Types of Physical Therapy Intervention for Traumatic Brain Injury
After a traumatic injury, you may have loss of movement and strength. However physical therapy can actually help you, because physical therapy helps individuals with their mobility via various targeted interventions to the areas that they’re having issues with. And of course the primary goal of physical therapy for someone with a traumatic brain injury is to regain independence, and you need to be able to move independently to truly have independence.
The brain is very malleable in some ways. One of those ways is called neuro- plasticity, and this is the central nervous system’s ability to re-circuit the brain. So repetitively performing a behavior is going to be able to help your brain to figure out what way to categorize the movement in the brain. If there is a part of the brain that is not functioning correctly, then your brain may use neuroplasticity to recategorize that movement to an entirely new part of the brain.
Practicing weakened movements helps to reinforce the demand for that movement in your brain and will help to promote neuro-plasticity.
Please reach out to a physical therapy office if you have questions about how physical therapy can help your traumatic brain injury. There is more than just neuro- plasticity that can help after you have a traumatic brain injury. This is not an exhaustive list but it is some of the most common treatments for someone with a TBI working with a physical therapy office, such as the ones available at Mid-Atlantic Spinal Rehab.
Neuromuscular reeducation is the retraining of the nervous system to get that normal movement that you’re missing. Sadly after a brain injury the relationship that the brain and the muscles in your body have is being disrupted. This means that your brain has to learn how to activate neuroplasticity so that new neural connections can be formed.
Passive exercise is another type of physical therapy process where a therapist is going to move the effect that area for you; and this is done because after a TBI the active area is usually unable to be moved by the person that is experiencing the traumatic brain injury.
Home exercise, because physical therapists do believe that consistent exercise is the key to brain injury rehab, is another way for you to regain function and make a recovery. Your physical therapist is going to encourage you to continue exercising, even if you are not at the clinic. Almost anything can become a physical therapy exercise.
Vestibular training is going to be important when you have balance issues after a physical incident that has left you with a traumatic brain injury. Vestibular training looks something like your therapist performing a series of vision and balance tests, and then they will create a customized exercise plan to address your issue.
Last but not least, gait training and tasks training is important. After a traumatic brain injury you may not know how to walk, you may not know how to do things like picking stuff up. So one of the types of training that you may undergo is relearning the motions before you actually try to walk or hold something.