Do you know that concussion can
cause lasting brain injury?
Trauma to the brain
Concussion or a blow to the head or anything which forces the head to move rapidly forward or backward can cause a head trauma or a Mild Traumatic Brain Injury (MTBI). Common causes are motor vehicle accidents, falls, assaults and sporting accidents. These head injuries are often accompanied by some loss of consciousness. Since we use our brain for almost everything – any damage to the brain can undermine physical, mental, cognitive abilities and life performance. Over 2% of Australians ¹ live with an acquired brain injury, which constrains their ability to lead a normal life.
A client with a mild brain injury may seem fine on the surface, but privately continue to endure chronic functional problems and fatigue. Mild Traumatic Brain Injuries can involve widespread damage to the connections in the brain because the brain ricochets inside the skull during the impact of an accident. Damage can occur in multiple areas of the brain. The connections are damaged when the Axons of the nerve cells are torn from one another. Localised damage can occur as the brain bounces against the skull and connections are torn across the peripheral surfaces.
While most clients may eventually fully recover their capabilities, a mild traumatic brain injury can cause persistent issues in the following cognitive and motor functions ²:
- Sensory-motor – balance and coordination, fine motor, walking, orientation;
- Sensory – vision and hearing;
- Attention deficit;
- Communication – speech impairment, language, ability to express feelings/thoughts and excessive talking;
- Learning – memory, attention, processing speed, concentration and planning;
- Thinking – mental acuity, mental fatigue and problem solving.
- Behaviour – depression, anxiety, impulsivity, irritability, mood changes and loss of emotional control.
Each one of these factors can be debilitating. For instance, those with a Mild Traumatic Brain Injury often acquire an attention deficit. This impairs attention or the ability to shift one’s focus between activities. This and the increase in distractibility undermines the capacity to manage simple tasks like driving, reading or communication with friends.
It can become quite depressing to lose function without hope as to when you might recover. The programs we offer are one of the few ways to encourage the brain to rebuild the connections that were torn but your accident
How we can help mild traumatic brain injuries
Dynamic Listening and Integrated Listening therapy are extremely useful tools to assist the recovery from a brain injury because they stimulate the brain to re-grow those intra-neural connections which were damaged by an accident. Even with this stimulation, these neural connections can take up to nine months to re-grow and they need to be re-established before you can competently resume your daily life. Clients are most likely to experience improvements in one or more of the following areas: mood, energy level, balance, depth perception, attention, memory or organisation.
Many clients resent the impact of a brain injury on their life. Others go through a period of denial and then mourning for their ‘lost’ capabilities. Many are hoping to recover their ‘lost’ intelligence. You can enhance your opportunity to achieve a full recovery if you allow your nervous system sufficient time to repair. It can be counterproductive to rush back to work in an effort to resume a ‘normal’ life before you are ready. Listening therapy can help to ground you emotionally so that you are better able to accept this gradual process of neural repair. For some, a mild traumatic brain injury can involve a significant period of rehabilitation. This ‘pause’ can also provide a valuable opportunity to re-evaluate your life, your priorities and implement positive changes.
A tragic case study ends well
An educator experienced a shattering disruption to her life after a child dropped a heavy school bag onto her head from a floor above. This woman lost much of her gifted intelligence and lost her ability to communicate or socialise normally. Her speech had become agonisingly laboured and staccato. She also lost her job and her marriage. In conjunction with osteopathic treatment, listening therapy helped her to regain some of her ‘lost’ intelligence, her speech became clear and she re-married.
- Brain Injury Association of Queensland, http://braininjury.org.au
- Kushner DS. Mild traumatic brain injury, Arch Internal Medicine 1998;158:1617–24.