Concussion and Traumatic Brain Injury Rehabilitation
Traumatic brain injury, or TBI, is an injury to your brain, plain and simple. This can manifest from a mild concussion to severe cognitive damage.
TBI is caused when the brain is subject to sudden movements that cause the brain to bounce or twist inside the skull. This leads to the brain’s cells being stretched and damaged and may even cause chemical changes in the brain. Examples of such traumatizing forces are blows to the head such as car accidents or sporting injuries, and falls.
A concussion is a mild traumatic brain injury and must always be taken very seriously. Successive concussions can be exponentially worse. The more we learn about the brain, the more we realize how impactful and damaging concussion can be.
Symptoms of a TBI range from mild to severe and can last for hours, days, weeks, months, or longer.
These symptoms may include:
|– Confusion, disorientation||– Sad, nervous, or easily angered|
|– Not thinking clearly||– Sleeping more or less than usual|
|– Trouble remembering new information||– Headaches, vision problems, or dizziness|
|– Nausea and vomiting||– Trouble speaking coherently|
|– Ringing in the ears|
If you, or someone you know, develop any of these symptoms following a head injury – even a significant time after such an injury – you, or they, need to consult with a physician. If you believe you are experiencing some of the above symptoms of a brain injury, it can be helpful to ask a trusted friend or family member to help monitor your symptoms.
Physicians use a combination of methods to diagnose TBI:
Be sure to let your doctor know if you’re taking any medications (including natural remedies), especially blood thinners such as Coumadin and Aspirin. Also, inform your doctor if you drink alcohol or take drugs recreationally.
All too often, we want to rush back to our busy lives and do not take the time for brain injury rehabilitation. However, brain injuries are different than physical injuries and if your brain needs additional time and treatment, it will take that time one way or another.
Treatment and concussion rehabilitation might include any of the following:
You may wish to try a few different types of therapy before finding the ones that best help you. The best approach is often a combination of therapies. Your health professionals can help you find the right treatment for you.
Successful brain injury rehabilitation and concussion rehab treatment can help you regain control of your life and emotions, reduce and/or eliminate symptoms, and allow you to enjoy life again.
An injured brain needs time to heal. In addition to treatment and therapy, rest is the best way to support your concussion rehabilitation.
Long after the event that caused the traumatic brain injury, you may still feel mental and physical effects. New symptoms may even develop. Monitor your symptoms to be aware of the following, and see your doctor if any of these symptoms linger, reappear, or develop:
Seek a health care professional’s assistance if you or someone you know, present with any of the following conditions:
If someone you care about has survived a TBI and is exhibiting some of the symptoms we have identified above, you may feel helpless. It is hard to watch a loved one struggle, especially if it extends to speech and memory impairment, or chronic pain.
Here is what you can do to help:
A traumatic brain injury or concussion can seem like the end to a productive and enjoyable life. This is rarely the case and it is important to be realistic about the work required to rehabilitate the injury. However, it is equally important to note that working with an occupational therapist (OT) and with the right support, commitment, and time, the impacts of the injury can be diminished in part or completely.
Our OTs routinely manage rehabilitation plans for TBI and concussion clients. Often there are multiple health professionals and stakeholders involved, and our OTs can manage the “team” to best utilize the specialized skills of many versus one.
If you would like to book a consultation or an assessment, please contact us at hello@RaincoastRehab.ca.