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Rehabilitation After Traumatic Brain Injury

Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is a serious injury that can lead to long-term physical, cognitive, and psychological issues. Rehabilitation is an important part of recovery after a TBI. Rehabilitation helps to restore physical and cognitive abilities, reduce symptoms, and improve quality of life.

Therapy for Traumatic Brain Injury

Rehabilitation for TBI typically includes a combination of therapies. Physical therapy may be used to help with balance, coordination, and strength. Occupational therapy can help with activities of daily living, such as dressing, bathing, and eating. Speech-language therapy can help with communication and swallowing difficulties. Cognitive rehabilitation can help with thinking and memory skills. Finally, psychological counselling can help with emotional and behavioural issues.

Improves Physical and Cognitive Abilities

The rehabilitation goals after a TBI are to reduce symptoms and improve functioning. This may include improving physical and cognitive abilities, restoring activities of daily living, and improving quality of life. Rehabilitation focuses on helping individuals reach their highest potential rather than restoring them to their pre-injury state.

Rehabilitation typically begins in the hospital but can continue at home or in a rehabilitation facility. It is important to note that rehabilitation is an ongoing process. It may take months or even years to reach the desired goals. The amount of rehabilitation needed depends on the severity of the injury and the individual’s age and health.

What are the Imaging Tests for TBI?

The most common imaging tests used to diagnose TBI have computed tomography (CT) scans, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans, and positron emission tomography (PET) scans. Each of these tests has its unique advantages and disadvantages.

  • CT Scans

CT scans are the most commonly used imaging tests for TBI. They provide detailed images of the brain in three dimensions and can identify any bleeding, swelling, or fractures in the skull. CT scans are fast and relatively inexpensive, but they cannot detect subtle changes in the brain, such as those caused by mild TBI. 

  • MRI Scans

MRI scans are more detailed than CT scans and can provide detailed brain images in two and three dimensions. MRI scans can detect subtle changes in the brain, such as those caused by mild TBI, but they are more expensive and take longer to perform.

  • PET Scans

PET scans measure brain activity and help detect changes in brain chemistry associated with TBI. PET scans are expensive and time-consuming, but they can provide valuable information about the extent of the injury and the areas of the brain that have been affected.

Support is Encouraged for the Rehabilitation Process

Family and caregivers are an integral part of the rehabilitation process. They can lend emotional and physical support, help with tasks like bathing and dressing, and provide transportation to medical appointments. They are an invaluable source of comfort and assistance.

Remembering that recovery from a TBI is not a linear process is important. There may be periods of progress followed by periods of regression. Being patient and seeking support from family and friends during recovery is important. With the right resources and support, it is possible to recover from a traumatic brain injury fully.

The Bottom Line

Rehabilitation after a TBI can be a long and difficult journey, but it is an important part of recovery. With the right support, individuals can recover and live full and meaningful life.

Virtuous Circle Counselling offers services to support individuals and their families during recovery. If you need online counselling in Calgary, book an appointment with us!

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We at Virtuous Circle Counselling acknowledge Moh’kinstsis, the lands where the Bow and Elbow rivers meet, in what we currently call Calgary. We acknowledge that we are visitors on Moh’kinsstis and acknowledge the Blackfoot are those who named this area as Moh’kinsstis. In the spirit of Truth and Reconciliation, we recognize the ancestral territories, cultures, and oral practices of the Blackfoot people, the Îyarhe Nakoda Nations, the Dene people of the Tsuut’ina Nation, and the Métis Nation of Alberta, Region 3.