A neurological injury is any sort of injury to the brain that causes physiologic changes. Generally, neurological injuries can be caused by four main problems. Closed head injuries occur when the brain hits off the skull, causing bruising or bleeding. Penetrating injuries occur when the skull is cracked, or a foreign object enters the brain. Toxic injuries are when poisonous substances enter the brain and kill cells.
However, the most common cause of neurological injuries results from anoxic injuries. These occur when there is a lack of oxygen in the brain, such as during a stroke or an aneurysm.
Because neurological injuries involve physiologic changes in the brain, the entire body can be affected. For severe injuries, the patient may be in a coma for several days until the brain can recover. Once they wake up, they often experience changes in motor skills, like an inability to speak or eat. It might also be hard for them to breathe on their own.
Additionally, many patients have a reduced response to stimuli. They may lose muscle tone, strength, and balance, making it hard to walk or move around on their own. Many patients even have paralysis on one side of the body.
After the patient has been medically stabilized, a rehabilitation plan with a physical therapist is essential for helping them regain functionality of their body. A physical therapist will help the patient by re-teaching them coordination skills and prescribing exercises to rebuild lost muscle. Specifically, the treatment will focus on helping patients regain their balance and control of movement, eventually allowing the patient to move around and bear their own weight without assistance.
Your physical therapist might use selective sensory stimulation to help you regain feeling and strength in your paralyzed limb. They might also employ several range-of-motion exercises to help you become more flexible.
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