Acquired Brain Injury (ABI)
‘Exercise can help counteract the profound impacts that physical inactivity can have on those living with ABI’
What is it?
An acquired brain injury (ABI) is the term given to describe damage to the brain after birth. Damage to the brain can occur following a specific event, stroke, brain tumours, lack of oxygen and many other causes. Impairments in motor control and coordination as well as reduced range of motion can occur. Cognition is often affected resulting in difficulties with problem solving, short term memory and an impaired ability to learn and process new information.
Exercise and ABI?
Exercise is an evidence-based, safe and effective treatment modality in the rehabilitation of Acquired Brain Injury (ABI). Exercise is associated with various physiological adaptations that can improve excessive tone, spasticity, range of motion, strength, cognition and cardiovascular fitness, for those living with an ABI.
Evidence indicates that people with ABI are among the most physically inactive members of the community. This can have a detrimental impact on their health, function and compounds the consequences of ABI. Exercise can help counteract the profound impacts that physical inactivity can have on those living with ABI.
At Physical Evolution, our practitioners implement goal directed exercise interventions which address the complex physical, cognitive and emotional symptoms that are associated with a brain injury. We understand that brain injuries are diverse and the consequences vary considerably. We consider the various impairments you have that may be contributing to your movement limitations.
At Physical Evolution, exercise plays a key role in ABI management by:
There is scientific evidence to indicate that aerobic exercise (e.g. walking, jogging, swimming or wheelchair pushing) improves cardiorespiratory fitness in people with ABI. Furthermore, the quantity and intensity of exercise required for improvements is similar to the general population.
Research highlights that aerobic exercise can positively influence cognitive function for those living with an ABI, including global cognition, selective attention and working memory.
Regular functional exercise (e.g., sit-to-stand, walking, climbing stairs) has been shown to improve performance of functional tasks such as rising from a chair, walking and ascending stairs. This can increase an individual’s ability to participate in activities at home and in the community.
Our Exercise Physiologists and Physiotherapists implement individualised exercise programs to improve these aspects of health and function, and increase quality of life for those living with ABI.