Trauma is one of the most prevalent causes of death and disability, especially among younger people. Of the different types of trauma, a traumatic brain injury (TBI) is among the most serious and difficult to manage, depending on its severity.
However, quick and comprehensive medical treatment can make a big difference in the patient’s recovery. A mild TBI is a concussion, which can heal completely with proper care and plenty of rest. Knowing what a brain injury is and how it can occur is the first step in understanding this type of high-impact injury.
What Is Brain Trauma?
The brain coordinates every bodily function, including consciousness and thinking as well as autonomic functions such as your heartbeat and breathing. In accomplishing such feats, the brain requires a disproportionate and continuous amount of oxygen and nutrients to continue functioning.
When trauma occurs, this interrupts the necessary flow of oxygen and nutrients, which can cause the cells in the brain to begin to die. Damaged brain tissue is tough to repair.
Traumatic brain injuries occur when the brain experiences a blunt force. Any forceful blow, impact, or sudden jolt of the head can be enough to cause a brain injury.
What Causes Brain Injury?
Most brain trauma occurs due to accidents, especially:
- Car accidents (especially if the patient was not wearing a seat belt)
- Workplace injuries (especially manual labor and drivers)
- Slips and falls
- When engaging in high-impact sports
Children, older people, and persons with disabilities are more prone to accidents at home that can cause a traumatic brain injury. Athletes who are more likely to get head injuries include football players, bikers, skiers, and hockey players.
Symptoms of a TBI
The indications that a person has a traumatic brain injury can vary widely, based on the extent of the damage. While some cases show immediate symptoms, others can reveal symptoms that only emerge after a few days or weeks.
Symptoms can include:
- General unwellness
- Neurological issues (altered states of consciousness and awareness, fainting, or unresponsiveness)
- Speech difficulties
- Abrupt changes in sleeping habits (insomnia or excessive sleeping)
- Mood swings
- Sensory issues (vision changes, a constant ringing in the ears, etc.)
What Are the Potential Complications?
If left untreated by a physician, a severe traumatic brain injury can induce lasting complications. These can include paralysis, numbness, or trouble with speech and other complex movements. Mental issues, such as memory trouble or the inability to solve problems, may also emerge.
In the worst cases of traumatic brain injury, patients may enter a coma where they become entirely unresponsive to external stimuli. Patients may recover within days or spend their entire lives in a coma. Others succumb to brain death, which is irreversible.
Medical Care for Traumatic Brain Injury
Traumatic brain injuries can cause various neurological symptoms, some of which may not emerge immediately after the incident. A traumatic brain injury may lead to permanent complications, which can be debilitating or life-threatening – which is why it is so important to have an evaluation by a qualified physician.
Here at Delaware Back Pain & Sports Rehabilitation Centers, our multidisciplinary teams will thoroughly examine your condition and coordinate a highly personalized rehabilitation plan for you as necessary. We use leading-edge technologies and methodologies to help you recover faster and to reduce your risk of developing complications.
We have facilities in various parts of Delaware, including Wilmington, Newark, Middletown, Smyrna, and Dover. If you would like to schedule a consultation, call the office location near you or use our online appointment request form. We look forward to seeing you and helping you recover from your brain injury.