Sage Outpatient’s Day Neuro Program has the ability to provide extensive treatment to the traumatic brain injury (TBI) population. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, every day 153 people in the United States die from injuries that include TBI. Those who survive can face symptoms that last for a few days or disabilities that have the potential to last a lifetime. Therapy plays an important role in the brain injury recovery process and helping individuals return to doing activities that they love.
What is a Brain Injury?
A head injury is any type of injury to your brain or skull which can range from mild, such as a bump on the head to severe, which is often termed as traumatic. Brain injuries are usually associated with motor vehicle accidents, falls, physical assaults, and sports-related injuries. A head injury can be closed or open depending on the type of injury. It is difficult to assess the seriousness of a closed head injury and often requires the assessment of a doctor. There are several types of brain injury:
- Hematoma – collection or clotting of blood
- Hemorrhage – uncontrolled bleeding
- Concussion – result of the brain hitting the hard walls of the skull
- Edema – brain swelling
- Skull Fracture – broken skull
- Diffuse axonal injury – sheer injury caused by the walls of the skull tearing the brain
How can therapy help?
Therapy can help individuals suffering from brain injury in a variety of ways.
- Physical Therapy – A physical therapist can help individuals after brain injury to improve their ability to move. The physical therapist can help with stretching, proper positioning, the identification of appropriate equipment, increase the patient’s ability to move in bed, sit without support and to stand up, facilitate improvement in balance, strengthen weakened muscles, and help patient’s return to sports or fitness activities if they are capable.
- Occupational Therapy – An occupational therapist is a necessary part of recovery after brain injury. Their job is to help you to return to performing activities of daily living which include bathing, grooming, writing, eating, going to the bathroom, cooking, cleaning your home, managing medication and finances, and eventually help you return to previous job roles if that is an achievable goal. An occupational therapist can help individuals reach these goals through upper extremity strengthening/re-education, visual training, training with compensatory tools (i.e. sock aid or adaptive utensils), and cognitive training.
- Speech Therapy – A speech therapist plays a vital role in brain injury recovery. Their job is to help improve a patient’s overall communication ability after brain injury. Communication can be effected through a decrease in speech intelligibility secondary to muscle weakness or decreased coordination, decreased voice strength or control, changes in word finding ability and language comprehension, altered cognition, as well as changes in behavior or social skills. The speech therapist can help strengthen muscles, increase language functioning, train on the use of alternative and augmentative means of communication, train patients in specific scenarios to improve social and behavioral skills, provide partner education and communication training and much, much more. Patients with brain injury can present with swallowing disorders and it is also within a speech therapists scope of practice to strengthen swallowing musculature to
Cognitive Changes after Brain Injury
Cognitive and psychological deficits are often times long-lasting changes that are invisible to the untrained eye. A patient with cognitive deficits after brain injury often think and act very differently than they used to which can be one of the most difficult and confusing changes for the individuals loved ones and caregivers. Some of these changes include:
- Decreased attention and concentration
- Problems with processing and understanding information
- Decreased ability to learn or remember new information
- Decreased ability to plan and organize
- Decreased ability to make good decisions
- Decreased reasoning
- Inappropriate in social situations
- Changes in personality and ability to manage emotions (i.e. more tearful, laughing inappropriately, angered easily)
- Behavioral changes
- Increased impulsivity
A speech therapist, occupational therapist, social worker, and neuropsychologist are some of the best professionals to help individuals and their loved ones manage these cognitive, psychological, and emotional changes after a brain injury.
Brain Injury can have a life-changing and long-lasting effect on an individual’s life. It is important to have therapists that are well versed in the treatment of these deficits to help you or your loved one rehabilitate to the best of their ability. The therapists at Sage Outpatient specialize in the treatment of brain injury. Our team includes speech therapists, physical therapists, occupational therapists, a social worker, neuropsychologist, and tech trained staff that know how to help you or your loved one in the best possible way. Please contact us at 225-906-4097, if you are interested in learning more about our therapy program or would like a tour of our facility.