What Happens During Rehab After Traumatic Brain Injury
Every person’s needs and abilities after TBI are different. You will have a rehab program designed especially for you. Your program is likely to involve many types of healthcare providers. Its important to have one central person you can talk to. This person is often called your case coordinator.
Over time, your program will likely change as your needs and abilities change.
Rehab can take place in various settings. You, your case coordinator, and your family should pick the setting that works best for you. Possible settings include:
Inpatient rehab hospital
Your individual program may include any or all of these treatments:
Speech and language therapy
You have many options for rehab therapy, and the type of rehab therapy that you need will be determined by your care team. Your care team will assess your needs and abilities. This assessment may include:
Bowel and bladder control
Social support needs
What Is The Prognosis For People With Traumatic Brain Injuries
Recovery from a TBI is highly individualized. It depends on the severity, cause and type of injury. People with mild TBIs are expected to improve and return to their pre-injury functioning within days to a few months. Some people with mild TBIs have few concerns and never seek treatment.
Moderate to severe TBIs can cause more significant difficulties with changes to their thinking and behavior. People with severe TBIs can have lifelong changes.
There are several different factors that can influence someones recovery.
What Questions Should I Ask My Doctor About Traumatic Brain Injury
You may want to ask your healthcare provider:
- How severe is my TBI?
- What is the best treatment for me?
- When should symptoms improve?
- How can I prevent future brain injuries?
- Should I watch for signs of complications?
A note from Cleveland Clinic
Your healthcare provider should check out any type of head or brain injury, even if you dont think the impact was serious. Problems from TBIs can develop right away. But its possible to have a mild brain injury and not know it. Its helpful to know what signs to look for so you can get the medical care you need. Severe TBIs can cause lifelong physical, behavioral and mental health problems. Your provider can connect you and your family to resources to aid recovery. Having a TBI can make you feel anxious or depressed. Therapy and medications help.
Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 03/11/2021.
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Ways To Help Your Brain Heal
If you sliced your finger while chopping carrots, sprained your ankle while hiking, or broke your wrist after falling on a slippery floor, youd probably race into action to:
- Assess the damage: such as a visit to the ER, an X-ray, or MRI
- Minimize the injury: stitches, bandages, or a cast, for example
- Kickstart the healing process: such as taking anti-inflammatory medication, restricting activities, or using heat or ice
But what if you injured your brain from a bump on the head, a hit during a sporting event, or a car accident? Since you cant see your brain, would you even know its been injured? Would you follow the same steps? Or would you just hope its okay and return to your daily life?
Contrary to popular belief, you dont have to crack your skull or lose consciousness to damage your brain. A traumatic brain injury may also result from a sports injury, a blow to the head from a seemingly innocuous fall, or an explosive blast. Brain injuries can also occur from the sudden, jarring movement of the head and neck .
Biography/spirituality Of St Luigi Guanella
Luigi Guanella, the future saint, was born to Lorenzo and Maria Guanella on December 19, 1842, in the small Alpine village of Fraciscio near the Splugen Pass and the Swiss border. He was the ninth of thirteen children in this very devout Catholic family and, as with most families in the St. Giacomo and St. Filipo valley, were primarily shepherds and farmers. His parents were models and teachers of Christian family life with Maria’s kind, gentle, and caring nature providing for both the body and soul of the family and Pa Lorenzo, as head of the domestic church, teaching his children through stories in Sacred Scripture and teaching them of heavenly things.
it was at that moment that I felt remorseful in my heart. That act of selfishness is still a weight on my conscience after so many years.
Finally, on the day of his First Communion, at the age of nine, Luigi, feeling great joy, wanted to spend some time in solitude and prayer and so he went to a hill in nearby Gualdera and suddenly heard a voice saying Louis,Louis, and he saw the Blessed Mother who revealed to him, in a mysterious way, his future mission. Rarely did he speak of this vision but when he did so he would say that it was a heavenly vision, a sweet call from above.
This is a short Portrait of a Saint and we pray with him In Omnibus Caritas and In Your Providence is Our Hope .
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What Are The Types Of Brain Damage And How Severe Are They
All traumatic brain injuries are head injuries. But head injury is not necessarily brain injury. There are two types of brain injury: traumatic brain injury and acquired brain injury. Both disrupt the brainâs normal functioning.
- Traumatic Brain Injury is caused by an external force — such as a blow to the head — that causes the brain to move inside the skull or damages the skull. This in turn damages the brain.
- Acquired Brain Injury occurs at the cellular level. It is most often associated with pressure on the brain. This could come from a tumor. Or it could result from neurological illness, as in the case of a stroke.
Both traumatic brain injury and acquired brain injury occur after birth. And neither is degenerative. Sometimes, the two terms are used interchangeably.
There is a kind of brain damage that results from genetics or birth trauma. It’s called congenital brain damage. It is not included, though, within the standard definition of brain damage or traumatic brain injury.
Some brain injuries cause focal — or localized — brain damage, such as the damage caused when a bullet enters the brain. In other words, the damage is confined to a small area. Closed head injuries frequently cause diffuse brain damage, which means damage to several areas of the brain. For example, both sides of the brain are damaged and the nerves are stretched throughout the brain. This is called diffuse axonal injury or DAI.
Take An Active Role In Your Recovery
Like any injury you may have some symptoms and it can take some time for you to recover.
Here are some ways to help you manage these common symptoms:
- avoid very sudden movements, such as getting up too quickly
- avoid loud noises and bright lights
- treat your headaches as you would normally, for example take medication or have a rest as headaches can be made worse by being tired
- make to do lists or reminders to help jog your memory
- delay doing activities that require a lot of attention
- if you feel sleepy, go to bed even if it is the middle of the day
- it may help to sleep for longer periods than usual
- slow down the pace of your daily activities
- plan to do activities when you have the most energy and schedule rest breaks
- prioritise what needs to be done
Remember if you are very tired you may be irritable and have more physical symptoms – so give yourself a break!
- talk to family and friends about how you are feeling
- do activities you enjoy
- try to avoid stressful or annoying situations
Remember most people will make a full recovery and you should start to feel better in a few days. However if you are concerned about how you are feeling, or if you are not improving, see your doctor.
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Driving After A Head Injury
A serious head injury may affect your ability to drive. You’re legally required to inform the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency and your insurance company.
You won’t be able to drive until you receive DVLA approval and your doctor has confirmed you have made a full recovery.
You can also read the RiDC guide to motoring after a brain injury.
Page last reviewed: 30 November 2018 Next review due: 30 November 2021
How The Brain Works
The brain is the powerhouse of the body, even though it only makes up two per cent of the bodys weight. This soft, jelly-like organ has countless billions of neural cross-connections. It functions using a combination of electrical and chemical means. The brain oversees the workings of the body, and gives us consciousness and personality. It is divided into two halves the left hemisphere and the right hemisphere. Each hemisphere is further subdivided into lobes. Different functions happen in different parts of the brain, which is suspended in a chemical soup called cerebrospinal fluid. This fluid nourishes the brain and serves as a shock absorber. The brain is connected to the rest of the body through the spinal cord. Together, the brain and spinal cord make up the central nervous system.
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Reduced Motor Skills And Spatial Reasoning
Damage to the frontal lobe can result in problems with motor skills such as walking or using hands to eat.
It can also affect spatial reasoning, which makes harder to visualize how an object is positioned in a space.
For recovery, you will need to participate in activities that activate your brains neuroplasticity. This will allow other functioning portions of the brain to adapt for some frontal lobe functions.
The most effective way to engage neuroplasticity is through massed practice activities that target the action you want to improve.
So for example, if your grip is weak, practicing grip strengthening exercises is the best way to improve it!
Want 25 pages of TBI recovery exercises in PDF form?
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What Are The Possible Results Of Brain Injury
Some brain injuries are mild, with symptoms disappearing over time with proper attention. Others are more severe and may result in permanent disability. The long-term or permanent results of brain injury may need post-injury and possibly lifelong rehabilitation. Effects of brain injury may include:
- Cognitive deficits
Difficulty understanding where limbs are in relation to the body
Vision problems, including double vision, lack of visual acuity, or limited range of vision
Difficulty speaking and understanding speech
Difficulty choosing the right words to say
Difficulty reading or writing
Difficulty knowing how to perform certain very common actions, like brushing one’s teeth
Slow, hesitant speech and decreased vocabulary
Difficulty forming sentences that make sense
Problems identifying objects and their function
Problems with reading, writing, and ability to work with numbers
Impaired ability with activities of daily living , such as dressing, bathing, and eating
Problems with organization, shopping, or paying bills
Inability to drive a car or operate machinery
Impaired social capacity resulting in difficult interpersonal relationships
Difficulties in making and keeping friends
Difficulties understanding and responding to the nuances of social interaction
Anxiety and depression
Overcoming Global Brain Damage
Global brain injuries are serious medical conditions that require immediate treatment. Because every injury is unique, recovery is difficult to predict.
Generally, if oxygen can be restored quickly, the person can have an excellent chance of making a full recovery.
The most rapid recovery usually happens within the first six months. However, recovery is still possible several years after an injury, though progress will be slower.
Even if recovery is slow, its still possible to make some improvements. The key is to begin therapy as early as possible and to continue activating neuroplasticity.
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Prepare For Ambiguous Loss
This one isnt technically speaking a direct effect of frontal lobe brain damage, but it is something many experience after a brain injury.
Ambiguous loss refers to a loss that occurs without closure or any of the typical markers that accompany grief.
The term was coined by psychologist Pauline Boss who described it as a physical presence but psychological absence such as in cases of dementia or Alzheimers disease.
It also frequently accompanies traumatic brain injury, especially frontal lobe damage.
Because frontal lobe damage often results in personality changes, the people closest to the injured person may feel like they have lost their loved one, when in fact they have just changed.
This can lead to a complex blend of grief and guilt grief for the loss of the person they once knew, and guilt for feeling that way when that person is still alive.
Ambiguous loss can also affect the person with the injury, especially when they have accepted or adapted to their new way of life.
Unresolved ambiguous grief leads to emotional problems and makes it difficult to move forward with recovery.
Resolving the feelings associated with ambiguous loss is an important step that allows both you and your loved ones to finally move forward.
Boosting Your Brain Damage Recovery Chances: Key Points
It is vital to remember that statistics and figures about brain damage recovery chances are not definitive. Even when the odds look grim, its always possible to achieve a good recovery.
There are dozens of severe brain injury recovery stories where patients defy all expectations and surprise their doctors with their progress. And in each case, it was because the person ignored negative predictions and persevered with therapy.
We hope this article helped you better understand the various factors involved in determining ones chances of recovering from brain damage and how to increase your odds. Good luck!
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The Long Road To Accessible Rehabilitation
Rehabilitation, as a defined benefit in health insurance contracts, had its origins in orthopedic and musculoskeletal diagnoses. When medical science advanced to the point that doctors could save patients with acquired brain injuries in larger numbers, new rehabilitation tactics had to be developed.
Insurance contracts and the manner in which they are applied, however, limit treatment only to hospital, skilled-nursing, or outpatient settings and limit the amount of treatment available in each of these settings. In the last category, the benefit frequently allows only a constrained time frame, typically 20 to 24 visits per year, which, while generally sufficient for most musculoskeletal and orthopedic conditions, is hardly sufficient for neurological rehabilitation. Oddly, insurance contracts do not impose similar time constraints on care for any other injured or diseased organ system. Cancer, for example, is not treated for 60 days with no further benefits available, as often occurs with brain injury. Treatment rendered to well-known individuals, such as Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords or ABC News reporter Bob Woodruff, provides testament to what is possible and what should be done. Their treatment was specialized, intensive, of sufficient duration, and not arbitrarily financially constrained.
Improving Your Chances Of Recovering
To improve your chances of recovering, you can spend some time learning about strategies and techniques to compensate for abilities that you may have lost as a result of the injury. This can include taking notes to make up for short-term memory loss or taking classes on how to approach the otherwise daunting task of rehab and therapy.
Also, try to get back into the swing of things as early as possible . While rest is the usual recommendation for patients recovering from a wide range of injuries and ailments, when it comes to brain recovery, an interesting medical finding is that getting back to your usual daily routine can help expedite the recovery process.
People who have suffered a stroke tend to be immobilized for a considerable amount of time after the stroke. Their ability to relearn simple tasks such as writing or walking can take a very long time. Recent findings suggest that reintroducing stroke patients to these kinds of activities earlier in the recovery process can help speed up their recovery.
Every injury and every person is extremely unique. If youre struggling after a traumatic brain injury, be sure to work with medical professionals and do your own research to reach the best possible outcome for recovery.
If you are interested in even more lifestyle-related articles and information from us here at Bit Rebels, then we have a lot to choose from.
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Factors That Influence Recovery Chances
While the severity of brain damage plays a major role in predicting recovery outlook after TBI, it is not the only factor involved.
Other factors doctors may look at to predict brain damage recovery chances include:
- Duration of coma. The less time a patient is in a coma after brain injury, the better their chances of a good recovery.
- Post-traumatic amnesia. When the person emerges from a coma, they go through a period of amnesia and confusion. Sometimes this period only lasts a few hours, but typically it lasts days or even weeks. The shorter the amnesia lasts, the better the prognosis.
- Age. In general, TBI patients over the age of 60 or under the age of two have the most limited chances of recovery.
- Pupil reactivity. More reactive pupils are associated with greater functional recovery.
- Location of injury. Chances of recovery are generally higher for those with focal head injuries than diffuse head injuries because damage is limited to one area of the brain as opposed to multiple areas.
- Pre-existing health conditions. Individuals with a prior history of health conditions like anxiety, depression, headaches, and seizures generally require more time to recover from brain injury.
- Secondary effects. Secondary effects of brain damage such as personality changes, sleep problems, and chronic pain may interfere with ones motivation to pursue recovery.
- Motivation. Recovery outcomes are best when the individual is highly motivated to pursue recovery.