The Resilient Brain

Coping with Concussion and Mild Traumatic Brain Injury

Brain Injury: Methods and Treatment Part Four

Taking a look at the various conventional and complementary approaches available

Welcome to Part Four! The various treatments and methods presented are divided into four different categories: conventional, complimentary, alternative and practical suggestions. This post will be devoted to presenting conventional and complimentary methods and treatments, while Part Five will be devoted to alternative and practical suggestions.

It is important to note that every day there are new, emerging methods and treatments. Some come with great testimonials, while other have none. If you’re looking for additional information, the methods and treatments presented in this blog are also presented in depth in my book Coping with Concussion and Mild Traumatic Brain Injury. All off these methods are widely accepted by professionals in the respective areas, and have been successfully used by myself, as well as my patients/clients to help them regain their lives.  

Conventional approaches are typically the standards for treating the wide variety and forms of brain injury.  The following are usually covered by health insurance based on a specific diagnosis. 

 

  • Medication
  • Physical Therapy ( PT)
  • Craniosacral Therapy
  • Massage Therapy
  • Water Therapy (Aquatic Therapy)
  • Occupational Therapy (OT)
  • Speech and Language Therapy
  • Cognitive Remediation
  • Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy
  • Vocational Therapy
  • Recreational Therapy (RT)
  • Expressive Therapy (ET)
  • Nutrition
  • Special Education
  • Psychotherapy
  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
  • Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR)
  • Psychopharmacology
  • Behavioral Medicine (Health Psychology)
  • Neuropsychology
  • Neurosurgery
  • Neuro- Ophthalmology
  • Endrocologist
  • Orthopedist
  • Rehabilitation Hospital or Clinic

Complementary approaches, while highly accepted for treating a brain injury, may or may not be covered by your health insurance. They include the following:

  • Acupuncture
  • Biofeedback
  • Chiropractic
  • Hypnosis
  • Interactive Metronome
  • Light Therapy
  • Sound Therapy

 

 

All too often the treatment method is prescribed or performed on a generic basis, never taking into account each person’s individual differences. Based on my 5 Prong Approach and the uniqueness of each individual, the method or treatment used for each specific symptom can widely vary. I often give the example that prescribing exposure to the sun for 20 minutes a day to increase Vitamin D might be great for one person, while for someone like me who has fair skin and burns easily, this same length of time is not helpful. For me an accumulation of 10 minutes allows the same effect without getting a sun burn. Now the sun is neither good or bad, however for a fair skin person sitting that long would not be good. Too often a specific method or treatment is given without taking into consideration how hearty that person is or how reactive or sensitive they may be to that procedure. I often find that one person may like the lights in my office, while another needs to sit in a very dim light. 

It is extremely important to discuss with your prescribing practitioner why each method is being used based on your individual needs. Explore with them the various options available, as well as the training of the clinicians they suggest. What experience does the clinician have working with a person with a brain injury?  Do they know about and understand the various symptoms, such as brain fatigue and mental confusion? Can the clinician make adjustments to their standard protocols and methods to adjust to your specific needs and limitations?  Lastly, and possibly most importantly, do you feel the clinician cares about you as a person and your welfare and that they are not just doing the treatment because it is their job? Remember: the treatment or approach is only as good as the person giving it to you. Often people will say one approach works better than another only to find out it has more to do with who it is being done by rather than the method or approach itself. Love, concern, respect, and positive energy go a long, long way in healing the body, heart and soul that has been severely traumatized by a brain injury.

In future posts the focus will be on the various symptoms as they relate to all forms and variations of brain injury, and how each of the various methods and treatments present in Part One through Part Five are used for each specific symptom.

Diane Roberts Stoler, Ed.D., is a Neuropsychologist, Board Certified Health Psychologist, Board Certified Sports Psychologist, and Trauma Therapist with over 35 years experience.

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