Brain Injury Awareness: Importance of Rehabilitation

A brain injury can impact all aspects of a person’s life including mobility, thinking skills, life skills, personality, eating and talking, and can affect a person of any age, race, gender, and socioeconomic status.

When it comes to brain injuries, the sooner you begin rehabilitation, the better the outcome may be. Cone Health has several different venues of rehabilitation to help patients at different stages of recovery. The rehab process starts in the acute phase of injury and can continue to intensive inpatient rehab, skilled nursing facilities and outpatient locations.

Sometimes, a brain injury can be overlooked when there are multiple other injuries, but without treatment, they can have just as long-lasting and disabling effects on your life. If you are concerned that you may have experienced a brain injury, it’s important to follow up with your physician.

Symptoms of a brain injury can include headache, dizziness, changes in behavior or sleep. If you are experiencing any of these things, it’s important to discuss your symptoms with your provider.

The recovery process can vary based on the severity of the brain injury, and patients can experience some life-long impacts from significant trauma and may need to find a "new normal." However, the overwhelming majority of our patients are able to return home and reintegrated into both home and community life again. Everyone recovers at a different pace, but the support of family and friends can really help the patient reinforce and practice the skills they need to recover.

The team also helps the patients’ families adjust to the changes.  The case managers and social workers also work closely with insurance and discharge planning.

Cone Health Inpatient Rehabilitation Center has an exceptional trauma team comprised of physical therapists, occupational therapists, recreational therapists, speech pathologists, social workers, case managers, rehabilitation nurses, neuropsychiatrists and physiatrists dedicated to rehabilitating trauma patients in the community.  As part of a multi-disciplinary approach to care, the trauma team focuses on helping patients improve all aspects of daily living from things such as dressing, bathing, driving a car or returning to work.

Spokesperson Background:

Courtney Payne (MA, CCC-SLP, CBIS) is a speech pathologist at Cone Health Inpatient Rehabilitation. She received her Bachelor of Science and her Master of Science in communication disorders from Appalachian State University in 2007 and 2009, respectively. Courtney has six years of rehabilitation experience and is a member of the Traumatic Brain Injury, Acquired Brain Injury, and Spinal Cord Injury teams at Cone Health.

Jennifer Smith (OTR/L, CBIS) is an occupational therapist and clinical specialist for Cone Health Inpatient Rehabilitation. She received her Bachelor of Science in Health Sciences and her Master of Occupational Therapy from James Madison University in 2006 and 2007, respectively. Jennifer has nine years of rehabilitation experience and is a member of the Traumatic Brain Injury and Acquired Brain Injury teams at Cone Health.