What comes to mind when you hear the words “brain injury” or “traumatic brain injury”? For many, it conjures images of someone in a severe accident who now is unable to function physically in some capacity – whether it is slurred speech, difficulty walking, unable to use their hands, or loss of personality. But have you considered that a brain injury can be much more subtle?
Leading Causes of Brain Injury
For the purposes of this article we are not discussing non-degenerative brain trauma, instead, we are focusing on injuries sustained from an external force, also know as Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI). Whether mild, moderate, or severe, according to the Traumatic Brain Injury National Data Center, externally caused injuries, are caused by:
- Falls (40.5%)
- Unknown/other (19% – in the military, TBI is usually caused by blasts)
- Struck by or against something (15.5%)
- Traffic Accidents (14.3%)
- Assaults (10%)
No two brain injuries are alike and can present itself in a variety of ways. Also, babies who are shaken can present the symptoms of TBI throughout their life.
Symptoms of Brain Injury
There is a wide variety of presenting issues that can be an indicator of someone with a brain injury or in need of some type of neurotherapy. Keep in mind the following list is not inclusive. Also, if you have one or some of these symptoms it does NOT necessarily mean you have a brain injury. These are simply some indication that you may have an injury or dysfunction of the brain:
- Trouble sleeping
- Lack of focus
- Balance issues
- Sleep disruptions
- Sensitivity to light, sound, touch
- Difficulty reading
- Social fears
- Mood changes
How Do I Know If I Have A Brain Injury?
If you have severe symptoms we recommend first seeing your doctor or neurologist to find out the extent and source of the symptoms you are experiencing. Otherwise, can you recall any head trauma in the past, no matter how insignificant it may seem?
Client Story: We have one client who came to us with minor symptoms such as trouble sleeping, balance, and forgetfulness. After some discussion she remembered a waterskiing accident from 22 years prior during which she fractured her skull. It never occurred to her that she would be experiencing symptoms from such an old injury. She thought the sleeplessness, balance issues, and mental fog was simply “just the way [she was]”.
Think about any trauma as a child, in sports, a car accident (even if it was a minor “fender bender), or hitting your head against something. While there is no way to prove a direct correlation to a past injury with a current symptom, we can identify, through a process called brain mapping, areas in your brain that are not communicating or operating at an optimal level. From the results of a brain map, we can assess and create a plan of action to “rewire” your brain and help your neurons to communicate more efficiently and properly. Even if you can not remember a past injury, brain mapping will tell us what areas need a little help.
Rewiring The Brain
The best part of working with clients on their brain health is that we have the privilege of watching them become so excited at the improvements in their life. Our clients have reported progress in these areas:
- Clearer focus
- Not feeling overwhelmed in social situations
- Less sensitive to light, noise, touch
- Ability to deal with past traumas (either childhood or adult situations)
- Less anxiety
- Children getting back to normal in school after a concussion
- Overcoming fears
- Athletic performance improved / increased motor skill
- Increased ability in reading comprehension
These are just a few examples of what can change when we focus on improving the health of our brains. So how do we enhance the function of the brain and is it possible to rewire the brain? Our next post will explain how “rewiring” our brain is achievable through Neurotherapy.
At Harmonized Brain Centers we focus on Low Energy Neurofeedback (LENS) Therapy to support our clients. Interested in knowing more about brain health or how we can help you? Follow our new blog, visit our website, or call us at 719-661-6422 and we will be happy to discuss how we can help you with the health and function of your brain.