Activities to Help Boost TBI Recovery

When the brain sustains damage after an injury, the signals it sends throughout the body can become interrupted, resulting in specific secondary effects, such as loss of movement or sensation. Fortunately, the brain has the ability to rewire itself through neuroplasticity. During this process, new neural pathways are created and existing pathways are strengthened, allowing the brain to have better communication and restore function after TBI.

One of the best ways to activate neuroplasticity is by encouraging repetition or massed practice. The more you practice an exercise or skill, the more your brain will recognize its importance and create/strengthen neural pathways for that skill.

After TBI, the brain usually requires more energy to heal and sustain itself which is why it’s important to maintain a healthy diet. Helpful foods for brain injury encourage fuel recovery. Also, a nutritious diet can also help improve cognitive function and reduce stress and anxiety, which are secondary effects that some survivors may experience. Excellent foods for TBI recovery include fish, walnuts, eggs, vitamin B12, and dark, leafy greens.

Attending physical and/or occupational therapy is crucial. However, once insurance stops covering appointments, it can become too expensive to be sustainable, which may interfere with your recovery. This is why it’s important to practice therapy at home.

Studies have shown that sleep is essential in helping restore body and brain functions after brain injury. Sleep helps improve memory, learning, and many other cognitive functions that survivors may struggle with after injury.(