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Honoring TBI Awareness Month

posted Sep 8, 2015, 10:21 AM by Sandy Karlek   [ updated Sep 8, 2015, 5:53 PM ]


September is National Traumatic Brain Injury awareness month.

Is the human brain really that fragile? Can it be easily damaged? I wish it weren't so, but it is.

According to the CDC “Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is a leading cause of injury death and disability in the United States, and persons of all ages, races/ethnicities, and incomes are affected … on average, approximately 1.7 million U.S. civilians sustained a TBI annually; TBI-related deaths represent approximately one third of all injury-related deaths.”

I have seen the effects of TBI in all ages and walks of life from infants to seniors with Shaken Baby Syndrome, drug overdoses, car, bike and skateboarding accidents, serious falls, sports related concussions, severe spousal abuse, use of firearms, and the list goes on. From my experience, the greatest tragedy with TBIs is that most of these injuries could have been prevented if the circumstances surrounding the event were different. We humans don’t understand just how fragile our brain is until it’s too late.

With most brain injuries also comes both cognitive and physical impairment on the individual. Long-term TBI related disabilities greatly reduce the individual’s quality of life. Everyday life becomes a much greater struggle and exercise is often an impossibility.

Fortunately there is a place where exercising is an easy and enjoyable activity. There are warm therapy pools across the US with easy wheelchair accessibility and therapists trained to incorporate the buoyancy, viscosity, and hydrostatic pressure of the water to:
  1. Increase your endorphins, calm your nervous system, reduce pain, and exercise with ease.

  2. Increase mobility, improve gross motor and balance issues and enhance your range of motion in the joints.

Let’s not only bring awareness to TBI but take action. If you have a friend or loved one who has suffered a TBI I encourage you to find your nearest therapy pool and get an appointment scheduled. No doubt it will be a life altering experience that will bring a smile to their face!