Any accident that results in trauma to the head, scalp or brain is a head injury. The causes are usually road traffic accidents, falls, physical assaults and collisions. In the UK, 1,000,000 people per year attend hospital with some form of head injury. Most at risk are young males between the ages of 15 and 30. Unlike a broken bone where trauma to the body is obvious, head trauma can sometimes be more subtle. In the case of an open head injury, the skull is cracked and broken by an object that makes contact with the brain. This leads to bleeding into the brain.
Other symptoms can be neurological in nature. The person may become sleepy, behave abnormally, lose consciousness, vomit, develop a severe headache, have mismatched pupil sizes, and/or be unable to move certain parts of the body.
While these symptoms may occur immediately or they may occur later that week or years later fore example Alzheimer’s disease is more associated with those who have had head injuries like boxers.
In a head injury, there will be swelling inside the skull, there may be bleeding or clots. If the brain swells too much and cannot expand in side the skull- this can result in damage and brain cell death. In more severe cases, loss of consciousness may result and post traumatic amnesia.
Other consequences depending on the site of the injury include personality disorders, sleep disorders, movement disorders, chronic pain, poor memory, language difficulties, perception impairment, problem solving issues, mood disorders and learning difficulties, depressions and anxiety and increased risk of suicide.
Benefits of neurological physiotherapy
It is important to commence physio as soon as possible for the best recovery. Physio will help to stimulate brain function, facilitate normal movement, improve positional awareness, increase muscle activity, relieve pain and maximise function.
There are many studies linking exercise and improved physical performance to improved mental performance.
We will also provide training for the family and carers for therapeutic handling and postural alignment to improve breathing function and comfort.
Also these improvements in physical performance lead to a growing sense of achievement and an upward spiral in the patients self esteem and sense of independence.
Our neuro physios are experienced in treating head injured patients after discharge from the NHS to achieve the best possible recovery.