Physical Therapy and Occupational Therapy to Assist After a Brain Injury
Brain injury is a major health problem in the United States with 2.8 million cases diagnosed every year. If you or someone you love is seeking restorative brain injury treatment therapy, look no further. At Action Physical Therapy, our clinical team is ready to help you. Traumatic brain injury might result in a significant impairment of the person’s physical, psychological, and cognitive functioning. For that reason, special attention is paid to physical therapy because this type of treatment plays a big role in the early stages of the rehabilitation process. The course of a brain injury treatment for one patient is completely different for another.
Symptoms of brain injury
The brain controls our ability to think, sense, socialize and move, so the symptoms of brain injury can vary widely. In most cases, they include:
- Sensory symptoms – problems with hearing, vision, the sense of touch, and balance;
- Physical symptoms – weakness and difficulty to move the body, arms, legs, and head, as well as difficulty to sit, stand, balance, and walk;
- Cognitive symptoms – problems with memory, solving problems, or paying attention;
- Emotional and behavioral problems – emotional agitation and difficulty in controlling emotions.
How can physical therapy help with brain injury?
We work with our patients and their families and develop an individualized plan in order to address the challenges and limitations they face. First, we do a detailed evaluation, including psychological testing to identify the type and severity of the damage. Once we have the results for our patient’s general condition, including their muscle strength, range of motion, bladder and bowel function, learning ability and their readiness to participate in a brain injury program, we start the treatment.
When the patient is in a vegetative state, we help with equipment and positioning that will ensure proper flexibility and posture so that we can be sure that the likelihood of additional problems will be reduced.
When the patient is in a minimally conscious state, we help with proper positioning, equipment, and stretching to increase their responses to commands for communication and movements.
Participation in Physical Therapy After a Brain Injury
As the patient becomes more conscious, they can actively participate in the physical therapy, so we start a different treatment that includes using an equipment for exercises, task-specific training, and education that depends on the patient’s current condition. Simply put, we are working on:
- Coordination and balance;
- Ability to follow commands and maintain alertness;
- Mobility and balance safely when standing, walking, and sitting;
- Standing up without an assistance;
- Practicing functional activities;
- Reducing any symptoms of fatigue that can occur from being inactive for a long period of time.