After A Traumatic Brain Injury
Traumatic brain injury (TBI) occurs when a sudden injury causes damage to your brain. For example, a “closed head injury” may cause brain damage if something hits your head hard, but doesn’t break through your skull, and a “penetrating head injury” occurs when an object breaks through your skull and enters your brain.
According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the leading causes of TBI are falls, motor vehicle accidents, and violent assaults.
If you have had a TBI, rehabilitation therapy (or rehab) will be an important part of your recovery. Rehab can take many forms depending on your needs, and might include physical, occupational, and speech therapy, as well as psychological care and social support. All of these are designed to help you recover from the effects of your injury as much as possible.
Why might I need rehab after traumatic brain injury?
Rehab following TBI may:
- Improve your ability to function at home and at work
- Help treat the mental and physical problems caused by TBI
- Provide social and emotional support
- Help you adapt to changes as they occur during your recovery
And if your injury was caused on the job, rehab can help you get back to work!
Rehab can also help prevent complications of TBI such as:
- Muscle weakness and muscle spasms
- Falls from compromised balance/coordination
- Additional injuries that result from compromised safety awareness
Are there any risks associated with rehabilitation after a traumatic brain injury?
Rehab after a TBI is not likely to cause problems, but there is always a risk that parts of treatment such as physical or occupational therapy might lead to new injuries or make existing symptoms or injuries worse if not done properly. That’s why it is important to work closely with rehab specialists who understand brain injury as they will have the knowledge needed to help prevent problems common with TBI.
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. It’s 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.
Your individual program may include any or all of these treatments:
- Physical therapy
- Physical medicine
- Occupational therapy
- Neuropsychological Evaluation/Psychological care
- Speech therapy
- Vocational therapy
What happens after rehab for traumatic brain injury?
How long your rehab lasts and how much follow-up care you will need depends on how severe your injury was and how well you respond to therapy. Some people may be able to return to the same level of ability they had before TBI. Others may need lifetime care.
Brain Injury Rehabilitation Therapy (BIRT) at NWRTW
BIRT outpatient treatment at NWRTW is integrated, comprehensive, and evidence-based to help workers with brain injuries return to work.
The goal of the program is to reduce and manage a client’s symptoms, improve overall condition, and teach skills/techniques to assist in the path to return to work.
Treatment is tailored to provide everyone an opportunity to reclaim his or her independence, self-efficacy, quality of life, and productivity.
Treatment with a Comprehensive Team
We offer integrated care provided by physicians, psychologists, neuropsychologists, speech-language pathologists, occupational therapists, physical therapists, and vocational rehabilitation counselors.
The duration of this program varies depending on the condition of the client but is typically 6 hours a day, with a one-hour lunch break over a 6–8-week period. Each program is specifically tailored to fit the clients return to work goals which could result in shorter treatment days.
Our Program might be right for you if you have documented episodes related to a head injury, or you struggle with symptoms following a head injury that fall into the following categories:
- Physical Symptoms
- Balance and coordination
- Blurry or double vision
- Light or sound sensitivity
- Cognitive Symptoms
- Slowed thinking
- Difficulty with memory
- Difficulty with decision making
- Poor judgement
- Difficulty planning
- Emotional/Behavioral Symptoms
- Difficulty controlling emotions
- Poor frustration tolerance
- Quick to anger
If you’ve suffered a brain or head injury in the workplace, or know someone who has, talk to your doctor or care coordinator about Northwest Return to Work in Lynnwood, WA. Our program is designed to help people recover from work related head injuries, so you can get back to work!
If your injury is the result of a crime, we may also be able to help you through your crime victim’s policy. CONTACT US for more information.