There is a big difference between a bump on the head and a TBI; TBI is classified as a blow, jolt or bump to the head or a penetrating head injury that disrupts the normal function of the brain. TBI’s range in severity from “mild,” i.e., a temporary change in consciousness or mental status to “severe.” i.e., an extended period of unconsciousness or amnesia after the injury. The majority of Traumatic Brain Injuries that occur each year are concussions or other forms of mild TBI.
The results of a TBI can affect almost every aspect of the child’s life. Ongoing issues arise through development, many times children appear to look okay and are assumed to be so, but it is not uncommon for educational, behavioral, or social problems to emerge years after an injury. With the injury in the rear view it is harder to make the connection between these issues and the past TBI.
Development delays, or issues in development may not be seen until years later, although they were initially caused by the TBI. Unlike adults, children are still developing, making these injuries even more devastating and potentially crippling in the long term. Scientific research has indicated that TBI in childhood can be followed by a significant decrease in cognitive, social, or behavioral skills at the time of injury and also by a later “stall” (possibly years later) during which failure to develop cognitive, behavioral, or social skills affects learning and the ability to maintain friends, relationships and a career.
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After the accident and initial diagnosis, the patient and family, must consider a wide variety of treatment options. This has led many of the 5.3 million Americans disabled as a result of traumatic brain injury use complementary and alternative medicine (CAM).
During a random sample study, over half of the patients stated they had used at least one CAM therapy as a treatment option for symptoms associated with their injury. Massage therapy and chiropractic care were used by patients to treat pain, while meditation was practiced for affective disorders and herbal medicine was taken for cognitive deficits. With a large portion of CAM users reporting positive results and benefits of the alternative therapies.
Massage therapy has long been used to ease pain, provide comfort, and address cognitive and neurological issues. Currently, there are many massage therapists who focus their practice solely on headaches, sports related concussions and other TBI related issues. As we continue to see the rates of TBI and head injury rise, it is important that practitioners research safe and effective approaches for appropriate therapeutic care.
Copyright (c) 2013 Liddle Kidz Foundation Infant and Children’s Pediatric Massage
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