Most physical recovery gains will occur in the first 6-24 months – but that is not a strict rule. Every brain injury is different and will require its own treatment plan and timeline. There are actions you can take to help increase your mobility over time.
Work with physiotherapists, kinesiologists and occupational therapists
The best way to improve mobility is to work with experts. Physiotherapists, kinesiologists and occupational therapists specialize in helping people improve their gross motor skills and fine motor skills. By having the support of professionals and following a tailored rehabilitation plan, you will be able to make progress.
Repeat exercises and activities
Our muscles and body will learn movements the more we repeat them. The more you practice an exercise, the more your body will respond. However, practicing exercises should be spread out over time. This is a long process requiring a lot of patience. You do not want to go too hard or too quickly: that can result in diminished returns. In other words, you probably will not see progress as quickly. This can cause frustration with the process, which also has the potential to impact your progress.
The best way to see results is to follow the program set by therapists and use exercises or activities that mimic actions you enjoy and do in your day-to-day routines. Engaging and interesting activities will produce more dramatic and meaningful recovery as you are more likely to successfully repeat the action.
Medications may be used for controlling muscle tone, seizures, pain management (headache, central pain), dizziness and nausea. Medications should only be prescribed by and taken on the recommendation of your doctor.
You will benefit from having a good working relationship with your doctor. All aspects of brain injury recovery take time, and this will be a long-term relationship with many check-ins. You should feel comfortable telling them about any changes to your health and well-being throughout your recovery. They will be able to adapt your treatment plan as needed, helping you progress as much as possible.
Use mobility aids as needed
To both improve your mobility and keep yourself safe, you should always use any mobility aids your therapists or healthcare team recommend. Many individuals with brain injury continue to use some sort of aid like sturdy shoes or walking sticks to reduce the risk of further injury.