Traumatic brain injury refers to a closed or open head injury following trauma, resulting in significant neurological symptoms that may include loss of memory and cognitive function, behavioural changes and physical immobility.
Traumatic brain injury can range from being towards the milder spectrum, such as a concussion, to more severe forms where the person can end up in a coma and minimally responsive.
The impact of traumatic brain injury can result in life long physical changes, such as a reduction in independence and mobility, but people can significantly improve their abilities through intensive therapy and the right structure and environment.
Neurological physiotherapists are physiotherapists with additional training and expertise in treating problems related to the brain, spinal cord, inner ear and nerves. Neurological physiotherapists apply their neuroscience knowledge to predict the likelihood of recovery given the type of brain injury and the distribution of symptoms. We understand how muscle tone and the different neurological systems interact to maximise recovery.
Traumatic brain injury is likely to produce disorders of muscle tone and control of movement, where there may be increased resistance to stretch (spasticity) or a heightened reflex response (hyperrflexia) that can make walking and running more difficult. This can be treated with neurological physiotherapy, by strengthening the right muscle groups and restoring normal balance reactions when the person is upright against gravity. Furthermore, our neurological physiotherapists apply the principles of sensory feedback and postural adjustments to help individuals with traumatic brain injury control their tone and regain as much motor control as possible. This may be in the form of intensive therapy.