Your Health Matters - The importance of rehabilitation in recovery of brain injuries

Your Health Matters

Every nine seconds, someone in the U.S. sustains a brain injury, according to the Brain Injury Association of America. Many are acquired during a person’s lifetime and often brought on by a bump or hit to the head.

Falls are the leading cause of traumatic brain injuries in most children and older adults.  

Symptoms of a brain injury can be mild or severe, with some appearing right away and others not noticed until days or months after the injury. Recovery from the long-term effects of this type of injury can often be seen through a combination of physical, occupational and speech therapies.

Physical therapy (PT) can help a person with an injury begin to engage in the activities of daily life again. Physical therapists help patients move better through a combination of hands-on therapy and the use of state-of-the-art equipment and assistive devices. 

Therapists at Meritus Total Rehab Care have seen many patients improve their strength, balance and circulation by using aquatic therapy in the pool. Other available assistance comes from wireless technology known as Bioness and the Stim bike that offers electronic stimulation to a patient’s arms and legs. These therapies help patients living with foot, leg or hand weaknesses.

According to Anna Peterson, M.S., CCC-SLP, CBIS, clinical manager at Meritus Total Rehab Care, PT not only improves a patient’s ability to move and quality of life, but helps with preventing future falls that could lead to new injuries.

Therapists at Meritus Total Rehab Care see patients with spinal cord injuries, multiple sclerosis (MS), Parkinson’s disease, alateral sclerosis (ALS), strokes and more. Stroke patients often have weakness on one side of their body making nearly everything done on a typical day – walking, showering, dressing, preparing meals – very challenging if not impossible. Occupational therapy (OT) focuses on helping patients with these daily limitations.

Speech therapy complements PT and OT by treating issues with swallowing, communication, attention, memory and problem solving. Individualized programs are available and have shown great success.

During March’s Brain Injury Awareness Month, Peterson wants the community to know that Meritus Total Rehab Care provides a full range of rehabilitation programs and services with a team of therapists who use evidence-based treatment interventions. The severity of the brain injury and the age of the patient can impact how fast and how much recovery can happen following an injury to the brain.

Meritus Total Rehab Care offers outpatient services at two locations in Hagerstown — Robinwood Professional Center at 11110 Medical Campus Drive, suite 201, near the purple entrance, and Meritus Medical Plaza at 13620 Crayton Blvd.

Learn more by calling 301-714-4025 or by going to the Total Rehab Care section of this website.