Treating Traumatic Brain Injuries

Intrepid Spirit Center gym interior

Treating traumatic brain injury (TBI) requires a diverse range of methods. Since no two cases are identical, it’s also true that no two treatments are identical. At our Intrepid Spirit Centers, patients are built a custom treatment plan incorporating the various therapies available at each center. As technology advances, new treatments are being developed, tested and studied every day. 

Physical and occupational therapies are both hallmarks of TBI treatment. While physical therapy is known for building physical strength and improving flexibility, it can also help manage and strengthen coordination, which is frequently affected after sustaining a TBI. Physical therapy also helps improve balance and walking. Depending on the part(s) of the brain affected, performing everyday functions like cooking, getting dressed and even bathing can be affected. Relearning these tasks is foundational to continuing on with life after sustaining a TBI. 

Speech and language therapy are also a part of some TBI treatments. In these cases, communication skills can be disrupted by the injury, so there’s a need to relearn basic communication skills, or simply improve communication skills. 

Cognitive therapy is another hallmark of TBI treatments. Cognitive therapy focuses on memory, attention, perception, learning, planning, and judgement, among other things. These aspects are commonly affected by TBIs and need to not only be treated, but also measured to properly gauge progress.

Creative Arts therapies have also become common in TBI treatments, especially at our Intrepid Spirit Centers. Art therapy has been shown to improve and advance the recovery of TBI patients. Music therapy can help muscles synchronize to a beat, which can promote the relearning of basic and advanced motor functions. In addition, music is proven to release chemicals which effectively distract the body from both pain and physical discomfort. It can also help treat memory loss, as well as challenges with word recall, and improve fine motor skills. 

In addition, a number of new treatments were recently researched and explored through the Massey TBI Grand Challenge. 36 funded teams worked to develop new methods to advance treatment of TBI cases. Those explored included valproic acid, which treats epilepsy and psychiatric disorders and using lightwaves to target and change what’s happening in specific cells after sustaining a brain injury. Nothing from the research has been further vetted yet, but as studies like these continue, TBI treatments are like/y to develop and transform in the coming years. 




Posted on March 16 2020 in Blog

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