Acquired Brain Injury
What is Acquired Brain Injury?
Acquired Brain injury (ABI) is any damage to the brain that has occurred since birth, and is non-progressive. ABI therefore excludes any brain injury that was present at birth (congenital brain injury) or any progressive degenerative conditions, such as dementia, Multiple Sclerosis or Parkinson’s Disease. Acquired Brain Injuries can be classified as traumatic brain injuries (TBI) or non-traumatic brain injuries.
Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI):
These are caused by a sudden trauma to the head, causing in damage to the skull, resulting in bruising and pressure on the brain tissue. TBI usually result in localised damage to the brain, but there can also be some shearing and tearing of the brain tissue and nerve fibres in other areas of the brain, causing more widespread damage. Following TBI, there can also be some damage to bones, muscles and tissues throughout the rest of the body.
Non-traumatic Brain Injury:
Caused by a disease or some form of damage to the brain tissue. This can be gradual onset such as a tumour, or sudden onset such as a disruption to the blood supply. Like TBIs these can cause either localised damage or more widespread damage.
Treatments for Acquired Brain Injury:
Following Acquired Brain Injury, rapid recovery often happens within the first 6 months, followed by the most progress happening within the first 2 years. However improvements in function and cognition can continue to happen for many years following the initial injury. At Hobbs Rehabilitation, we offer a variety of services for treatment, management and rehabilitation of acquired brain injuries at any stage. By working closely with members of the family, carers and other health care professionals we are able to co-ordinate treatment of each individual to help them achieve their maximum potential.
Physiotherapy for Acquired Brain Injury:
Every individual with ABI presents with different symptoms and needs, depending on the area affected and extent of the damage to the brain. As well as damage to the central nervous system (brain and spinal cord), there may also be some damage to other bones or tissues in the rest of the body. Each individual will be assessed by their therapist and have treatment tailored to their needs and goals. Some of the physiotherapy treatments we offer can help to:
- Increase muscle strength through strengthening and mobilisation exercises
- Improve balance and mobility through assessment of different seating and mobility aids and postural re-education
- Increase sensation through sensory stimulation
- Reduce muscle stiffness, spasms and pain through stretching programmes
- Reduce the risk of falls through balance work, gait re-education and training
- Help reduce foot drop through functional electrical stimulation (FES) and various orthotics
- Increase independence and quality of life through management of positioning in bed and seating
Occupational Therapy for Acquired Brain Injury:
Our specialist OT’s aim to improve areas of personal care, work or leisure that are becoming difficult. This can be achieved through:
- Functional activities independently or in groups
- Assessment of function in your own environment and establish any needs for equipment, adaptations, or further rehabilitation
- Hand therapy including splinting and exercise programmes
- Advice and management of pressure relief through bed positioning and seating adaptations
- Education to help individuals adapt and manage altered sensation
- Assessment and treatment of cognitive deficits
- Aiding perception and problem solving difficulties
Speech and Language Therapy for Acquired Brain Injury:
Following ABI, there may be difficulties with speech and swallow. Difficulties in written and non-verbal communication can also be experienced. Our specialist speech and language therapists can assist with:
- Training for family and carers on how to communicate with someone with dysphasia
- Advice and management with various communication aids
- Treatment at the centre or in your own home
- Assistance with written communication including adaptive equipment
Neuropsychology for Acquired Brain Injury:
Following a traumatic injury or disease, people often find it difficult to cope with the sudden changes to their mobility, social life and overall lifestyle. Our clinical neuropsychologists can help to provide:
- Detailed assessment of a clients’ functioning; in particular their cognition, behaviour and emotional state
- Providing advice, consultation, teaching and supervision to other professionals as well as family and carers
- Management and advice for anxiety and changes in mood
Orthotics for Acquired Brain Injury:
Our specialist orthotist, working with the team, can help by designing and fitting orthoses to best complement the treatment and rehabilitation. These include:
- Orthotics to prevent foot drop and aid walking
- Night and day resting splints to maintain alignment and prevent contractures
- Insoles to improve alignment, proprioception and gait
- Alterations to shoes to assist with leg length discrepancies, alignment and improve mobility.
- Custom-made footwear for patients who cannot purchase shop footwear