How Physical Therapy Can Aid Brain Injury Recovery

By on March 14, 2019
Physical Therapy

Anyone who suffers a serious brain injury is likely to need to undergo significant treatment and rehabilitation to help them deal with the impact of their injury. Brain injury rehabilitation typically involves various approaches, including counselling, occupational therapy and physical therapy.

It is essential for brain injury survivors to have the right physical therapy as soon as possible after a brain injury and then throughout their recovery to help them achieve the best possible outcome. Physical therapy can help brain injury recovery in various ways, all of which can be very beneficial for a patient’s long-term wellbeing.

Encouraging brain plasticity

Brain plasticity is essential to brain injury recovery and physical therapy can make a big difference to how this takes place.

Unlike most other cells in the body, brain cells cannot be repaired or replaced. This means that when someone suffers a brain injury and their brain cells are damage or destroyed, the functions those brain cells carried out will be disrupted. This is why, for example, people may have difficulty moving their muscles – the brain cells that carried the signals telling their muscles to move no longer work.

However, other brain cells may be able to take over the function of the damaged cells, forming new neural pathways to carry the signals that formerly passed through the damaged cells. Brain plasticity is the name for this process.

Physical therapy can assist brain plasticity by getting a brain injury survivor to practice certain movements they find difficult, encouraging the brain to form the new neural pathways needed to work around the damaged brain cells.

Improving balance, coordination and stability

Balance, coordination and stability are often significant problems for people recovering from a brain injury, resulting in difficulties with walking and general movement. A physical therapist will typically spend a significant amount of time working on these issues with a variety of exercises, helping a brain injury survivor to be able to move around more independently and with increased confidence.

Developing muscle strength, flexibility and fitness

Physical therapy will also focus heavily on improving the patient’s strength and flexibility, making it easier for them to walk and perform other daily tasks. Other related goals will be to improve fitness and energy levels. These are likely to have been significantly reduced due to the amount of time a brain injury survivor will tend to spend being relatively inactive following their injury and the fact that brain injuries tend to cause people to become fatigued more easily than before.

How to fund physical therapy for brain injury recovery

If you or a loved one need to fund physical therapy or other types of support, you may be able to claim compensation if the brain injury was caused by the negligence or malicious action of another party. This can make all the difference to ensuring you have access to the right support to achieve the best possible recovery after a brain injury.

Due to the complexity of these types of high value personal injury claims, we strongly recommend working with a specialist brain injury compensation solicitor if you need to claim compensation for a head injury. This will help to ensure all of the right evidence is collected and effectively presented, so you have the strongest chance of achieving the compensation you need.

 

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How Physical Therapy Can Aid Brain Injury Recovery