Brain Injury Awareness Month
March is TBI (Traumatic Brain Injury) Awareness month. TBIs affect 2.8 million people annually and can have short term affects or persistent lifelong impairments following the injury. A brain injury is classified as non-degenerative, non-congenital insult to the brain from an external mechanical force. They can range from a mild TBI; most often known as a concussion; to a moderate or even severe TBI. Research has been done extensively on treatment for moderate to severe TBIs, but Mild TBIs (MTBI) have been the main focus in the last decade.
Mild TBIs constitute 80-90% of all TBIs. Mild TBIs are classified as an external force or blow to the head causing a brief change in mental status or a loss of consciousness of less than 30 minutes. An estimated 15% of all mild TBIs go undiagnosed and can therefore result in long term impairments.
Common symptoms following a Mild TBI are:
Dizziness/loss of balance
Feelings of depression
Other symptoms may include:
Loss of smell
Sensitivity to light and sounds
Getting lost or confused
Slowness in thinking
Over the past several years there have been great advances in the diagnosis and treatment of Mild TBIs. The main focus of treatment is dealing with the subsequent impairments due to the injury. Treatment teams have been established to surround the patients with a medical team to meet all their needs. Treatment may include physical therapy, speech therapy, occupation therapy, neuropsychology, vocational training, and social workers. With this team approach Mild TBIs are being diagnosed and treated more effectively and patients are demonstrating improvements and return to function at a more rapid rate.
#ChangeYourMind is a current campaign going on to educate people regarding TBI diagnosis, treatment, and recovery. This campaign raises awareness of the incidence of TBIs, particularly mild TBIs, and attempts to remove the stigma that has been placed on TBIs for years. This campaign also brings awareness to the multiple treatment options out there for patients who have sustained a TBI, and possibly have suffered for years not knowing the root of their impairments.
With advances in medicine and current treatment approaches TBIs are being treated more effectively and resulting in improved quality of life and return to function. We are a facility that provides active treatment of patients who have suffered a TBI and offer PT, OT, and Speech Therapy to assist in recovery. If you are currently suffering from impairments caused by a TBI or have a family member who is suffering, give us a call and see how we can help. Our goal is to get you back to feeling good and returning to your life pre-injury.
***Information compiled from Brain Injury Association of America and the CDC by Tara Albright PT, DPT, Cert DN.