Brain Injury

What is a brain injury?

A brain injury is when something occurs that directly damages the brain or when the supply of essential blood and oxygen to part of the brain is cut off. Like all organs, the brain needs oxygen and nutrients provided by blood to function. If the blood supply is restricted or stopped, essential nutrients and oxygen are not reaching the brain and so brain cells are damaged or begin to die. This can lead to brain damage and possibly death.

Brain injury can affect anyone, at any time of their life, and as with all neurological conditions, the symptoms and treatment are unique to the individual.

There are two types of brain injury:

  • Traumatic brain injury (TBI)
    Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is when an external force traumatically damages the brain. Common causes are road traffic accidents, assaults or falls.
  • Non-traumatic brain injury
    Non-traumatic brain injury damage to the brain that doesn't involve a traumatic blow. For example; Stroke, brain tumours, hypoxia, infection.

How does brain injury affect people?

The effects of sustaining a brain injury are wide ranging and can be significant. A combination of symptoms can occur that will depend on different factors, including type of injury, the location on the brain, and the severity. Every person's injury is different and unique, and they can experience a number of symptoms ranging from mild to more severe.

These include:

  • Difficulties with understanding, memory, thinking, judgement, planning and foresight
  • Impaired mental abilities, such as speed of thought and concentration
  • Emotional and behavioural changes and difficulties
  • Physical changes to movement and coordination
  • Reduced balance
  • Altered walking patterns
  • Altered sensation
  • Hormonal imbalance
  • Difficulty with eyesight and breathing
  • Speech or language problems, including slurred speech
  • Changes in personality and mood
  • Visual problems


Although having a Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) is a life-changing event and many survivors are left with significant disability, the brain is very adaptable.

With the right physiotherapy treatment, an excellent rate of recovery can be achieved. To help this recovery, physiotherapy should start immediately following an injury, and should be continued once you leave hospital. Although they can often take a good deal of time and patience to achieve, many individuals make very significant improvements.

How can physiotherapy with help with brain injury?

Physiotherapy assists you in regaining as much movement and function as possible following brain injury. Treatment often focuses on areas such as walking, balance, using your affected limbs, and managing any changes in muscle pain or stiffness.

During your initial assessment with Physio Matters, we will discuss and plan your short and long-term goals. These goals will be at the centre of your rehabilitation, and will form the basis of your treatment.

Neurological TBI physiotherapy can really help to:

  • Improve balance and walking
  • Increase ability to move in bed
  • Increase ability to sit and stand
  • Reduce muscle spasms, pain and stiffness
  • Increase general strength
  • Retrain normal patterns of movement
  • Increase arm and leg function
  • Increase energy levels
  • Increase independence and quality of life
  • Reduce the risk of falls

Physio Matters will give you advice on the use of walking aids, splints, supports and home equipment to make your life, and the lives of those around you, much easier. We will guide you through a programme of exercises to increase your mobility and muscle control, and will also teach you exercises that can be done between sessions, and your family members and carers too if appropriate.

Why do I need a neurological physiotherapist?

Neurological physiotherapists are specialists and trained to understand the effects and interactions of brain injury symptoms. They can identify where rehabilitation should be focused, what aspects of the person's daily life are particularly important to them, and how best to achieve their goals through targeted physiotherapy.

Neurological physiotherapy plays a vital role in retraining the brain and helping an individual learn new ways to move and perform daily activities with as much independence as possible.

Support for you, your family and carers

At Physio Matters, we understand that TBIs can also lead to changes in your personality, with feelings of frustration and reduced confidence. Many people experience difficulties performing previously simple and straightforward everyday activities. This can make life a real struggle for both you and those close to you.

Through your specialist rehabilitation programme, we know how important it is to help both the survivor and their family or carers cope successfully with the long-term impact of brain injury, and we work with colleagues in other professions, such as Speech and Language Therapists, Occupational Therapists and Orthotists, in order to get the best outcome for you and those around you.

Furthermore, Physio Matters provide manual handling training sessions for families and carers. This training involves teaching safe therapeutic handling and positioning techniques that will promote normal movement and postural alignment to those caring for you. We can teach families and carers how to use specific hoists and slings where required and carry out postural bed, seating and wheelchair assessments. We can also refer you, where appropriate, to NHS or private services to obtain input from other health professionals.


At Physio Matters we aim to make all our sessions as effective, enjoyable and engaging as possible. Having the same physiotherapist in your home for each session builds up a close and unique relationship, and together we work on allowing you to lead as fulfilling and independent a life as possible.

More information

For more information, download our Specialist Brain Injury Physiotherapy Brochure by clicking HERE

Contact us now:

0161 681 6887

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