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Occupational therapy and traumatic brain injuries

Posted on March 16, 2015 by admin

“Traumatic brain injury patients can successfully benefit from Occupational Therapy as it provides quantifiable rehabilitation for TBI. Occupational therapy help those struggling with brain injuries to regain the normal rhythms of their pre-injury lives by re-educating them to carry out routine activities”.

“Occupational therapy focuses on promoting health and rehabilitation through the performance of activities. The therapist pinpoints, through research and evaluation of each specific patient, those areas which are meaningful to the patient, in keeping with his ethical beliefs and his customary way of life. By retraining the patient with occupational therapy once a traumatic injury has occurred, the therapist gives the patient the opportunity to feel that sense of accomplishment vital to his sense of well being”.

“An occupational therapist (OT) might be on hand to assist a patient who has had hip replacement surgery to re-learn how to put on socks or set a table. An OT can assist a patient who is losing her eyesight to learn how to reformat daily activities to accommodate the loss of vision. A large percentage of OTs work in schools helping special needs students learn how to be successful in the school environment”.

“The application of occupational therapy to the treatment of patients with traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) is a relatively recent success story which has produced dramatic results. Brain injuries and their long-term consequences are often unpredictable and difficult to manage. The occupational therapist takes the time to evaluate each case on an individual basis and greatly increases the probability of a positive outcome by focusing on the patient, the action plan, and the revision of the plan for improved results”.

“Causes of traumatic brain injury are varied but often of sufficient severity to require occupational therapy. A blow to the head sustained during a traffic accident can have serious long-term implications. An impact which causes a skull fracture, resulting from a fall, a football tackle, a tumble from a horse, or a gunshot will injure the brain with varying degrees of severity, depending on factors such as the injury location. Any extreme acceleration and deceleration of the head which causes movement of the brain within the skull can damage the brain tissue and nerves. This type of brain injury, the cause of such conditions as Shaken Infant Syndrome, can be the result of physical violence”.

“At the outset of recovery, a patient and his OT may concentrate upon re-learning activities as basic as hand washing. They will progress to daily activities like bed making, grocery shopping, and cooking meals. Finally, well into the recovery period, the OT may focus on re-training her patient with cognitive exercises and memory-strengthening activities”.

“Because traumatic brain injury spans all ages of victims and has many causes and degrees of severity, the therapist’s ability to tailor an occupational program on a case by case basis greatly increases the value of the treatment. The occupational therapist may begin work while the TBI patient is still comatose. At this stage of treatment, she may provide sensory and basic motor therapy to keep the patient engaged in routine activities, even while in a coma. When the patient begins to improve and is ready to embark on the slow upward climb of recovery, the OT is there beside him to ease him into relearning those skills lost or compromised by the brain injury”.

Information from: www.brainandspinalcord.org

Brain