A football tackle. A stroke. A combat injury. A car accident. Any of these events can cause a brain injury. And just as each cause of brain injury is different, so will be its symptoms and the specific therapies needed to resolve them.
What is a brain injury?
Traumatic brain injuries may be caused by a blow or bump to the head, an object piercing the skull, a violent shaking of the head (such as whiplash) or a fall. Non-traumatic brain injuries may be caused by an infection, cancer or an abnormality in one of the blood vessels of within your brain. The symptoms of your brain injury are directly related to the part of your brain that is impacted by the traumatic or non-traumatic event.
What types of therapy are available for brain injuries?
No two brain injuries are alike, each person’s therapy plan is designed to treat their unique symptoms and restore as much physical and cognitive function as possible.
Brain injury treatment at Good Shepherd Penn Partners is managed by a team of professionals trained in brain injury rehabilitation. Your team may include:
- A physiatrist to oversee your treatment, prescribe medication and manage medical problems.
- A neuropsychologist to assess your impairment and help you learn coping strategies.
- Physical therapy to restore sensory deficits and regain strength, coordination, flexibility, range of movement, posture, balance and gait.
- Occupational therapy to help you relearn daily tasks, such as eating, getting dressed, bathing and grooming.
- Speech and language therapy to help you regain communication skills that may be diminished and strategies to compensate for those that are lost.
- Recreational therapy to improve physical, emotional and cognitive function.
- Psychological counseling to improve your well-being.
- Cognitive therapy to help improve your memory and attention.
- Vocational counseling to help you return to work.
- A social worker to facilitate access to outside service agencies, assist with care decisions and help with communication between care providers.
What is the best therapy for brain injuries?
There is no singular “best” therapy for a brain injury. The best therapy is the therapy that’s right for you, that addresses your unique set of symptoms.
Recovery can be a matter of days or years. However, if it is recommended, it’s crucial to begin inpatient therapy at an inpatient rehabilitation facility such as Penn Medicine Rehabilitation as soon as medically possible. Starting as soon as possible after the injury takes advantage of your brain’s plasticity and its capacity to reorganize its neural networks in response to your injury. After you’re medically stable, outpatient care will help you continue to improve over the subsequent months and if necessary, years.
The ultimate goal of brain injury rehabilitation is to enable you to do what you love and need to do daily (activities of daily living) so that you can return home and live independently and safely.