Post-concussion patients are those that have suffered from the conditions associated with the brain injury. The brain injury can be classified as a mild or concussion brain injury. Typically, the post-concussion situation with the patients can continue for some time after the injury. This period can range from a few weeks to several months.
After moderate or severe head injuries, the main goal of rehabilitation is to improve physical and cognitive function. Typically, this leads to inpatient rehabilitation, which is the main goal to improve. But the patient's restoration can be different from the other.
Symptoms of post-concussion patients include:
- Vestibular symptoms such as dizziness, ringing in the ears, nausea, balance problems and vertigo
- Visual problems like blurred vision, difficulties with focusing, and difficulty in moving one or two eyes, which can affect the ability to read
- Headache and feeling of head pressure
- Exquisite sensitivity or hypersensitivity to light, noise, and other external stimuli, which include factors that people don't usually bother with, like background chatter or sunlight
- Sleeping disorders that often lead to insomnia, sleep apnea, and wake disorders of the circadian rhythm sleep
- Cognitive difficulties like feeling foggy or blur, impaired memory, difficulty concentrating, and confusion
- Mental symptoms, such as intolerance to stress, alcohol, or emotions, personality changes and irritable mood, emotional apathy or blunting, and aversion to activities they usually enjoy, like sexual activity and socializing
- Severe concussion symptoms that immediately follow the primary head injury
Stages of inpatient rehabilitation of post-concussion patients
Patients with post-concussion require different rehabilitation stages and recovery length, depending on the requirements for every patient.
Inpatient rehabilitation usually begins immediately if possible once the patient is medically stable. In the initial phase, the rehabilitation team will work with a patient to recover his daily routine like dressing, using the bathroom, eating, walking, talking, etc.
If the patient needs more intensive care, the next stage is to help him develop to the independent functioning level possible. Others rehabilitations may consist of training the patient in new ways of compensating for the cognitive or physical abilities permanently damaged by injury.
The last stage is to prepare the patient to return to everyday life and work by living independently. The family plays a critical role in this process, as the patient learns to transition a loved one efficiently. Leaving the inpatient rehabilitation of post-concussion patients can produce many anxieties, but active preparation will help ease the concerns. On the Everest website, you can find out more about comprehensive inpatient rehabilitation.
Why one need inpatient rehabilitation of post-concussion patients
- To improve the ability to function in the community and at home
- To help cope with physical and mental problems caused by the brain injury
- To provide emotional and social support
- To help the patient adapt to changes during recovery
Inpatient rehabilitation of post-concussion patients prevents complications like:
- Blood clots
- Pressure ulcers
- Shortness of breath and pneumonia
- Lower blood pressure during exercise
- Bladder and bowel problems
- Muscle cramps and muscle weakness
- Sexual and reproductive problems
The risks of inpatient rehabilitation of post-concussion patients
The risks can be due to some treatment like occupational or physical therapy. But they can still happen. If performed incorrectly, will result to new injuries or worsen the existing injuries or symptoms. For this reason, it is imperative to work closely with the rehabilitation specialist who can take the necessary steps to prevent these problems. Makes sure you talk with your doctor before inpatient rehabilitation.
What happens after inpatient rehabilitation of post-concussion patients?
The length of inpatient rehabilitation and the level of further treatment you need will depend on the severity of the brain damage and the response to the treatment. Some patients can regain the same ability level before the post-concussion. Some of the long-term post-concussion effects can occur years after. You can be at a high risk of developing long-term problems like Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, and other dementia forms.
Common problems that are solved by inpatient rehabilitation of post-concussion patients
1. Thinking problems
Patients with thinking problems often have language, memory, concentration, problem solving, and judgment difficulties, and inpatient rehabilitation can solve it.
2. Common physical problems
These include poor coordination, loss of strength, and problems with swallowing and movement.
3. Sensory problems
Patients may also develop sensory problems like changes in smell, vision, touch, and hearing. Inpatient rehabilitation can solve it.
4. Emotional problems
Patients with brain injury can develop emotional problems like mood swings, impulsiveness, and irritability and inpatient rehabilitation can solve it.
After inpatient rehabilitation, you can receive these instructions:
- Signs and symptoms, which you can call your doctor
- Expected signs and symptoms
- Community support resources, which are available to you
- Advice on personal care and safety
- Counselling on drug use and alcohol