Following a TBI or concussion, the recovery process is unique for each individual. Rehabilitation is a vital part of this process to maximize outcomes and regain function, particularly for those who have been diagnosed with a moderate or severe TBI. Some individuals will receive inpatient or outpatient therapy, whether at a military treatment facility (MTF), VA Polytrauma Center, or a civilian rehabilitation clinic.
(U.S. Army Photo by Chuck Roberts/Released) Rehabilitation is most commonly provided by a team that can include physical therapists, speech therapists, occupational therapists, social workers, psychologists, case managers, and other health care practitioners. Members of the team create a treatment program based on each patient’s needs. For example:
- Occupational therapy is intended to enhance a person’s ability to perform activities of daily living and job-related tasks, improve coordination, and maximize participation in leisure activities.
- Physical therapy provides individual education and training that involves exercising and moving the body to preserve, enhance or restore purposeful movement through the use of therapeutic exercise and assistive devices.
- Speech and cognitive therapies work with individuals with TBI who may have problems with attention and concentration, learning, problem solving, memory and speech.
- Many other specialized therapies may be used in TBI rehabilitation such as vestibular (balance) therapy, art therapy, therapeutic recreation, and driver rehabilitation.
The rehabilitation team evaluates individuals with TBI to establish baseline findings. The team works with the patient to set short-term and long-term goals. The goals may be changed if an individual progresses more slowly or quickly than expected.