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Acquired Brain Injury

Acquired Brain Injury (ABI) is any damage to the brain that occurs after birth and has no congenital or degenerative origins. Causes can include seizures, traumatic injury, tumours, infectious diseases, substance abuse, and events limiting oxygen supply to the brain. Concussion is also an acquired brain injury. 

Our team has a wealth of experience treating clients following post-traumatic brain injuries. We see clients with mild, moderate, and severe brain injuries. Therapy is provided in the comfort of your home or in a clinic setting, whichever best suits your needs.

Following a severe acquired brain injury, a team approach is essential. Our team is experienced in working in a multi-disciplinary team, including other health care professionals, case managers, and insurance adjusters if the injury results from a motor vehicle accident, in order to optimize the client’s recovery.

Our physiotherapy intervention depends on the severity of the brain injury, the problems you are presenting with, and your own individual goals. Some of our physiotherapists are trained in dry needling (a type of acupuncture)  and acu-pressure, and, along with our massage therapists, we also offer myofascial release techniques and manual therapy techniques, some of which may be therapeutic when recovering from a traumatic injury.

Physiotherapy interventions may be needed after a mild or moderate brain injury for assistance with:

  • Balance deficits
  • Co-ordination deficits
  • Difficulties in crowded environments
  • Anxiety regarding falls
  • Fitness requirements and re-integration into community programs if possible
  • Preparing for return to work
  • Acquiring skills for daily living, such as bathing, dressing, and cooking
  • Assessment and prescription for walking aids


Physiotherapy interventions may be needed after a severe brain injury for assistance with:

  • Respiratory care
  • Skin care and DVT (blood clot) prevention
  • Contracture prevention or treatment
  • Regaining head control (assistance with swallowing in conjunction with the Speech and Language Pathologist)
  • Sitting balance retraining
  • Transfers training
  • Early standing initiation
  • Assessment for equipment, e.g. splints
  • Spasticity management


Image references:

  1. About Acquired Brain Injury. (n.d.). Retrieved May 04, 2020, from https://www.braininjurycanada.ca/acquired-brain-injury/

This website provides general information about our services and conditions treated. It is not intended to be used for self-assessment or treatment, and is not a substitute for an individualized treatment plan developed by a registered physiotherapist.

By the Action Potential Rehabilitation Staff

Page last reviewed: June 2, 2023