Brain Injury Recovery

Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is one of the major causes of disability and death among people of all ages in the U.S., resulting in around 61,000 TBI-related deaths in 2019. TBI is often used to describe a vast array of injuries that happen to the brain, ranging from a mild concussion to a severe injury from causes such as, but not limited to, a sports injury, a gunshot wound, a fall or car accident.

If you or a loved one have sustained a traumatic brain injury and need inpatient physical rehabilitation, count on Sheltering Arms Institute to help you find the Power to Overcome™.

brain injury patient at sheltering arms institute

Why Choose Sheltering Arms Institute for Brain Injury Recovery?

Sheltering Arms Institute has a traumatic brain injury unit and fellowship-trained physicians who specialize in all types of brain injuries to improve patients’ overall quality of life – physically, emotionally, and socially. Our providers offer a full spectrum of highly specialized services to help you or your loved one return to the highest level of function and independence possible.

Customized treatment plans encompass an initial assessment and testing throughout the rehabilitation care plan. Therapies focus on improving neuroplasticity–creating new pathways in the brain–and utilizing functional techniques in conjunction with cutting-edge technology development within this field.

Brain Injury Patient Outcomes at Sheltering Arms Institute


People with Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) Treated at Sheltering Arms Institute

(as of April 2022)


Percentage of Patients Discharged to the Community


Overall Patient Satisfaction*


Percentage of Patients Likely to Recommend Sheltering Arms Institute*

*Press Ganey National Database June 2020 – October 2021

Our Brain Injury Unit Team

To help patients reach recovery goals, we have a specialized transdisciplinary team composed of:

  • Fellowship-trained physicians, residents, and medical students
  • Psychologists
  • Certified Rehabilitation Registered Nurses
  • Dieticians
  • Physical, occupational, speech, recreation, and respiratory therapists
  • Certified Brain Injury Specialists
  • Assistive Technology Specialists
  • Upper Extremity Neuro Recovery Specialist
  • Locomotor (lower extremity) Specialist

Brain Injury Unit Fast Facts

  • 24 all-private patient rooms catering to individuals recovering from traumatic brain injuries, non-traumatic brain injuries, brain tumors, and severe strokes
  • Secure unit with monitored entry and exit points
  • Low-stimulation environment with a private gym to help in the early stages of recovery

Common Symptoms After Brain Injury

Below are some common signs and symptoms of brain injury. It is important to see a doctor immediately if you feel you or a loved one is suffering from a TBI.

  • Blurred vision
  • Body weakness or fatigue
  • Confusion or memory problems
  • Difficulty with noise/light
  • Headaches
  • Loss of consciousness
  • More emotional
  • Overwhelmed easily
  • Trouble speaking (aphasia)
  • Vomiting

What Are The Different Types of Brain Injuries?

There are two ways in which brain injuries can occur:

  • Closed Brain Injury: This occurs when there is a non-penetrating injury to the brain with no break in the skull. A closed brain injury is caused by a fast forward or backward movement and shaking of the brain inside the skull. This causes bruising and tearing of brain tissue and blood vessels. Closed brain injuries are often the result of car accidents, falls and contact sports.
  • Penetrating or Open Head Injury: This happens when there is a break in the skull, such as when a bullet, blunt object or a piece of shrapnel pierces the brain.

What Do Patients Focus on While in Therapy?

  • Physical functioning
  • Activities of daily living
  • Behavior
  • Psychosocial and emotional well-being
  • Speech, swallowing, and cognitive functioning

Additional differentiators of Sheltering Arms Institute’s brain injury program include:

  • Implementation of robust clinical practice guidelines addressing all aspects of care for brain injury patients
  • Analyzation of discipline-specific outcomes that measure not only functional outcomes, but cognitive return
  • Utilization of advanced technology to meet each patient where he or she is upon admission and progress with the patient throughout the stay
  • Strong relationships with community partners that include family/caregiver support groups, care management services, day programs, return to work, and post-discharge follow up to engage with the patient and their support system long term

What Does a Sample Patient Schedule Look Like?*

*This is a sample only. Individual schedules vary based on each patient’s care plan and level of injury. Patients can expect an average of 3-5 hours of therapy each day.

7-9 a.m. – Physician Rounds

8:30-9 a.m. – Breakfast

9 a.m.-12:30 p.m. – Physical / Occupational/ Speech / Recreation/ Therapy

12:30-1 p.m. – Lunch

1-4 p.m. – More Therapy

4-5 p.m. – Therapeutic Recreation Groups

5:30-6 p.m. – Dinner

6-7 p.m. – Therapeutic Recreation Groups

7-8 p.m. – Medications and Bedtime preparations

Community Partners for the Brain Injury Unit 

sheltering arms institute community partners of virginiaOur community partners, including the Brain Injury Association of Virginia and Community Brain Injury Services, are onsite during the week to visit patients and their caregivers to provide more in-depth education on brain injury. Research shows that long-term patient outcomes improve when patients have a knowledgeable and experienced network to help them continue their recovery after discharge.

Learn more about our community partners by clicking here.