Post Traumatic Brain Injury Rehabilitation and Therapy

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Post Traumatic Brain Injury Rehabilitation and Therapy

Worldwide, Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is one of the leading causes of disability in people under the age of 40. When a sudden injury (a closed head injury) causes damage to the brain, it is termed as TBI. Symptoms that surface after TBI can include loss of coordination, dizziness, headaches, loss of concentration, blurry vision, temporary memory loss, and other personality changes. In younger people, most TBIs are caused by auto accidents, assaults, and sports injuries. For people older than 70, the leading cause of TBIs is falling.

In the case of TBI, doctors consider various treatments that even include surgery. In most cases, simple medication course or surgery is not enough. That’s why therapy and rehabilitation are often recommended for patients with severe TBI. Although in concussion you’ll be required to change your routine and get more rest, an extended stay in the rehab is highly recommended when the high severity of brain injury is diagnosed by doctors. Before we understand why rehabilitation is considered an effective option, it is best to know about types of brain injuries.

Types of Brain Injuries

Concussion – A concussion shakes your brain. It is also called mild traumatic brain injury. In this brain injury, the brain gets jolted which results in accelerating the brain in the direction of the force. A few generations ago, it was believed by doctors that a concussion was just like a little inconvenience, but times have changed and it is considered an injury that can have a life-long impact on a person’s life. People who suffer from frequent concussions are prone to developing a condition chronic traumatic encephalopathy (it starts to change a person’s brain function, mood, and behavior).

Coup-Contrecoup Brain Injury – When the brain slams into the opposite side of the site of impact, this injury occurs as a result it. Hence, there is damage on both sides (the impact site and the opposite side). Although all TBIs can be severe, this one is especially violent because both sides are affected and the results are immediate and severe. A person suffering from Coup-Contrecoup brain injury may require extensive support to fully recover.

Brain Contusion – A brain contusion mostly occurs in conjunction with a concussion. Although it is just a bruise which can cause internal bleeding, it can become dangerous if the bleeding doesn’t stop on its own. In case the bleeding doesn’t stop, it has to be stopped surgically. It is considered a mild brain injury but it can become dangerous if it is not diagnosed and treated on time.

Diffuse Axonal Injury – This type of brain injury is similar to a concussion but it is way more severe. Just like concussion, the brain accelerates in the direction of the force. However, the acceleration is fast and the brain hits the hard skull with more impact. As a result of this violent movement, the brain stem is unable to keep up with the rate of movement and it causes small microscopic tears of tissues and structures which can be fatal in some cases. The damages can be permanent or temporary and there can be coma or even death.  There can be brain death when the brain’s communication and chemical processes get disturbed due to torn nerve tissues.

Second Impact Syndrome – Second impact syndrome injury is often called a recurrent traumatic brain injury. Once you’ve sustained a first brain injury, a second brain injury during the recovering process is called second impact syndrome. Imagine having a wound that is healing and then getting into an accident which reopens that wound – there can be catastrophic damage. Doctors believe that a second impact can cause more damage than the first one. That’s why it is important to get rest and proper treatment after the first impact.

Penetrating Injury – As the name suggests, this injury occurs when an object penetrates the skull and brain. Given that there can be blood loss, disrupted oxygen supply, and blood clots, this injury can be fatal if it is not immediately treated. Although bullets are the leading cause of penetrating injuries, there are cases of auto accidents as well.

Importance of Rehabilitation for Post TPI

It is extremely important for you to understand that you should never take TPI lightly. If there is any type of brain injury, seek medical attention without wasting any time. Once your brain injury is diagnosed, your doctor will give you some medication or surgery will be required in a severe case. Surgery is considered an effective option to repair your skull, remove a hematoma, or to release some pressure in your skull. If you had a surgery or needed extensive treatment for your severe brain injury, the most important key to your recovery is rehabilitation. [i]

Here are a few key reasons why rehabilitation therapy is important:

  • It helps improve your brain function and enhances your ability to function at home or outside
  • Rehabilitation therapy restores lost functional abilities such as talking, eating, using the bathroom, etc.
  • It helps you adapt to the changes that have occurred after the TBI
  • It provides much-needed social and emotional support
  • It helps stabilize the medical and rehabilitation issues
  • It helps prevent complications that occur during/after a treatment such as pressure sores, and contractures

Rehabilitation Programs for TBIs

As people have different needs and abilities for the proper recovery from TBI, the rehab program is designed specifically for an individual. According to the severity of your injury, it is likely that there will be many healthcare providers monitoring your rehab. There can be different settings for rehab. You and your family can decide on which setting is more suitable. You can choose from rehab settings, such as home-based rehab, inpatient rehab, outpatient rehab, or a comprehensive day program.

The best rehabilitation programs for you are based on your needs and abilities. They may include these programs:

  • Neurorehabilitation
  • Speech and language therapy
  • Locomotor training
  • Physical therapy and medicine
  • Psychological care
  • Psychiatric care
  • Occupational therapy
  • Social support
  • Upper and lower extremity retraining
  • Aqua therapy
  • Complex concussion
  • Day programs
  • Speech ability
  • Strength and coordination
  • Mental and behavioral state

The duration of your rehabilitation depends on the severity of your brain injury, recovery speed, and how well you are responding to it. Rehabilitation is effective and some people even return to their same level of ability before the traumatic brain injury. In severe cases, there is a possibility of lifetime rehabilitation. It is important for you to know that rehabilitation can be really helpful but there is also a possibility that some long-term problems associated to TBI show up after years, such as Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease or dementia.

What Happens After Rehabilitation is Done?

Once your rehabilitation program completes, you will be given some instructions, such as:

  • Call your doctor as soon as you notice some symptoms and signs
  • Symptoms and signs that shouldn’t concern you a lot
  • Advise on limited-to-no use of alcohol and refrain from using drugs
  • Avoid sports such as football or rides such as roller coasters
  • Availability of community support resources

Call or Write for a Free Confidential Consultation

If you have received a TBI while driving a car or at your workplace, then did you know that you can claim for compensation? Get a free consultation from Brad Nakase, an experienced CA personal injury lawyer with a great reputation.

We can assure you that Brad Nakase will consider every aspect of your case and help you get the compensation you deserve.

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