Rehabilitation

Rehabilitation & recovery for ANE warriors will vary from patient to patient. Some progress steps are usually made in the initial weeks after the Acute stage of ANE but many steps are not made for months or even years down the recovery road. In our experience, the earlier and more intensive rehabilitation the better the outcomes. Rehabilitation may include the expertise of the clinicians and therapies listed below.  We encourage the main caregivers to take time out for themselves to better help the patient. Keeping a journal to look back on and see progress can be an encouragement. Never be afraid to question clinicians about any treatment. Trust your gut instinct and you will rarely go wrong. You know your ANE patient the best.

Rehabilitation Tips
  • Positive Attitude

  • Allow plenty of time for sleep and rest with no distractions – fatigue and it’s management; not just physical but cognitive is a huge factor in recovery
  • Routine & Structure-Extremely important, allows the brain to rest & time for rehab. A timetable is of great use here.

  • Healthy Living (diet, exercise & particularly sleep)

  • Family & Pets- Research shows improved outcomes for families that are engaged in the Rehab process

  • Support Groups- Creating a social media based group can alleviate some of the pressure for staying in touch with everyone. These play a vital role for warriors and their carers to identify with others and feel understood and discuss ways of managing

  • Maintain Friendships – Even a simple  phone call, text or email to stay in touch

  • Challenging Behaviour -Identify issues early & develop a positive behaviour support plan

Conventional Therapies

Physiotherapy

Physiotherapy helps restore movement and function of limbs and muscles through movement and exercise, manual therapy, education and advice.

Occupational Therapy

Occupational therapy interventions helps people recovering from injury to regain skills, and providing support when experiencing physical and cognitive changes. It typically provides an individualized evaluation & customized intervention to improve the person’s ability to perform daily activities and reach their goals.

Vision Therapy

Vision therapy is a non-surgical and customized program of visual activities designed to correct certain vision problems and/or improve visual skills. Ataxia is a common side effect of ANE due to the brain injury. People with ataxia have problems with coordination because parts of the nervous system that control movement and balance are affected.

Serial Casting

Serial casting is a procedure that helps children and adults improve their range of movement. The procedure is the application of a fiberglass cast with padding to hold a part of the body in a position that will stretch a tight muscle. The cast is applied weekly and will stay on for 5-10 days maintaining the muscle in a stretched position. Sequential casts are done for up to three to six weeks to progressively stretch the joint and increase range of motion.

Botox

Serial casting is often used in conjunction with Botox intervention to gain muscle length and reduce tone. Botox therapy is used to treat patients with spasticity that restricts function or causes pain. Botox is a nerve impulse ”blocker.” It attaches to nerve endings and prevents the release of chemical transmitters, which activate muscles.

Orthotics

The term orthosis refers to an externally applied device intended to modify the structural and functional characteristics of the neuromuscular and skeletal systems. An orthosis may be recommended as one of a range of measures to manage the effects of altered muscle tone and associated abnormal postures. The prevention of persistently abnormal postures reduces the risk of musculoskeletal adaptations that lead to fixed structural deformities. Orthoses are often used in conjunction with other interventions such as physical therapy (physiotherapy and/or occupational therapy) or botulinum toxin (BoNT) treatment.

Communication and Cognitive Therapies

Speech Therapy

Speech-language pathologists can assess speech and language development and to treat speech and language disorders.  They can also help people with swallowing disorders that can result from the brain injury caused by ANE.

Augmentative and Alternative Communication Service

Augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) includes all forms of communication (other than oral speech) that are used to express thoughts, needs, wants, and ideas. Special augmentative aids, such as picture and symbol communication boards and electronic devices, are available to help people express themselves. This may increase social interaction, school performance, and feelings of self-worth.

Psychotherapy

In psychotherapy, psychologists apply scientifically validated procedures to help people develop healthier, more effective strategies and habits. There are several approaches to psychotherapy — including cognitive-behavioral, interpersonal and other kinds of talk therapy — that help individuals work through their problems. The kind of treatment you receive will depend on a variety of factors: current psychological research, your psychologist’s theoretical orientation and what works best for your situation.

Neuropsychological Assessments

These assessments outline cognitive problems after an ABI making them an invaluable tool for caregivers, teachers and adult patients. It can provide guidelines & strategies to deal with issues in the rehabilitation process.

This testing gives your doctor an overall picture of how well your brain works. Your doctor can use the results to decide the best treatment or rehabilitation program. In most cases you will take a series of tests, rather than a single test. This will help find out if there’s any issues such as the ability to reason, concentrate, solve problems, or remember.

Complementary Therapies

Aquatic Therapy

Individuals with acquired brain injury (ABI) or other special need populations may be unable to exercise on land, but often can do so comfortably in the water. The buoyancy of water causes the individual to feel an upward thrust when submerged. This force acts in the opposite direction of gravity. Buoyancy allows for a variety of exercises to be performed in the pool with minimal equipment. In addition, people with balance deficits may experience less fear of falling while walking and exercising in the pool. Hydrostatic pressure decreases pain and edema, which in turn increases range of motions.

Snozelen Therapy

The Snoezelen Room is a multi-sensory environment filled with lighting effects, shapes, textures, soft music and colours.  This multi-sensory room creates a stress free environment designed specifically for individuals with disabilities.

Pet Therapy

Pet therapy is a broad term that includes animal-assisted therapy and other animal-assisted activities. Animal-assisted therapy is a growing field that uses dogs or other animals to help people recover from or better cope with health problems.

Music Therapy

Music purposefully used within therapeutic relationships to support development, health, and well-being. Music therapists use music safely and ethically to address human needs within cognitive, communicative, emotional, musical, physical, social, and spiritual domains.

Art Therapy

A form of psychotherapy involving the encouragement of free self-expression through painting, drawing, or modeling, used as a remedial activity or an aid to diagnosis