with Dr. Burns, my son’s headaches were gone. After the second day of treatment, his sensitivity to noise and “slowed down” feeling were also gone. After five sessions, his ImPACT scores were dramatically improved. Within one week’s time, all remaining symptoms went away – dizziness, sensitivity to light, irritability, fogginess, memory difficulties and more. As parents, this progress was the best gift! Our son’s personality and energetic spirit returned. In our son’s words, Dr. Burns “changed everything and made the pain go away.”
Absent the fatigue and struggle of daily symptoms, our focus has now turned to building cardiovascular endurance as well as cognitive stamina. Dr. Burns is combining aerobic exercise and agility training with cognitive challenges with the intent to help our son develop the resilience (or “internal helmet”) needed to cope with a full school day and sports play. We are grateful to Dr. Burns and are confident we are on the right path!
On Dec 3rd our son Juan suffered a concussion at his morning wrestling practice. Immediately following practice, he felt fine, lifted weights and attended classes. As the day progressed, he grew more lethargic and incoherent. After his final class, he went to the locker room to gather his gear and ran into one of his coaches, who noticed he did not sound good or look good. The coach walked our son to the office and to visit with another coach about the injury. They had Juan call to have his Mom or Dad pick him up, because he would not let Juan drive due to his condition.
I rushed to the school and as I arrived, the coach was walking Juan out to the curb to wait. The coach recommended we take our son to the Doctor, which I did right away. Upon arriving at the urgent care clinic, our son was immediately sent to the E/R, as his condition was worsening. He was diagnosed with a severe concussion and a neck sprain. He left the ER with terrible head, neck and back pain and he couldn’t stand light or noise. The following day we took him to his regular doctor, who referred us to a concussion clinic or Dr. Burns of Brain Center NW. Our doctor mentioned the rapid recovery time of Dr. Burns patients.
That evening, I sent an inquiry to Dr. Burns regarding our son’s condition. The same evening Dr. Burns sent an email, however, I was not online at the time and did not respond. A bit later, Dr. Burns called, introducing himself and started gathering information about the injury and Juan’s condition, formulating a plan to treat him. He gave treatment actions to perform right away. He set an appointment for the following day.
Upon arrival at Dr. Burn’s office, he wasted no time getting into the testing, while initiating procedures and exercises to start the healing process of our son.
About the recovery…it was miraculous. Juan had an immediate response after the first appointment, which was on a Friday. Following the directions prescribed by Dr. Burns over the weekend, there was a very noticeable improvement by Juan’s Monday appointment. He progressed dramatically with each daily appointment over a nearly 2 week span since his initial injury. Everyday a different exercise and a different challenge, making his brain work hard, and become sharper with his thinking and reaction.
Our son was back to school for part days after 5 appointments. He was back in school full time after 6 appointments. Juan attended his first wrestling match last night, though not as a competitor, but an assistant to his coaches. His coaches and teammates were thrilled to see him back. One coach stated he had seen many concussions of wrestlers over the years, but Juan’s was one of the scariest. It was indeed scary. What a relief to have our Juan back. He’s beyond happy to be back to himself, and cannot wait to get back to the mat and his team.
We are so pleased and grateful for the knowledge, treatment and continuous hard work Dr. Burns performed. We know that the daily follow up, the prescribed physical and mental activities and feeling comfortable with “a cool doctor” as Juan said, were crucial in his quick recovery.
Thanks to Dr. Burns, I was able to take my finals and complete my school work only one month into the summer, and I was able to return to play all summer resulting in college offers.
My name is Jacquelyn, and I want to share my experience with Dr. Burns. I have been a competitive athlete since I was 10 (club soccer, then lacrosse). I can’t imagine where I would be without sports.
In early May of my junior year, during a heated state playoff game, I took a direct hit to the back of my head from an opponent’s stick. I remained on the field for the final minutes of the game, but I have no memory of playing after the hit. Immediately following the game, I was unable to stand up on my own and felt nauseous. That’s when I knew something was wrong, and a teammate sent me to the our training room. Our athletic trainer put me through the standard tests, identified that I was having trouble with my vision, and that I had severe pain behind my eye. She had my mom take me to the ER for a CT scan. Everything went downhill from there. I don’t remember much after that other than the excruciating pain as well as my sensitivity to light and sound. I went home and slept and tried to avoid all light.
Three days later, I found myself at Dr. Burns’ office. We had been referred to him by my coach. I can’t say I recall too much of the first couple meetings other than the fact that I was unable to walk down the hall or stand with my eyes closed. I failed every single balance test and I was unable to track anything with my right eye. Dr. Burns immediately focused on fixing my eye/vision. I had peripheral vision for the first time in three days. My mom and I knew we had come to the right place. He explained to us how brain rehabilitation works and why you do it. “It’s like breaking your arm. If you just slap a cast on it without setting it, it won’t heal properly. It will just adjust to the new circumstance. If your brain gets hit and you just sleep it off and start working again when it doesn’t hut anymore, it never healed. It is just adjusting to the new normal. The point of brain rehabilitation is to not only get you back to the point you were at before the concussion, but to make you better than you were before.” Like physical therapy for the brain. Having been through multiple cycles of p/t for other injuries over the years, that made perfect sense. From day one, he knew everything that needed to be done and which exercises would benefit my recovery. Each day was different than the one before, building on that day’s improvements. The point of Dr. Burns’ treatment is to keep the brain active and continually do exercises that will fine-tune everything from eyesight to your awareness in space (balance). Although this was my first diagnosed concussion, Dr. B was able to uncover the effects of previous injuries from years of hard hits on the field that my body’s systems had been compensating for in various ways. Dr. Burns’ immense knowledge is incredible, and how seriously he takes brain health and performance is a testament to how hard he works with each of his patients. Everything done in his office and during the at-home exercises (including an iPhone app) is intentional and purposeful, resulting in daily improvement. I actually started to look forward to each appointment, because I could see measured improvements every single day.
If I had followed the ER doctor’s – or even my pediatrician’s – advice, I wouldn’t have played all summer and I wouldn’t have been able to finish out my junior year of school. Thanks to Dr. Burns, I was able to take my finals and complete my school work only one month into the summer, and I was able to return to play all summer resulting in college offers. Without Dr. Burns, none of that would have happened and my entire future would have been put on hold.
It is absolutely incredible how quickly Dr. B can take an injury, quickly and precisely identify what needs to be done, work it back into shape, and then even further improve it. I am forever grateful for his expertise and dedication. And on top of that, he’s a great guy! Every appointment had some laughter and was very relaxed. I have recommended him to all my teammates and anyone else who has suffered a concussion. He’s the best!
“Dr. David Burns is the highly qualified expert in the rapidly emerging field of concussions…”
As an actively practicing board-certified neurologist and the Medical Director of the Headache Clinic at the Valley Medical Center in Renton, WA, I have seen the debilitating and life-altering effects of concussions regardless of their intensity or whether there had been only one or numerous concussions.
Very frequently the effects of mild to moderate concussions are subtle and do not cause major obvious symptoms besides transient headache, blurred vision, imbalance, and just feeling “blah” for the rest of the day.
With the moderate to severe concussions, especially when someone loses consciousness for any amount of time, the concussion victim is frequently taken to the Urgent Care or the Emergency Department. The usual outcome of those visits boils down to:
– a negative head CT scan (“no head bleed”),
– a diagnosis of probable concussion or closed head injury,
– advice to take Tylenol or Advil for a couple of days,
– recommendations to sit out games or practices for a few days, rest, drink and eat well, watch for increasing headache, nausea, vomiting, blurred vision, imbalance, and so on,
– come back to the Urgent Care or the Emergency Department if anything acute happens,
– see the primary or family doctor in a few days for recheck and clearance to come back to the field.
Even though there is frequently no MACROscopic evidence of concussion (no bruises, normal head CT, MRI), the physical blow to the head of ANY intensity generates enough shearing force on the small nerve fibers and nerve cells deep inside the brain causing MICROscopic damage to those cells and their connections.
The subsequent disruption or loss of the proper signaling between neurons may lead to the anatomically based functional neurological deficit. The immediate symptoms of the concussions and their after-effects depend, to a large degree, on the severity and the location of this microscopic damage.
If not treated and healed properly, the microscopic damage to the certain brain centers may cause the longer-lasting effects of concussions, which may be much deeper and profound, and affect not only physical performance, but also emotional state, and mental and cognitive functioning.
Obviously, concussions affect different people in a different ways, and most of the people are doing just fine without any major ill effects plaguing their lives for months or years afterward. But this is truly the luck of the draw.
Therefore, beyond ensuring that there is no head bleed, the more detailed evaluation of the concussion victim is needed to establish whether there is an indirect evidence of microscopic damage to certain brain centers.
The detailed assessment helps localize the cause of functional neurological deficit anatomically. Finding the structures most affected by the concussion helps with designing the individualized functional neurological rehabilitation program. This treatment will put the brain through the unique “physical therapy” to help repair the injured nerve cells and their connections back to the pre-concussion functional capacity or as close to it as possible.
As the field of concussions and related complications gains publicity, more people than ever are becoming aware of potential long-term consequences and realize the importance of good POST-concussion assessments.
However, designing an individualized treatment plan depends greatly on pre-injury condition. Unfortunately, most people suffering from a concussion do not have objective measurements of their baseline neurological functioning before the concussion occurred.
In my professional opinion, having a measurable baseline of individual healthy PRE-concussion neurological functioning would serve as a good reference point, and the treatment plan would be geared to help recover to that point.
To put it in IT terms, baseline testing establishes a “back up” or a restore point of the healthy operating system. Thus, when the system malfunctions for whatever reasons, the steps are taken to restore the malfunctioning system to the pre-existing functional reference point.
Dr. David Burns is the highly qualified expert in the rapidly emerging field of concussions, whether related to sports or other injuries. He has an extensive hands-on experience in proper diagnosis of concussions and treatment of their after-effects. He utilizes the latest scientifically proven techniques and equipment available on the market.
I have witnessed first-hand the utility of Dr. Burns’ testing and treatment outcomes, as his individualized therapies have benefited a number of my and some of my colleagues’ patients.
As such, I highly support and conquer with Dr. Burns’ recommendation that anyone involved in sports with the potential for head injury or concussion, should undergo comprehensive baseline testing. These assessments should be done BEFORE the injury happens, and should be comprehensive in nature, creating the necessary reference point, which would help designing an effective treatment plan to enhance neurological recovery AFTER concussion.
Mark Piker, M.D.
Athletic Trainer’s Opinion
As a certified athletic trainer at a local high school, I have had experience with many concussions. Typically, most concussions are treated with physical and cognitive rest until symptoms subside. Dr. David Burns has been an amazing referral for athletes and parents who are interested in a more proactive approach to concussion management. I have seen vast improvements in the concussed athletes that David has worked with so far. It has been amazing to be able to refer these athletes to work with David because I know their rehabilitation will include more than just physical and cognitive rest. Dr. Burns’ approaches treatment and rehabilitation by utilizing objective brain function assessments to identify the parts of the brain that are affected by the concussion. Each treatment plan is specific to that individual’s deficits, and exercises are given to target and improve function in those areas. It is very difficult for athletes to be stagnant and I have noticed that when the athletes have exercises to work on and goals to strive for, their attitude towards recovery and their concussion in general is greatly improved. I definitely recommend Dr. Burns for any athletes/parents looking for comprehensive and innovative concussion management techniques.
-Kristen Slonski, ATC/L, MA
Certified Licensed Athletic Trainer
Dr. David Burns … my hero
When I received the call that Saturday night in December I remember the pit in my stomach and the ache in my heart. It was an athletic trainer at the Lacrosse tournament in Las Vegas. He had assessed my son and confirmed he had a concussion. Not just a concussion but for Blake it was his third. He was hundreds of miles from home and had little memory of the day’s events. I had that echoing phrase running through my mind, three and he’s done! Worried and scared, I was up all night racking my brain as to what we were going to do… I remembered after his second concussion a friend had given me the name of a Doctor. He said he specialized in concussions, his name was David Burns. I came to find out that was a big understatement. I emailed Dr Burns the next morning, Sunday. I received an email that day asking me to fill out some health history questions and to bring Blake in the next day. Shocked I would actually get a reply on a Sunday. Thinking wow impressive, is he for real?
The next day we saw David Burns in his private office, he ran several tests and assessments regarding the severity of Blake’s concussion and what part of the brain was affected, checked his balance, his memory, his strength. He also assured us that this was not the worst concussion he had ever seen and there was no reason he needed to quit playing his beloved sport. What followed was amazing. Blake worked with Dr Burns daily on brain rehab. Dr. Burns explained that the brain is like other areas of our body, i.e.: bones and muscles, if they get injured they need rehab. Yes brain rehab! Blake recovered in record time, compared to the previous two. Yes, I did have something to compare too. He missed only a small amount of school was able to take his sat tests as scheduled and get back in the game he loved so much. What I’m about to tell you is no short of a miracle….
Blake learned a lot about concussions. The previous treatments had been rest, quiet and more rest. Doing nothing for weeks, suffering with throbbing headaches and severe irritability. Dr. Burns takes a different more aggressive and proactive approach to concussion management. Just because Blake was cleared to play didn’t mean he was finished with rehab. He continued to work on his own rehab that Dr. Burns taught him to do daily and also worked weekly with Dr. Burns himself on brain skills, coordination, balance and memory. He became a better athlete and student because of this. He was quicker, faster, and had more focus on and off the field.
Unfortunately, He suffered another concussion in a very physical game. Number four. This is where the miracle comes to play…. Blake again lost his memory the night of the hit. The next day he was only groggy, the following day he said he felt OK a little off, he never had a headache, he only missed one day of school and was cleared to play in 10 days. He went on a special diet, took vitamins, got rid of sugar and sugared sports drinks, he was truly in top form. There is no way he could have recovered from that concussion that fast without the expertise of Dr. Burns. His brain was in peek condition and only momentarily had to re group. As a result he was one of the leading scorers on his team; he was made team captain and was written up in the paper as someone to watch. This was possible because of his work with Dr. Burns. He not only recovered he got better!
Honestly, I can’t not imagine Blake not playing sports, he is a true athlete, he lives and breaths the game. Dr. Burns has given us confidence that with proper rehab, and continued exercise of the brain muscle it will make Blake more resistant to injury. I wholeheartedly believe it. I know his work helped Blake get back in the game. To Dr. Burns, Blake is not just another patient with a number; he treats him as if he were his own. He emails, calls, follows up, holds accountable and has actually become a friend and mentor to Blake. I have never seen such dedication, passion and love for what someone does as much as David Burns.
In conclusion know that the secret to concussion management and prevention is to start with a healthy, strong, exercised brain. Start the brain work out before the injury. Would you ever consider running a marathon without training? Well same with the brain. It needs testing, training, pushing, stress, strain and limits to improve its function.
Now you can see why Dr David Burns is my hero. Thank you can not convey the gratitude I feel about what hope he has given us.
Melinda and Blake Lee
I have so much to be thankful for and finding Dr. Burns is high on the list! Thank you!
My 13 year old daughter suffered a fall while ice skating, resulting in a concussion. She was immediately dizzy, nauseous and experienced blurred vision. Within the hour we had her admitted into the emergency room for a CAT scan and waiting a diagnosis from the on-call physician.
While I was waiting for the doctor I realized my daughter wasn’t herself and that this was probably a bigger deal than I expected. As the doctor entered the room, he turned on the TV for my daughter to watch (NOT a good idea after a head injury). After speaking with the doctor about her injury and diagnosis, I inquired into my next steps. Should I monitor her during the night? No, he told me to let her sleep. When should I take her into her pediatrician for follow up and to be cleared of symptoms? He told me that was unnecessary. He then released my daughter to play soccer the following day, stating that soccer was probably a safe sport, just don’t head the ball. I did let him know that girls’ soccer has the second highest concussion rate among all sports, second only to football. The doctor was very surprised. He gave me several pieces of inaccurate information pertaining to my daughter’s injury. It was clear to me that this doctor didn’t know as much as he should about concussions and concussion treatment.
I took my daughter home and decided for myself to keep her in a darkened room, in her bed, with no stimulation. When she awoke the next day (Saturday) she was still very nauseous,had head pain, blurred vision, dizzy and was extremely lethargic and void of personality. I felt very uneasy and knew something was very wrong but I didn’t know where to turn.
One friend had told me to call Dr. David Burns; another had directed me to a well-known Hospital Concussion Clinic. My gut had told me to call Dr. Burns. Always follow your gut!I contacted him via e-mail Sunday evening and received a phone call from him about 20 minutes later. He could see us Monday morning.
When we arrived at Dr. Burns’ office he first observed my daughter walking down the hallway and we both could see obvious issues with this simple task. Throughout the next 2 hours his findings were mind boggling. He carefully performed several test, many I have seen before with my younger daughters neurologist, but I had never before seen Video Nystagmography to track eye movements or Posturography which measures vestibular deficiencies and balance. My daughter was having obvious struggles with her balance, coordination, eye tracking/movement and reaction time. She was a mess!
How could the ER doctor just send her home and tell her to play soccer? I don’t know! For 9 days she did nothing but lay in a dark room with no stimulation, and visit Dr. Burns. At day 11 our family was finally able to see our daughter emerging from this cocoon she had been trapped in. No sparkle in her eyes yet, but we could tell she was in there.
Each day we met with Dr. Burns he measured her improvement and pinpointed the sections of her brain that were affected. He has an amazing ability to understand what areas of the brain effect and control the parts of her body that were struggling. This was unlike anything I have ever seen.
My daughter worked with Dr. Burns not just until the symptoms resolved but until her function was restored and she regained everything that was damaged from her accident and she has emerged a confident, smart teenager with a stronger, quicker brain. Her personality is back and so are her A grades and soccer skills! I have so much to be thankful for and finding Dr. Burns is high on the list! Thank you!
I love that you are looking out for her in the long-term as well.
Dear Dr. Burns,
A Parent’s Full Endorsement – David Carpenter
A Brief Background with Concussions
I was forced to get interested in concussions and brain health when I was asked to put together the Zachary Lystedt Law consent forms for both Puget Sound Flight Basketball and Skyline Select Girls Basketball at tryouts this past year. The requirement to have each parent sign a consent form struck me as a bit reactive and burdensome at first. It seemed like just some additional paperwork and a formality, but I read more about it on sources like the NFL’s websiteand became more interested and concerned.
ISC Concussion Night
When the Issaquah Soccer Club offered up a night about concussion awareness I made sure I could go. There were two speakers there that night. One offered up the traditional warnings about how frequent concussions and other youth sports injuries are becoming, how serious they really are, and what sports they predominantly impact (football, wrestling, boys and girls soccer), but the 2nd speaker, Dr. David Burns, offered up a glimpse of a new approach: Baseline your kids now, so that in the event of a head-related injury, at least you’ll know how bad it is, and possibly even what part(s) of the brain were affected.
Mental Push Ups
David offered up this analogy: Let’s say the normal kid in America can do 8 mental push-ups, but your kid is capable of doing 15. They get injured and you take them to the hospital where they are primarily concerned with Acute Urgent Care (making sure your child is not internally bleeding or going into convulsions or about to die). They assess your kid and tell you, “Hey, your kid is fine. He/she can do 8 mental push ups just like everyone else.” If you didn’t have baseline data of what your son or daughter was capable of in their healthy state, that’s all the information you would have and you’d have to be content. But if you had the baseline data to suggest 15 mental push-ups was the norm for your child, you’d want a more thorough and comprehensive rehabilitation treatment plan.
Raising the Performance Ceiling
Then he went further to suggest that perhaps it is possible to raise that mental performance through training. What if your 15 mental push-up kid could be trained to do 20 or 25? What if he could train the brain to react quicker and more accurately? What if that improvement meant quicker reaction time on the field — that could possibly even avoid the next head on collision and prevent a brain injury or concussion? That brain performance improvement could lead to academic and athletic performance gains. I was a little skeptical, but intrigued enough to keep reading and asking questions over time.
Very Timely Comprehensive Baseline Testing
I discussed this idea with Gretchen, my wife, and a little bit to my surprise, she agreed and scheduled all three of our kids for the comprehensive, 3+ hour testing with David. Just nine (9) days after my daughter Marissa’s testing was completed, she took a hard charge on the basketball court, fell to the floor and stayed down. As a coach I was quick to get to her. Another coach came over and helped me run some initial tests of her memory, eyes, check for nausea, etc. My recent Lystedt Law education told me that she would have to come out of the game and see a Doctor and be cleared before returning to play.
Sunday Office Hours
Gretchen contacted David Burns, who agreed to meet us at his office on the way back from that tournament on a Sunday afternoon. He conducted some initial tests to compare to Marissa’s baseline tests, and within a half hour was able to diagnose a mild, vestibular concussion (affecting her center of balance). David went on to treat and train her for the following three weeks. Suffice to say she made remarkable progress regaining not only her balance function to where it was and getting cleared to play after three weeks… after five weeks she is now testing at levels above her original baseline test scores, indicating that she appears “better than new”, as David recently quipped.
Note: In subsequent conversations with David about his assessment that day he assured me that if he had seen signs of gross neurological deficit or critical condition, he would have immediately referred us to the hospital. The idea is that David is an easy check point between parents deciding to stay at home and potentially wait and see and going to hospital or urgent care unnecessarily.
Brain Performance translating to on court and on field performance
Marissa’s first weekend back at sports after her three-week rehab and resting period was the Seattle Youth Basketball TOC Last Chance Qualifier Tournament. In the semi final game, Marissa led all players with 14 points, 4 rebounds and 4 steals, and was named “The Beast” and “Da’ Boss” by her teammates for her effort. This is nearly 200% improvement in scoring over her best prior basketball performance, and roughly 500% improvement over her norm of 2-3 points per game.
As her Dad and coach, I attribute this greatly improved performance to the eye, balance and brain exercises and care she received from Dr. Burns, and to much needed rest and recuperation she needed after a long stretch of parallel soccer and basketball seasons. I was incredibly pleased she returned to play, safely, so quickly, but even more impressed at how her accuracy and decision making has improved in both soccer and basketball since her rehab.
And it’s not isolated to just Marissa. I’ve seen improvements in our youngest son, Ryan, on field as well. Ryan did the comprehensive testing, participated in an intense one week brain training boot camp during Spring break, then went out to have his finest soccer gamer to date and scored his first goal of the season from midfield. There are several other Gunners players I’m aware of who are working with David and seeing marked improvement in their on-field decision-making and reaction times to changing game conditions. (I’m also aware of a player who “attended” the same boot camp as Ryan, but did not put in the effort or take the training seriously, and as you would expect, did not realize any visible on field performance gains the following weekend.)
Our Full Endorsement
My wife, Gretchen, and I wholeheartedly recommend that parents at least take the first step: ImPACT training for sure, but also comprehensive baseline testing with Dr. Burns. If you have a kid who is in any competitive athletic program, whether it is football, basketball, LAX, soccer, wrestling or wherever head-to-head or head-to-floor contact is possible, you owe it to yourself to get the baseline information — just in case of the unfortunate event that your kiddo suffers a freak, split-second injury like Marissa did. David Burns has been entirely professional and a “team player” when it comes to working alongside others in the care of Marissa.
Sharpening the Saw
Steven Covey wrote in his book “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People” Habit 7: “Sharpen the Saw”. In the author’s words, “It means having a balanced program for self-renewal in the four areas of your life: physical, social/emotional, mental, and spiritual.” For our kids, we’ve decided to invest in ongoing, weekly brain training with daily “brain homework” exercises that our kids work on and record their progress in a journal that they take back and share with David. You can certainly make your own determination if “brain training” is for you and your child after you’ve seen the baseline results and gotten to know David and his approach a bit more.
Feel free to contact me with questions about our experience with David Burns and Brain Centers NW.
-David Carpenter, david.carpenter [@] gmail.com
“… An entirely new aspect of performance”
MPT CEO, Owner
G4 Athlete, LLC
“… Impressed with the individual care my daughter is getting”
My daughter suffered a concussion on Mother’s Day weekend while going through the first day of soccer try-outs. We had heard Children’s Concussion Clinic had a great reputation and many of my daughter’s friends had been there, but we also had heard about Dr Burns. We decided to take our daughter to both places to compare treatment options. The drive to Children’s caused my daughter to become nauseated, the waiting room was over stimulating, and the hour wait to see the doctor was exhausting. The doctor was very nice as she gave our daughter the SCAT test. She also had her do some balance tests and visually assessed her. She told our daughter to “unplug”, go home and rest, and come back in a week. Then, the doctor said our daughter could try school when she was ready. When we left, we felt we had learned more from our friends who had children with concussions than we did from the doctor.
We drove straight from Children’s to see Dr. Burns. For a concussed person, two appointments back to back was probably not the best idea, but it was an excellent way to compare options with the prior one fresh in our minds. Dr. Burn’s office is less than 10 minutes from our house and the waiting room was quiet. His office is small with few distractions. The most interesting difference for us was the equipment to assess her. He had her stand on the CAPS force plate. Instead of relying on his visual judgment alone, he used technology to measure her balance and rate it as a percentile. He also put the VNG goggles on her to see how her eyes were tracking and then he had her take the ImPACT test. Children’s had mentioned giving her the ImPACT test, but they opted to wait until our next visit in a week or two. We were amazed at the tools Dr Burns was using to access our daughter’s condition, not just relying on his eyes alone. Before we made our decision to use Dr. Burns, we wanted to know what she should be doing for the next week. He urged our daughter to rest, that it was the most important thing for recovery, but gave her specifics what it meant. He also wanted to have daily email journals so he could see how she was truly “resting”. He said he would let us know when she was ready for school based on improvement of the test scores.
One week from the date of her concussion, her balance had gone from the 50 percentile to the 76 percentile. She is still unable to handle the stimulation of school, but his daily feedback and positive results kept her attitude up. She was feeling good, and decided to run up the stairs at home. She fell and caught herself, but fell none the less. To the naked eye, this was probably no big deal, but the CAPS force plate picked up the difference and her percentile dropped to 63. A week after her fall, she is now in the 81 percentile. It’s a measurable milestone.
She is going to 2 classes a day at school and we continue to journal and do the small exercises he is suggesting. Children’s hospital never called us to check in or to see why we didn’t come back. If we would have taken their advice, I know we would have tried to send my daughter back to school sooner and in the end, delayed her recovery even more. I have been impressed with the individual care my daughter is getting with Dr. Burns and most of all the measurable results. At two 1/2 weeks out, she is not fully recovered, but she is improving daily.
“We are forever thankful for all he has done to aid in the recovery of our daughter.”
Our 11 year old daughter suffered a second concussion in August 2011 playing soccer with the Gunners. We saw the sports medicine doctor, that we had used with her first concussion April 2010, a few days later and rest/brain rest was prescribed. Over the following months her symptoms not only persisted but worsened. We saw a number of specialists while trying to resolve her symptoms.
We were getting frustrated by her lack of improvement following the traditional medicine protocols. So by December when things were still not progressing from what seemed at first a simple concussion we were ready to try something new. I met Dr. Burns on sidelines of the soccer field that month.
I explained my daughter’s symptoms and he said, “That sounds like a vestibular problem.” He had her do one simple exercise on the sidelines and confirmed it. We had not heard it may be a vestibular issue in the previous 4 months. He said we would be proactive in resolving the problem instead of just allowing time to heal her. We loved this idea because as a parent it is heart wrenching to see your child in pain 24/7 for months and not be able to do anything to help.
Dr. Burns has spent countless hours with us trying different exercises to determine what we needed to do to help our daughter recover since we did not have baseline testing. At first we were seeing him daily, then a few times a week and now we are down to once a week. He works with us in the office then sends us home with exercises. We send him a daily journal email so he can monitor her progress through the week. He is extremely accessible to tweak the exercises between appointments.
He has such a passion for what he does and does not give up until he solves the problem. I truly believe our daughter’s recovery was personal to him as well. Our daughter is not yet to baseline but is closer everyday. We continue to work with Dr. Burns in order to establish a baseline for her.
We have another daughter who plays soccer and when the opportunity for comprehensive testing became available we jumped on it! I have learned through Dr Burns that there are little twitches that each of us have that determine a different course of action for full recovery.
I feel very fortunate to have met Dr. Burns on the sidelines that day. We are forever thankful for all he has done to aid in the recovery of our daughter.
“I was able to take objective tests that gave insight into how bad my concussion was.”
Hi my name is Jessie Oliver and I play for your local WPSL team. I wanted to share my experience with Dr. David Burns. Dr. Burns is an outstanding asset for our community and it is a privilege to have him available for our team. His expertise regarding the brain and how it functions is vital and should be embraced by ISC and other youth soccer programs.
After getting a concussion on June 15th I went to see a “normal” medical doctor. Although he could see I had a concussion I was not satisfied with the results of “rest and see how you feel”. “No heading the ball for a week and take a couple days off”, was all I was told. I left still not really knowing or having any way of assessing the severity and seriousness of my concussion. The general the doctors’ ideas were good, but he had no real data to support what the issue was. Yes I had a concussion, but that could mean a lot of different things.
When I found out I had to be signed back in to play again I asked to see a different doctor and Dr. David Burns was recommended by Howard Humbyrd and Dr. Justin Lee, both of whom are involved with ISC. The visit with Dr. Burns was quite different. I was able to take objective tests that gave insight into how bad my concussion was. One of the tests was called ImPACT. The ImPACT test measures speed of reaction, memory, and all sorts of things.
Luckily I had taken this test about a year ago which served as a baseline for comparison sake. On my original test, I scored in the 95% range on several of the tests. The test scores taken with Dr. Burns were significantly lower. I scored in the 16% and 33% range which was really low. The ImPACT test along with other diagnostics that objectively assessed my balance and my eye function, coupled with Dr. David Burns’ knowledge and “functional approach” has truly helped me see what needs to be done to achieve the fastest possible recovery. Also, these tests help ensure that I will not be sent back out on the soccer field to play too soon.
I feel so much better taken care of with Dr. Burns. It’s comforting to have the appropriate diagnostics and sensible approach that he provides. It’s so important that everyone understand the real urgency with getting these baseline tests done. As soon as you think you have time, you won’t and as soon as you think you are fine, you could have a head injury. I’m so thankful to have previously taken the ImPACT test, but I am more thankful to have found someone who can accurately tell me what is best for me rather than guessing.
Dr. David Burns not only works with traumatic brain injuries but helps player’s brains work at a higher level. He made a good point when he said “How do you get better at dribbling a ball, doing a scissor or kicking the ball? You practice dribbling, doing scissors or kicking the ball. How do you get better at striking a ball in the goal when there are several distractions, stress, and tons of things happening in your mind? You practice under those conditions.” Dr. Burns creates an environment for the mind that simulates the stress the brain is under during a game, but with seemingly simple exercises. Some of the exercises he has kids do may seem silly but they really do make sense. Trapping a small ball of a certain color that is thrown at you while counting backwards and spinning helps practice many fundamental skills. And his exercises would be hard for anybody, I mean tracking a ball, and turning all while doing math? Whew, that is difficult.
Our brains are incredibly important in sports and that’s why I think what Dr. Burns is doing needs to be recognized and taken seriously. I support him and I think if the ISC wants superior level teams, that they should invest and allow time to be set aside to work the minds of each player out there. It will only make the program stronger and more valuable. If professional players and the Marines are doing this stuff, why not start younger and give important skills to the kids who want and deserve it. Take a step towards a higher level of thinking which will in turn result in a higher level of playing.
Thank You for Your Time,
Jessie Oliver, WPSL
“Dr. Burns and his knowledge of the brain along with his tests and exercises that he performs should, without a doubt, be implemented into youth programs in all sports.”
Hi my name is Nasyir Rodriguez and I play for the North Sound Seawolves soccer club and I would like to share with you my experience with Dr. David Burns.
With this being my ﬁrst concussion, meeting with Dr. Burns was a completely new experience for me. At ﬁrst I thought it would just be a normal “doctor” visit, I thought he would just check my eyes, ask me how bad my head was hurting and then tell me to rest and check back with him at a later date. My thoughts were wrong. There were a number of objective tests that gave a complete understanding of how bad my concussion was. One test that I did was called the ImPACT test which measures verbal and visual memory, processing speed and reaction time.
Unfortunately for me I never did the test before which put me at a disadvantage because there were no previous results for me to compare my new ones with. This is why taking the ImPACT test is VERY IMPORTANT. Taking the test is a vital thing to do because it serves as a BASELINE which you can compare results to see before your concussion and after, which will give you an exact idea of the severity of your concussion.
My scores after doing the test were way below what it should of been, my lowest score was 10%. My eyes were a mess as well, I could not track a moving light smoothly and after doing it for too long I lost sight for a couple of seconds. After gathering all the results from my test, along with Dr. Burns vast amount of knowledge, he came up with the best solutions and exercises to get me back onto the field.
After doing exercises that Dr. Burns gave me to practice at home, I was amazed to see the difference it made when I went back and did the test over. I was able to track moving lights without any problems. My balance scores had gone up and my coordination was better.
What I liked about Dr. Burns approach was that we started in his ofﬁce where there was no stress factors and he broke everything down as simple as he could so that I could really understand what was going on with my head. Then as I improved we took it to the ﬁeld and made it more related to the sport I play. Which in my case is soccer. The main thing that intrigued me was how he joined in the soccer concepts into the brain training.
His exercises ranged from spinning while running, counting backwards and doing a ﬁgure 8 with your hand all at the same time. Spinning and then trapping a speciﬁc color ball while doing math. These exercises may not be what’s going to happen on a soccer ﬁeld but think of it like this. For me as a midﬁelder I constantly have to think of more than one thing at a time, I have to look over my shoulder to see whose behind me, while the ball is being played to me, where to go so the defender can’t get the ball and then where do I pass the ball next. All of these decision have to be made in seconds, which is why you can understand the importance of the exercises that Dr. Burns is doing.
Just like any other technique or skill you want to perfect, you practice it. These were just a few of the exercises that I got a chance to do, however there were a list of creative exercises that he mentioned that I could not wait to try. With these exercises some of the things that will improve is vision on the ﬁeld, coordination and timing, quicker thinking which results in quicker reactions. All skills that are fundamental to becoming better players.
Dr. Burns and his knowledge of the brain along with his tests and exercises that he performs should, without a doubt, be implemented into youth programs in all sports. My time with him was a deﬁnite eye opener and I am sure it would have the same effect on anyone who tries it.
I strongly recommend that time be set for Dr Burns to work with the children and get them involved with his program from as young as possible to give them the edge over other players that could only wish to get this kind of opportunity. This could be what makes AVERAGE players GOOD players and GOOD players GREAT players.
Comments from coaches, patients, colleagues on LinkedIn.
“I’ve known Dr. David Burns for a few years now, and the thing that I admire is his genuine commitment to patients. He simply loves his work that it’s not really a “job,” but a passion to work with a patient, which can be a rarity in our healthcare system today.” June 19, 2012
Michael Corsilles, Naturopath and Physician Assistant, Eastside Primary Care & Wellness
“After being hit head-on in a motor vehicle accident, I was referred to David for my injuries and broken bones. I found him to be extremely knowledgeable, had great “bedside manners” and I truly felt that I could feel confident in his abilities to get me back to good health, one step at a time.” June 13, 2012
Top qualities: Great Results, Expert, High Integrity
Penny Carey, hired David as a Chiropractic, deep tissue and pain in 2011, and hired David more than once
“Amazing work, I fully believe in the work David does, the baseline testing is an essential part of any childs education. I have witnessed first hand a dozen times in how his work does make a difference to the student/ players ability to get better.” May 22, 2012
Top qualities: Great Results, Expert, Creative
“David Burns and his brother Craig pioneered a unique health care offering in our area.
Integrated Health Center was an incredible value, and the best doctor’s office I’ve ever visited.
For the normal cost of a visit to the doctor’s office, a patient was able to see a ND, and a MD, and was actually able to talk to both of them at the same time, and for the full time you were billed for, (not just for 1 minute like at most doctor’s offices).
David is smart, thoughtful, patient, and willing to bring in other disciplines to solve a problem as a team. David was not condescending or aloof like many doctors, and none of his staff were either. He took a combined approach for a total solution to health problems. I’d recommend him to anyone.” May 17, 2012
Top qualities: Great Results, Personable, Creative
Ken Mizell hired David as a Doctor in 2008, and hired David more than once
“I have known and worked with David for over 5 years. Qualities which describe him are dedication, intelligence, empathy, kindness and compassion. Educated and qualified as both a naturopathic and chiropractic physician, David encourages his patients to become involved in their care. Following his interest and passion, he specializes in neurological conditions while treating the whole person. His expertise is a great addition to Seattle and the East Side.” May 10, 2012
Top qualities: Great Results, Expert, Creative
Jeff Puterman hired David as a Doctor in 2007, and hired David more than once
“David Burns and his staff provided expert, uniquely differentiated care. For a period of several years I relied on Dr. Burns and his staff to help me stabilize and improve several physical issues that were impacting my quality of life. His holistic approach, thoroughness in investigating root causes, and overall quality of care were superior to experiences I had with other care providers. I highly recommend.” May 4, 2012
Top qualities: Personable, Expert, High Integrity
David Ursino – hired David as a Doctor in 2009
“I have worked with Dr. David Burns, D.C., D.A.C.N.B. on several legal cases where he was the treating doctor and I was the attorney for his patient. Dr. Burns does a great workup on his patients. He does both diagnostics and treatment. He can explain his findings and defend his opinions when cross-examined. He made appropriate referrals to other specialists when appropriate. I feel confident recommending him to patients.” May 4, 2012
Top qualities: Great Results, Personable, Expert
Samuel Elder – hired David as a Doctor in 2005, and hired David more than once
“We were fortunate to get baseline testing done with Dr. Burns 9 days before our daughter received a vestibular concussion in a basketball game.
Having that baseline data was invaluable, as David was able to accurately assess and get her doing exercises that enabled her to return to sports and school in three weeks. Her academic performance has remained high, but her athletic performance has actually increased quite dramatically as a result of the training and rehabilitation process. My wife and I heartily recommend David to all parents who are interested in doing as much as they can to protect their kids in the event of athletic injury, and those who are interested in increasing performance on the court, on the field and in the classroom from quicker decision making, more mental focus and attention. His methods really do work.” May 3, 2012
Top qualities: Great Results, Expert, High Integrity
David Carpenter – hired David as a Doctor in 2012
David did a fabulous job assessing our 13-year-old when she got a concussion in soccer. Fortunately, we had done some initial pre-concussion testing with him and he was able to quickly diagnose the areas of impact and focus on exercises that would help her heal. He was vital in her recovery, and I strongly recommend him (athletes in particular). Thanks Dr. Burns!
David provided a level of care for my daughter that I was unable to find elsewhere. Instead of diagnosing a condition, David identified areas where my daughter was under performing and prescribed brain exercises to help her succeed. We are seeing improvement both in the classroom and on the soccer field. David’s dedication to children and his desire to help them perform at their best makes him a great doctor.
Owner, Pine Lake Construction
Brain Health – 4 Part Process
- Prevention: While healthy, establish a baseline of brain function and learn if you are at greater risk of injury.
- Trauma Evaluation: In the unfortunate event of brain injury (e.g. concussion) be able to quickly and accurately diagnose and identify the impact of the trauma. Don’t rely on symptoms to determine function.
- Health Management: Intelligently rehabilitate the area(s) of the brain that were affected (e.g. areas which scores lower than baseline assessment) and restore function to baseline / “healthy state”.
- Optimization: Increase the performance of the most valuable organ in the human body in a similar way to how we train our muscles in soccer, basketball, football, and as adults pay 100s of $$$’s for training at 24 hour fitness and Gold’s gym.
COMPREHENSIVE EXAM / BASELINE:
A comprehensive functional neurological evaluation or baseline testing assesses the strength and symmetry of all levels of the nervous system. Examining each level of the neural axis, comparing the symmetry of responses and putting the findings into the context of the whole network allows for pattern appreciation of what areas are weak and how you can be helped.
While disease management or symptom management is about uncovering or diagnosing a specific issue a comprehensive baseline evaluation is about finding your “weak links” or systems. Uncovering these asymmetries in function or relative weaknesses provides the opportunity to take a proactive approach to the health of your nervous system. If an area of your brain is not working very well and you injure that same area the outcome, in all probability will be much worse.
When it comes to sports and academics, we want to always be at the top of our game. Understanding what areas of brain function that you can improve, will provide you with the information and tools necessary for you to be on top.
Combining a functional neurological exam with diagnostics that test the strength of different brain “muscles” gives you a complete picture. If you were training your physical body would you evaluate half your muscles? Of course not. Our brain “muscles” work in concert with one another just like a body operates. An incomplete picture leaves us with assumptions about your present functional level.
Understanding where you are prior to a concussion or other neurological insult is important for returning you to your pre-injury status. Symptoms resolve well before pre-injury functional levels are reached. If symptoms rather than functional baseline levels are used to determine when you are once again “healthy” you will be short changed.
If you want an ideal approach to brain health management you need to establish a number of different baseline windows of your brain’s present function. The following diagnostics are used in addition to the neurological examination to ascertain the level of performance of various aspects of your brain / nervous system:
A) ImPACT testing measures multiple aspects of cognitive functioning including:
• Attention span
• Working memory
• Sustained and selective attention time
• Response variability
• Non-verbal problem solving
• Reaction time
B) Posturography is perfect for screening, assessing and diagnosing balance disorder/falls-risk patients. This testing gives us insight into areas of the nervous system associated with balance / vestibular function.
C) VNG equipment provides simultaneous subjective observation of the individual’s eye movements and objective collection and analysis of eye movement during both testing and rehabilitation.
D) Interactive Metronome (IM) is an assessment and treatment tool used in therapy to improve the neurological functions of motor planning, sequencing and processing.
A) Posturography is perfect for screening, assessing and diagnosing balance disorder/falls-risk patients. This testing gives us insight into areas of the nervous system associated with balance / vestibular function.
Brain Training :
Once we understand what areas of your nervous system are the weak links, an individualized home program is created to strengthen these areas. If you can commit 15-30 min a day doing simple brain based therapies you can strengthen your brain and improve your academic performance and sports performance in ways you may not have dreamed possible.
Functional neurology emphasizes the nervous system as being the modulator of human expression and experience. The unique and complex responses of each individual’s nervous system to changes in their environment are central to the discipline of Functional Neurology.
New protocols in diagnosis and treatment are being developed everyday, and focus on neuro scientifically based interventions for brain injury prevention, concussion treatment as well as sports performance optimization.
Brain Centers NW offers affordable, integrated instrumentation for non-invasive brain baseline assessments, traumatic brain rehabilitation and functional optimization. Our equipment is designed for functional neurological and vestibular testing.
Our equipment and our detailed understanding of how information is shuttled through the nervous system allows us to develop and implement cutting edge, theory based therapies for concussion injuries and brain training exercises to enhance sports performance.
STEP 1 – Cognitive Baseline
Take the ImPACT Concussion Test today!
ImPACT takes approximately 30 minutes to complete. The program measures multiple aspects of cognitive functioning including:
- Attention span
- Working memory
- Sustained and selective attention time
- Response variability
- Non-verbal problem solving
- Reaction time
* Team tests includes a parent / coach lecture on concussion management and functional approach to brain health and sports performance. Also included is a follow up Q and A to review results of the ImPACT testing. The team provides the facility for testing and the lecture.
- Measures player symptoms
- Measures verbal and visual memory, processing speed and reaction time
- Reaction time measured to 1/100th of second
- Assists clinicians and athletic trainers in making difficult return-to-play decisions
- Provides reliable baseline test information
- Produces comprehensive report of test results
- Results can be e-mailed or faxed for fast consultation by a neuropsychologist
- Automatically stores data from repeat testing
- Testing is administered online for individuals or groups
- Compatible with PC and MAC
The test battery consists of a near infinite number of alternate forms by randomly varying the stimulus array for each administration. This feature was built in to the program to minimize the “practice effects” that have limited the usefulness of more traditional neurocognitive tests.
More Info on ImPACT
ImPACT (Immediate Post-Concussion Assessment and Cognitive Testing) is the first, most-widely used, and most scientifically validated computerized concussion evaluation system.
Developed in the early 1990’s by Drs. Mark Lovell and Joseph Maroon, ImPACT is a 20-minute test that has become a standard tool used in comprehensive clinical management of concussions for athletes of all ages. ImPACT Applications, Inc. was co-founded by Mark Lovell, PhD, Joseph Maroon, MD, and Michael (Micky) Collins, PhD.
Given the inherent difficulties in concussion management, it is important to manage concussions on an individualized basis and to implement baseline testing and/or post-injury neurocognitive testing. This type of concussion assessment can help to objectively evaluate the concussed athlete’s post-injury condition and track recovery for safe return to play, thus preventing the cumulative effects of concussion. In fact, neurocognitive testing has recently been called the “cornerstone” of proper concussion management by an international panel of sports medicine experts.
ImPACT can be administered by an athletic trainer, school nurse, athletic director, team doctor or psychologist, provided that they have completed training in the administration of the test. Post-concussion care and the management of concussion should only be administered by a trained medical professional. ImPACT assists doctors in making return-to-play decisions and should never be used as a stand-alone tool.
ImPACT is the most widely used computer-based testing program in the world and is implemented effectively across high school, collegiate, and professional levels of sport participation.
Read on to learn more about ImPACT Testing.
Learn about ImPACT testing as a component of a Comprehensive Functional Neurology Evaluation.
STEP 2 – Posturography is perfect for screening, assessing and diagnosing balance disorder/falls-risk patients. This testing gives us insight into areas of the nervous system associated with balance / vestibular function.
STEP 3 – VNG equipment provides simultaneous subjective observation of the individual’s eye movements and objective collection and analysis of eye movement during both testing and rehabilitation.
STEP 4 – Interactive Metronome (IM) is an assessment and treatment tool used in therapy to improve the neurological functions of motor planning, sequencing and processing.