TBI & PCS Alternative Treatments

With traumatic brain injuries and post concussion syndrome, certain treatments work for patients based on which lobes are damaged. What may work for one TBI survivor, may not work for others. This can costly and frustrating. I tried to create a comprehensive list of therapies I’ve tried. If you have questions, please reach out to me at lifewithtbiandpcs@gmail.com.

Hyperbaric Treatments (HBOT): Hyper means “high”, and baric, means “pressure”. In a clinical setting, a patient would enter either a chamber at a higher prescribed atmospheric pressure breathing 100% oxygen for a prescribed period of time and number of treatments. What occurs is remarkable as injured or damaged cells actually begin to replicate themselves using the DNA to create new non-injured cells. The inspiration of 100% Oxygen under pressure allows it to reach the injured ischemic areas of the body. Ischemia is an absolute or relative shortage of the blood supply (oxygen delivery) to an organ.

Biofeedback: The goal of biofeedback is to relax certain muscles, slow heart rate, reduce feelings of pain, and help with insomnia. Biofeedback is a non-medicine approach.

Neurofeedback: Neurofeedback is form of biofeedback. It involves utilizing electroencephalography (EEG) to measure brain wave activity. Scalp sensors are connected to an EEG device. Neurofeedback is used as a non-invasive treatment for a myriad of symptoms including depression, anxiety, pain, ADHD, migraines and cervicogenic headaches.

Craniosacral Therapy (CST) (Upledger Institute): CST is a gentle hands-on treatment that may provide relief from a variety of symptoms including headaches, neck pain, and trauma. CST uses a light touch to examine membranes and movement of fluids in and around the central nervous system.

Functional Neurology (Chiropractor that specializes in neurology): Functional neurologists may have subspecialties, but in general, they treat brain injury patients, degenerative disorders (such as dementia), movement disorders, vestibular challenges (i.e. balance and dizziness issues), etc.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT): CBT focuses on challenging and changing unhelpful cognitive distortions and behaviors, improving emotional regulation, and the development of personal coping strategies that target solving current problems.

Eye Movement Desensitization Reprocessing (EMDR): With EMDR, the person being treated is asked to recall distressing images; the therapist then directs the patient in one type of bilateral stimulation, such as side-to-side eye movements or hand tapping. According to the World Health Organization, EMDR is based on the idea that negative thoughts, feelings and behaviors are the result of unprocessed memories. The treatment involves standardized procedures that include focusing simultaneously on (a) spontaneous associations of traumatic images, thoughts, emotions and bodily sensations and (b) bilateral stimulation that is most commonly in the form of repeated eye movements. EMDR is extremely helpful in treating PTSD and trauma.

Spinal Decompression (for herniated disks in neck and back): Nonsurgical spinal decompression is performed by a chiropractor and is a type of motorized traction that may helps relieve back and neck pain. Spinal decompression works by gently stretching the spine and is an option to not undergo back and/or neck surgery.

Prolozone/Oxygen/Ozone Injections (for herniated discs in neck and back): Ozone injection therapy for the treatment of herniated discs works by shrinking the herniated portion of the disc that is pressing on a spinal nerve. In this way, it can safely treat the pain that is caused by a disc herniation without any disruption to the disc or the disc height. Ozone helps spinal discs cope with oxidative stress that the body is exposed to. Ozone helps protect the disc from future damage. Ozone stimulates the cells in the target area to trigger cell growth and regeneration, allowing the healing process to begin and take place faster. Ozone improves blood circulation and reduces inflammation.

Acupuncture: Acupuncture points are believed to stimulate the central nervous system. This, in turn, releases chemicals into the muscles, spinal cord, and brain. These biochemical changes may stimulate the body’s natural healing abilities and promote physical and emotional well-being.

Acupressure: Acupressure is an alternative medicine technique often used in conjunction with acupuncture. It is based on the concept of life energy which flows through “meridians” in the body. In treatment, physical pressure is applied to acupuncture points or trigger points with the aim of clearing blockages in these meridians. Pressure may be applied by hand, by elbow, or with various devices.

Physical Therapy: Physical therapy addresses the illnesses, or injuries that limit a person’s abilities to move and perform functional activities in their daily lives. Physical therapy is often necessary after someone has sustained a TBI.

Occupational Therapy: Occupational therapists treat injured, ill, or disabled patients through the therapeutic use of everyday activities. They help these patients develop, recover, improve, as well as maintain the skills needed for daily living and working.

Vision Therapy: Vision Therapy can be effective in resolving a range of post-concussion symptoms stemming from vision problems. Specially trained optometrists can diagnose issues with eye-teaming, focusing, and visual tracking and then prescribe individualized vision therapy.

Vestibular Therapy: Vestibular Rehabilitation is an effective modality for managing dizziness, vertigo, and imbalance following concussion.

Speech Language Pathologist: The goal of post-acute TBI rehabilitation is to assist the patient in the process of achieving the most autonomous level of functioning conceivable. But achieving independence in communication is always one of the most important needs expressed by TBI patients. Speech therapy often takes place in a post-acute brain injury rehabilitation facility intended expressly for the treatment of patients with traumatic brain injury.

Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT): Often with traumatic brain injuries, hormones can be impacted. It is more common with women but men report side effects as well. HRT can be treated through traditional medicine, pellets (implanted), or compounded which is the most natural route.

Diet: Organic fruits and vegetables as well a small amounts of lean protein. See Diet Page