You've probably heard that people who've suffered from traumatic brain injuries, strokes, or seizures often need physical therapy afterwards. This is because their brains have undergone a serious trauma, and the mind sometimes needs to practice skills under a controlled environment for people to be able to perform them again. However, if you're going to undergo minor brain surgery, you might think this doesn't apply to you. This guide will explain why it does matter for even the most minor of brain surgeries and what physical therapy can do to help.
Brain Trauma and Surgery
Minor to moderate brain surgery operations, which can include removing small tumors, lesions, or even repairing skull damage can still have an affect on the brain. While the brain may not be heavily operated on or damaged by internal bodily systems, like with a stroke or seizure, the trauma of surgery itself can still have a lasting effect.
For example, imagine that you hit your arm on a hard surface. It may not hurt very much, but as a result, your arm bruises, swells, and maybe even develops a blood blister. The brain is a very sensitive organ that is supposed to be protected by fluid and your skull. Any attempt to operate on it may result in minor swelling, which can change the way your brain works.
In order for your brain to send a signal to other parts of your body, for you to walk, talk, or do anything else, it has to send the signal through a neural pathway. These pathways are like tiny highways of electricity that send messages to your body. However, when the brain becomes even the slightest bit swollen, neural pathways can become damaged or less effective at sending signals, like a busy highway. Unfortunately, this means that you may have difficulty with things that were once incredibly simple for you, like maintaining your balance or having a strong grip.
With minor brain trauma, physical therapy can be a huge help in repairing the damage. Practicing simple physical motions like walking, grasping, and repeatedly sitting and standing exercise the brain to send signals more efficiently. If the neural pathways are too damaged to send the signal, the brain can develop new ones as you practice, bypassing the damaged areas. As a result, you may have a shorter recovery time and be back on your feet and normal again very quickly.
If your doctor has scheduled you for brain surgery, talk to them about making plans to see a physical therapist after your procedure. The therapist will be able to determine what parts of your body aren't functioning the way they should, and they'll develop a therapy plan to get you back to normal.
For a physical therapy clinic near you, contact a company such as Advanced Physical Therapy.