Can You Ever Truly Recover from a Brain Injury?
January 11th, 2021|
Broken bones heal. Bruises fade. In fact, most parts of the human body have an impressive healing capacity—with a few important exceptions. One of the few body parts that doesn’t heal like the rest is the brain.
Though not all brain injuries are permanent, the most severe ones have lasting impacts on sufferers. Let’s dive into the brain’s capacity to heal after an injury.
Mild Brain Injuries Often Heal
Mild traumatic brain injuries (TBIs), like concussions, typically don’t affect sufferers permanently. However, mild brain injuries can have a cumulative effect, which is why a second concussion causes more damage than your first concussion, even if you were not struck any harder than you were the first time. For this reason, some concussions may be classified as moderate brain injuries.
According to the Centers for Disease and Control Prevention (CDC), several factors impact recovery time from mild brain injuries. Those factors include:
- The person’s age
- Their overall health before the injury
- How well the injured person takes care of themselves after the injury
We’ll look at proven strategies to aid recovery from mild injuries below. First, let’s understand how the severity of an injury affects the potential for recovery.
The More Severe the Brain Injury, the More Permanent the Effects
Moderate to severe brain injuries can potentially lead to permanent disability, both physically and mentally. Rather than thinking about traumatic brain injuries as events, one important study suggests that it’s more helpful to think of coping with the consequences of a serious TBI as a “disease process.”
Researchers cite several factors that make living with a TBI similar to living with a chronic disease:
- The injuries are largely permanent.
- They require specialized training for rehabilitation and potentially require a long period of observation, supervision, or care.
- Serious TBIs reduce life expectancy and increase long-term mortality.
- They are linked with increased occurrences of seizures, sleep disorders, neurodegenerative diseases, and psychiatric diseases.
- TBIs are also associated with non-neurological disorders such as sexual dysfunction, bladder and bowel incontinence, and metabolic issues.
These effects may appear or continue for months to years after someone suffers a brain injury. It’s important to understand that, just like a disease, the effects of TBI can be managed, and many sufferers do eventually return to a new normal, even if life isn’t like it was before the brain injury.
Seeking specialized medical care is essential for TBI sufferers. Through sustained effort and guidance from medical professionals, some degree of “recovery” is possible. Lifestyle choices also play a huge part in the brain’s ability to heal.
How to Help Your Brain Heal
For moderate to severe brain injuries, medical treatment and supervision are the best tools to manage life post-TBI. However, all TBI sufferers, especially those with milder injuries, will benefit from following these CDC recommendations.
- Prioritize getting sufficient sleep at night and resting as needed throughout the day.
- Avoid physically or mentally demanding tasks.
- Avoid any activities that could lead to another concussion.
- Once your doctor has cleared you to participate in certain activities, return to those activities gradually.
- Don’t return to work until your doctor approves.
- If possible, return to work gradually after your doctor clears you.
- Take only medications approved by your physician.
- Don’t drink alcohol until your doctor says it’s okay to do so.
- Avoid staring at screens (computers, TVs, mobile devices) for long periods.
- Understand that your memory could be impacted, so write down important notes to yourself in case you forget them.
Be patient with yourself as your brain heals. If you’re ever in doubt that you’re ready to perform a certain activity, err on the side of caution and favor rest and self-care over physically or mentally demanding tasks.
If Your Brain Injury Was Caused by Another’s Negligence, Get Legal Help Immediately
Dealing with the aftermath of a brain injury can be costly. Not only do you need medical assistance, you might not be able to do your job for some time. When your brain injury is caused by someone else’s negligence, you should demand compensation for the costs of your injury.
At Berg Injury Lawyers, we know what life is like for those suffering from brain injuries. We help our clients get the compensation they’re entitled to by law, and we have years of experience helping brain injury victims throughout Northern California. Contact the California brain injury attorneys at Berg Injury Lawyers today to schedule a free consultation with our team.