When an individual sustains a brain injury, there are many therapies and treatments available to them.
At NDBIN, we want you to be aware of all the tools for your toolbox. Our knowledgeable staff can help you navigate these services and recommend which might be best for you, but here is some information about these services to help you learn more about them.
- Speech Therapy
- Occupational Therapy
- Physical Therapy
- Vision Services
- Music Therapy
- Alternative Treatments
- Mental Health
- Substance Use
- Criminal Justice
Many survivors tell us, “But I speak just fine!” when we recommend speech therapy services. Speech language pathologists provide services such as articulation for individuals who may not “speak just fine,” but they also have a whole wheelhouse of other strategies that can help with cognition, memory, sequencing, social skills, and the list goes on and on!
- North Dakota Speech Therapy Providers
- Speech & Language Pathology Infographic
- Traumatic Brain Injury: Benefits of Speech-Language Pathology Services
- Delayed Processing
- Language Problems
- Memory Problems
- Attention Problems
NDBIN Provider Perspective Video — Learn about how Progressive Therapy Associates provides specialized
An occupational therapist (OT) can be greatly beneficial to the recovery of an individual with a brain injury. OTs make therapeutic use of everyday activities to help individuals develop, recover, improve, and maintain the skills needed for daily living and work.
- North Dakota Occupational Therapy Providers
- Occupational Therapy and Community Reintegration of Persons With Brain Injury
- Mental Inflexibility
A physical therapist (PT) can help improve conditions related to physical functionality of individuals' daily lives that may have been impacted by a brain injury.
- North Dakota Physical Therapy Providers
- Brain Injury Related Services: Physical Therapy
- NDBIN Webinar Recording: Physical Therapy and Brain Injury
- Physical Therapy for Brain Injury
- Physical and Sensorimotor Problems
- Checklist for Better Sleep
Following a brain injury, many survivors experience vision needs, and once these needs are met, survivors often report fewer negative side effects of their injury. Some studies show about 75% of traumatic brain injury survivors suffer from visual dysfunctions, from blurred vision to headaches.
- North Dakota Vision Providers
- Provocative Vision Tests for Sports-Related Concussions
NDBIN Provider Perspective Video — Learn about the specialized services provided by Advanced
Music therapy following a brain injury can be beneficial, especially in the areas of movement and language. Music therapy is much more than just turning on music and listening. Music therapists are specifically trained in cognitive strategies to help with a survivor's recovery.
- North Dakota Music Therapy Providers
- NDBIN Webinar Recording: Music Therapy
- Music as a Healing Tool After Brain Injury
NDBIN Provider Perspective Video — Learn more about music therapy.
Alternative treatments have proven effective for some individuals with brain injury. These treatments often are not research/science based but have been known to allow some to succeed in their goals following a brain injury. Always consult with your physician before trying something new.
Chiropractors and functional neurologists specifically trained in brain injury can help survivors who have sustained a concussion or TBI by focusing on finding and rehabilitating the root cause of symptoms and imbalance that occurred within the brain and body following the trauma. For more information, check out this article:
Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy
Hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) is the use of oxygen at a high pressure level in a chamber designed for this use. The idea is that when trauma occurs, the brain swells and injured tissue does not receive enough oxygen, and this highly concentrated oxygen helps heal the injured tissue. Here is a good article on this therapy:
Dry needling can be used for pain management. It is a technique in which acupuncture needles are used to release muscle knots, neck tightness, and neck pain.
Some benefits from using aromatherapy/essential oils following a brain injury can be pain management, headache relief, wound healing, and memory stimulation. This article is from Craig Hospital in Denver, Colorado, some of the pioneers of brain injury treatment.
There is a lot of research that shows the benefits of yoga and meditation following a brain injury. Kevin Pearce was featured in HBO's documentary The Crash Reel, and since his injury, he has started Love Your Brain. Love Your Brain has a wide variety of free meditation and yoga sessions available on its site.
Medical marijuana was approved for use in North Dakota for brain injuries in 2019. Some survivors find it beneficial for pain management.
Oftentimes, individuals with a brain injury struggle with mental health issues, such as anxiety and depression. There are many options for you to try to get a handle on these issues.
- North Dakota Mental Health Providers
- Emotional Dysregulation
- Brain Injury & Mental Health Infographic
Substance use following brain injury can be a slippery slope. After individuals sustain injuries, their inhibitions become lowered, allowing them to be much more susceptible to using and, under certain circumstances, misusing substances.
- Traumatic Brain Injury and Substance Use Disorders: Making the Connections – The National Association of State Head Injury Administrators (NASHIA) partnered with the Mid-America and Mountain Plains Additions Technology Transfer Centers and Dr. Carolyn Lemsky to produce a toolkit for addictions.
- Client Workbook: Substance Use and Brain Injury – NASHIA produced this workbook, written by Dr. Carolyn Lemsky and Dr. Tim Godden, as a resource for people who are living with the effects of a brain injury and are wondering how their substance use may be affecting them.
- Substance Abuse as a Mediating Factor in Outcome from Traumatic Brain Injury – If you heard anyone from NDBIN present before, you've probably heard us reference John Corrigan's study on brain injury and alcohol.
- Substance Use and TBI – This FREE online course offered by NDBIN covers the impact a brain injury can have on substance use disorder and treatment approaches for working with individuals with brain injury.
- Brain Injury & Substance Abuse Infographic
The American criminal justice system has a large number of inmates with a history of brain injury. There are many contributing factors to this statistic, and we at NDBIN know that North Dakota can help reduce this number.
Ways NDBIN Can Help
- Support groups – We can advertise and refer individuals to groups and provide or help find facilitators.
- NDBIN can help support groups access Specialized Support Group Curriculum – These curriculums work on understanding the makeup of the brain, the injury, and the healing process through structured activities and information sharing.
- A.H.E.A.D - Achieving Health through Education, Accountability and Determination: A Psycho-Education Curriculum for TBI can also be provided for you by NDBIN. This curriculum was designed by Colorado's Brain Injury Alliance for use within the criminal justice system.
- The Substance Use and Brain Injury Group uses a curriculum designed for those who are in recovery from substance use and have a brain injury.
- Resource facilitation – Call or email NDBIN, and we can help you find resources in your area that are appropriate for you.
- Peer-to-Peer Mentoring involves pairing individuals with peer support specialist.