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Traumatic brain injury: rehabilitation and healing 

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Traumatic brain injury is one of the most difficult things your body could go through, as it can affect every aspect of your life, from memory and movement to emotions and cognition.

However, recovery is very much possible, with most people affected by mild cases taking between a week and three months in order to recover. Healing can be a little delayed in patients who are over 40, but that doesn’t mean that the recovery process is any less efficient. Typically, the symptoms go away without much special treatment, although a thorough examination is necessary in order to rule out any other damage that might not show any symptoms in the beginning, such as brain haemorrhage. 

In the case of severe injuries, things are a little more complicated, and the recovery process typically depends on the individual case. Some patients recover quickly, regaining consciousness in the span of just a few days or even hours. For others, waking up can take years, and progress can be slow and frustrating, with some sufferers remaining in a state of impaired consciousness for months, if not years. In some cases, traumatic brain injury remains a lifelong complaint, which is why there’s no definitive timeline of what you can expect. That is why working closely with your doctor is essential. 

Symptoms 

The range of symptoms you might experience will depend on the severity of your injuries. If you became wounded as a result of an accident, you have a right to file for compensation with https://www.personalinjuryclaimsuk.org.uk/ in order to receive the maximum amount you deserve in order to make up for the loss of income and the medical expenses you may have encountered as a result of your injury. Depending on the extent of your symptoms and whether or not there is any lingering long-term damage, the amount of compensation you can receive will vary. 

Some patients briefly lose consciousness, but many of those with mild damage remain conscious after the injury and throughout hospitalisation. Headache, confusion, dizziness, blurred vision, a ringing in the ears, a bad taste in the mouth, behavioural changes and trouble thinking or remembering things are all common signs of a superficial injury. Moderate to severe cases can present with more extreme symptoms like coma, a headache that doesn’t dissipate, seizures, dilated pupils, loss of coordination, restlessness, slurring and muscle weakness. 

Doctors will run MRIs, CT scans and neurologic exams to determine the extent of your symptoms and determine the best course of treatment. 

Treatment

For mild cases of TBI, the most important thing you need to do is get plenty of rest. The headache can be treated with over-the-counter painkillers, and sleep will help a great deal, but you must remember to follow your doctor’s indications and not resume regular activity until you’re given the green light. Even if you feel just a little bit under the weather, it’s crucial to wait and take it easy, otherwise you might exacerbate the symptoms, undo the recovery you’ve achieved so far and be forced to start all over again. Naturally, if you notice that your symptoms are not getting any better or have started to become worse, you need to contact your healthcare provider as soon as possible. 

Moderate and severe cases require stabilisation first, with blood pressure and intracranial pressure being the most important things. They will also make sure that the brain tissue is getting enough oxygen to prevent further damage to the cells. Surgery is a common treatment during which blood clots are removed, fractures are repaired, and damaged tissue is removed. This is then followed by medication, including anticoagulants, anticonvulsants, and muscle relaxants for the bodily symptoms, as well as anti-anxiety pills and antidepressants to treat the mood instability, nervousness and fear that can result from the altered state associated with brain injury. 

Rehabilitation 

Because traumatic brain injury affects so many aspects of your health and general quality of life, the standard treatment is usually not enough, and you need extra rehabilitation work to alleviate the cognitive, emotional and physical difficulties that can arise as a result of the accident. For instance, if your mobility has been affected, physical therapy can restore coordination, flexibility and strength, ensuring that you’re less likely to trip, fall and become injured. 

Occupational therapy will also help if you’re dealing with sensory, cognitive or physical issues and aid you in recovering your independence across different areas of your life so that you can take care of yourself and bypass any social or emotional barriers that might still be in place after your accident. This type of therapy also allows you to perform the standard daily tasks that might have become difficult, such as cooking and getting dressed. 

You might also require psychological or psychiatric care if the injury caused you to develop depression or anxiety, but also to help you navigate life post-accident and find new ways to work on your relationships and improve general well-being. You might also struggle with accepting what happened to you, but working with an expert therapist will help you make sense of the events and understand that your life is not over. This is no easy task, however, and you must be consistent in the way you pursue therapy in order to see results since progress is a gradual thing that takes time. 

Prevention 

Although some injuries happen purely because people are victimised as a result of the negligent acts of others, there are a few things you could do to keep safe and prevent risks:

  • Make sure to always wear a seatbelt and respect driving rules and etiquette to keep yourself, your family and anyone else on the road safe 
  • Wear helmets when practising any sports that could lead to you becoming injured, including cycling, football or skateboarding. 
  • If you ride a motorcycle, you must always be properly equipped. 
  • Do regular strength exercises in order to improve your balance 
  • Prevent falls by eliminating tripping hazards in your household and installing stair railings and window guards for children. 

Although the effects of brain injury can be detrimental to your overall quality of life, it’s important to remember that most cases are mild. Even those that are moderate to severe can be treated, and it’s important to remain persistent with the treatment and therapy. 

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