When you bump your head, fall, or otherwise jolt your neck or head, the last thing you might expect is to be diagnosed with a traumatic brain injury. However, if you have recently been diagnosed with a TBI, you may find yourself wondering what you can or should do about the situation. A TBI is a serious injury to the brain and requires treatment and sometimes rehabilitation to recover from. Get to know more about some of the treatments that can help when you have recently suffered a traumatic brain injury. Then you can work with your doctors and other care providers to get your recovery underway as soon as possible.
Oftentimes, when a person has a traumatic brain injury, they have difficulty performing some necessary daily tasks. For example, if a person's memory or cognitive capabilities are significantly impaired, they may have trouble paying their bills after a TBI. Occupational therapy can help that person come up with strategies to better handle that task, making it manageable even if their brain function in that area does not improve much or quickly.
Occupational therapy can also help with other daily living tasks like getting dressed, driving, and work-related tasks like typing, writing, and the like. Each person with a TBI is affected differently, which means occupational therapy goals and tasks must be customized to suit that individual's needs.
TBIs can also affect a person in many physical ways. Balance and coordination are often significantly impaired when a person has a TBI, for example. The person may also feel muscle weakness on one or both sides and might be easily fatigued. Physiotherapy treatment can help with those issues.
A physiotherapist will first assess the patient's physical capabilities through balance tests, strength tests, and even assessments of a person's gait while walking. When they pinpoint the areas that a person is struggling with, they will begin having the TBI patient do exercises and stretches to improve their physical health and capabilities. Physiotherapy can also involve options such as hydrotherapy and massage to help with muscle tension and pain that can develop because of the strength and balance issues caused by the TBI.
As previously mentioned, cognition (the ability to think clearly, recall information, and process information) can be deeply affected by a TBI. While occupational therapy can help with strategic approaches to specific tasks, cognitive therapy will address the overall cognitive effects of a TBI. In cognitive therapy, a person will perform mental tasks and exercises that involve short-term and long-term memory recall, simple and complex problem-solving, mathematics, and more.
The cognitive therapist will help the patient by giving them tools and strategies they can use to better access their memory and perform general and specific cognitive tasks. This helps to create neural pathways in the brain that are not directly impacted by the TBI, allowing a person to better think, process, and function on a day-to-day basis.
Now that you know some of the treatments that can help you with your TBI, you can talk to your care providers as soon as possible to get your treatment program started.