When an accident or event disrupts the way the brain functions, it is called a traumatic brain injury (TBI). The most common causes of TBIs include car accidents, falls, and blows to the head in sports. People ages 15-19 have a higher risk of TBI because of sports injuries and car accidents, while people ages 75 and older also have a higher risk because of loss of full physical function, which puts them more at risk of falling.
The brain serves numerous purposes, so the symptoms of traumatic brain injuries can vary greatly. Some things to pay attention to are loss of ability to move the arms, legs, body, and head. Someone experiencing a TBI may not be able to remember certain facts, pay attention, or solve problems. They may have a difficult time controlling their emotions and have a change in personality. Because the symptoms are so varied, it is of utmost importance to go to the doctor if you ever get in an accident involving a head injury.
How can a physical therapist help? Physical therapists are trained to help people recover from TBIs. They create programs individualized to each patient’s unique situation to help improve their quality of life and restore their physical abilities. Working with a physical therapist may not ensure a 100% recovery of physical abilities if the nature of the traumatic brain injury is severe. However, in most cases, physical therapy can help improve physical function and abilities significantly.
In the most severe cases of TBI, patients may be limited to a bed or wheelchair, a physical therapist can decrease the risk of patients getting bed sores. They can also help encourage the individual’s responsiveness to their immediate environment. A physical therapist can also help with proper positioning of patients in beds or wheelchairs. With a less severe TBI, a physical therapist will work to improve balance, coordination, strength, energy, and return to functional activities and even return to sports and fitness activities.
Our physical therapists have the training, experience, and most importantly, the passion to take care of individuals who have suffered a traumatic brain injury. At RPT, we’ll take care of you and your loved ones.