Physical Therapy to Treat TBI : Treatment Approaches for Brain Injury Cases

Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) is anything that can impact the normal function of a brain after birth (mostly caused due to an accident).  Rehab treatment approach varies as per what stage and how fresh the brain injury (TBI) is. It also depends on the therapist’s experience level and belief in the treatment approach. For me, not one approach is a gold standard or right than others. I have also experienced that treatment approaches vary depending on the patient’s prior level of function, age and comfort level. TBI

Some treatment will give excellent results with one patient while the other patient may complain of pain or discomfort with that same method. So the goal of this blog is to discuss some basic methods that therapists use to treat TBI patients. I will try to keep it real simple so not only therapists but other readers can also get some knowledge out of this article.  I discuss types and etiology of TBI here. The other thing to keep in mind is, the same treatment method can be used as the main treatment approach versus just a preventive measure depending on the acuity of an injury. So let’s talk about treatment methods for TBI patients.

Physical Therapy Treatment options for TBI: 

  1. Positioning
  2. Range of Motion
  3. PNF techniques
  4. Stretching
  5. Splinting/bracing
  6. Mat exercises
  7. Neuro-Developmental Techniques
  8. Weight-bearing exercises
  9. Functional tasks and strengthening exercises
  10. Patient and Family education/HEP


As I mentioned earlier, these are very basic and general guidelines for treatment that rehab professionals will choose from. A therapist may choose to use a few at the same time or use one at a time and add some different techniques during the session. I chose to discuss only rehabilitation, mainly physical and occupational therapy, the treatment approach for this article. Brain injury is much more than just physical treatment. Speech therapy plays a major role in the rehabilitation team depending on the severity and extent of injury. I do not want to do any injustice to my speech therapy friends by discussing their scope in TBI rehabilitation. Also, the psycho-social state of being is greatly affected after a brain injury. Many times, people need professional help after brain injury to deal with this issue. I only tried to summarize the main PT and OT treatment areas with this. I hope this helps!!

Leave a Reply

NOTE: The contents of this blog are for informational purposes only and are not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health care provider with any questions you have regarding a medical condition, and before undertaking any diet, dietary supplement, exercise, or other health program.