Because Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBIs) are considered to be ‘silent’ or invisible injuries, there are many myths and misunderstandings about them. These myths surround both brain injuries themselves and treatment methods. It is essential to learn the facts, so you or your loved one receives both support and proper treatment for a TBI. In this article, we aim to clear up 5 myths about TBIs.
Myth #1: If I Didn’t Hit My Head, I Can’t Have a Brain Injury
Many people are surprised that you don’t have to hit your head to have a TBI. If you have a strong enough jolt to the body, it can cause damage if the brain hits the skull. This is common with car accidents. The airbag may stop you from hitting your head but can still result in an injury to the brain due to impact.
Myth #2: All Head Injuries are Treated Equally
TBIs are not considered equal, and there are three severity levels: mild, moderate, or severe. They also can be classified by if they are closed or penetrating (open). Open traumatic brain injuries are rare, occurring when the skull is penetrated.
The severity of the brain injury is determined by factors, including the level of consciousness after the injury. Unconsciousness and an altered state of consciousness can indicate a more severe injury. In more mild cases, the patient may not lose consciousness and can experience confusion, headaches, or dizziness.
Since the severity of brain injuries differs, it is important to be evaluated by a doctor to determine the right course of treatment for you or your loved one’s specific injury.
Myth #3: A Normal CT Scan or MRI Means You Do Not Have a Traumatic Brain Injury
An MRI or a CT scan is used to determine if there is structural damage to the brain. Not all brain injuries that occur have structural damage.
A traumatic brain injury can alter neurological pathways that a CT scan or an MRI cannot see. Other factors and symptoms can determine the severity of a head injury, including the level of consciousness and neurological testing by a trusted neurologist.
Myth #4: A Concussion is Not The Same as a Traumatic Brain Injury
Concussions are considered brain injuries and can vary in severity. A second concussion can cause serious trauma to the brain, as seen in athletes who experience head trauma. This is known as “post concussive syndrome”.
Concussions should be treated as other brain injuries. Your doctor will develop the right treatment plan based on the symptoms you are experiencing from a concussion.
Myth #5: Without Treatment, Brain Injury Can be Permanent
Most mild TBIs can be treated by rest and a gradual return to activities.
Extra precautions may need to be taken if returning to athletics and sports. Coaches should be made aware that an athlete has experienced a concussion so they can make adaptations to support the athlete and reduce the risk of subsequent concussions.
With proper rest, many concussive symptoms do resolve on their own without intervention within a few weeks.
Of course, moderate and severe head injuries do require intervention. Some symptoms can be permanent, but most can improve or resolve with the right treatment at a neurorehabilitation center.
When is Traumatic Brain Injury Rehabilitation is Necessary Following a TBI?
Severe head injuries require post-acute rehab to have the best outcome possible. Rehabilitation centers are patient-focused and develop treatment plans based on the severity of the patient’s injury.
Neulife rehabilitation is one of Florida’s most extensive brain injury facilities. We advocate for both patients and their families to bring awareness about TBIs into the community.
What can you expect if you are a patient at Neulife? We offer rehabilitation through medical management, mental health services, occupational and physical rehab, and cognitive therapies.
Through our in-patient rehabilitation programs, our goal is to obtain the best possible outcome for your loved one.
The material contained on this site is for informational purposes only and DOES NOT CONSTITUTE THE PROVIDING OF MEDICAL ADVICE, and is not intended to be a substitute for independent professional medical judgment, advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare providers with any questions or concerns you may have regarding your health.