Traumatic brain injury
Traumatic brain injuries occur when sudden trauma, such as a violent blow or jolt to the head, causes brain damage.
The causes of traumatic brain injuries are diverse; some of the common causes include vehicle accidents, sports injuries, falls, domestic violence, and gunshot wounds.
The symptoms of traumatic brain injury can range from mild to severe, depending upon the extent of damage to the brain. Mild traumatic brain injuries may include symptoms such as loss of consciousness for a few seconds or minutes, headache, confusion, dizziness, blurred vision, ringing in the ears, fatigue, mood swings, memory problems and difficulty concentration. Moderate or severe traumatic brain injuries may be associated with additional symptoms which include persistent headache, repeated vomiting or nausea, seizures, inability to awaken from sleep, dilated pupils, slurred speech, weakness or numbness in extremities and loss of coordination.
Traumatic brain injuries can be diagnosed with a neurological examination and imaging studies such as CT and MRI scans.
Treatment options depend on the extent of injury to the brain, and may include:
- Medications for pain, headaches and seizures
- Injection of Botox to treat muscle spasms
- Osteopathic manipulative treatment (OMT)
- Stretching and physical therapy to keep joints flexible and improve muscle strength
- Occupational therapy to regain skills in performing daily tasks
- Surgery for severe cases, such as skull fracture