Even though our brains are one of the most important organs in our body, as a society we don’t do a good job of helping our head heal following injuries like a traumatic brain injury or concussion. Maybe it’s because we can’t truly understand the severity of head injuries like we can with an x-ray that clearly shows a forearm fracture, or maybe it’s because we just believe that time will eventually help us get back to normal. However, passive treatments like rest aren’t always the best option following a head injury. Instead, active treatments like physical therapy may be just what you need.
But how do you know if you could benefit from physical therapy after a head injury, and what types of issues can they help address? We showcase how PT can help you after a head injury in today’s blog.
PT For Head Injuries
Your brain helps regulate and control a number of bodily functions, so while PT won’t help restore range of motion in head injuries like if can for wrist or ankle injuries, it can be beneficial for helping regain these necessary functions. Some of these functions include:
- Balance – Balance is one of the most commonly affected areas following a head injury, and if you’re an older patient who may already have some mobility issues, correcting these balance problems is a must to help prevent falls. Your PT will work with you and design a program to determine how your balance is being affected and to help you regain a better sense of balance.
- Coordination – Head injuries can also have an impact on our motor movements and in turn our coordination. Paired with balance problems, it’s easy to see how coordination difficulties can spell problems for patients. Again, a physical therapist can look at which motor aspects are affected by your head injury and help you get a better grip on your coordination.
- Gait Issues – Whether as a direct result of the head injury or because of other trauma sustained during the accident, some patients have difficulty walking normally following a head injury. We’ll look at the affected body systems and develop a movement-based therapy routine to work towards a normalized walking pattern.
- Headaches – Headaches can develop for one reason or another following a head injury, and a physical therapist can help you work through these pains and attempt to decrease their frequency. Our team can help educate you on the triggers of headaches and the role diet and exercise can play in helping to mitigate flare-ups so you can prevent headaches from taking over your life.
So if you’ve suffered a traumatic brain injury or a severe concussion during athletic activity, talk to your doctor to see if physical therapy may be helpful with certain aspects of your recovery. With that said, you don’t need a referral in order to see a PT, so you can also call us for more information and to see if we could help with the symptoms you’re experiencing. For more information, contact OrthoRehab Specialists today.
PT of Costa Rican National Soccer Team for 2007 World Cup in Victoria, CAN. Clinical Instructor for University of Minnesota Doctor of Physical Therapy Affiliations