In recognition of National Traumatic Brain Injury Awareness Month, our Silver Spring physical therapists offer some tips for head trauma
March 24, 2020
March is National Traumatic Brain Injury Awareness Month, and here at CAM Physical Therapy and Wellness Services, we believe this important topic deserves all the attention it receives. With this in mind, our Silver Spring physical therapists would like to walk you through what a traumatic brain injury is and offer suggestions to better prepare you in the event that one occurs.
A TBI is caused by a bump, blow or jolt to the head that interferes with normal brain function. TBIs can range from mild (a brief change in mental state or consciousness) to severe (extended period of unconsciousness or mental loss after injury), but most are mild. These injuries are commonly referred to as concussions.
A number of popular winter sports—including ice hockey, skiing, snowboarding, and ice skating—combine high speeds with slippery surfaces, which is a dangerous pairing that can lead to serious injuries like TBIs. Even basketball, though it doesn’t have the same dangerous reputation as sports like football, carries a risk of TBI that must be acknowledged during the winter.
Fortunately, in recent years the amount of attention given to TBIs and concussions has grown significantly, as it is now a topic frequently discussed on several levels; however, more still needs to be done. Every year, about 1.7 million Americans experience a TBI, and sports and recreational activities account for roughly 21% of all TBIs in children and adolescents. Despite the continuous efforts being made on these fronts, TBIs remain a leading cause of death and disability in these younger age groups.
In recognition of National Traumatic Brain Injury Awareness Month, our Silver Spring physical therapists present these recommendations that will help you prevent TBIs from occurring and prepare you to respond appropriately if one is suspected:
- Wear equipment that fits well and is properly maintained, especially helmets
- In organized sports like basketball and ice hockey, parents and coaches should stress the importance of following the rules and practicing safe play
- Encourage kids to not play through head injuries that might go unnoticed on the sidelines and to report any strange behavior from teammates
- When skiing or snowboarding, avoid going through the trees and other obstacles, and be aware of blind spots, turns and sudden drops
- Don’t wear headphones on the slopes, as they can be distracting
- After any blow to the head, the individual should be evaluated immediately by a trained coach or medical professional; signs of a concussion include persistent headache, dizziness, nausea, confusion, and sensitivity to light
- If signs of a TBI are present, further medical evaluation is necessary
CAM Physical Therapy and Wellness Services offers balance evaluations to determine if a TBI has occurred. In confirmed cases, we can also create a rehabilitation program that will help patients with a TBI regain their physical abilities, relearn how to perform daily tasks and improve their overall strength and fitness. We encourage you to take these steps to prevent TBIs, to be aware of possible signs after a head injury, and to visit our Silver Spring physical therapists for an evaluation when needed. Click here for more information on TBIs, or call 301-853-0093 to schedule an appointment at any of our four locations in Laurel, Hyattsville, Glenn Dale/Bowie, or Silver Spring, MD.