Brain Injury Rehab

What is brain injury rehabilitation?

Bryn Mawr Rehab Hospital was one of the first facilities in the country to offer traumatic and nontraumatic brain injury rehabilitation and has remained one of the best rehabilitation hospitals for brain injury in the Philadelphia region for more than 30 years. Our brain injury program is the most comprehensive in the region and is a center of excellence. The program is fully accredited by The Joint Commission (TJC) and the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF).

Nearly half of our brain injury program patients are survivors of traumatic brain injuries (TBI), often caused by motor vehicle accidents and falls. The other half come to us with nontraumatic conditions such as:

Over 400 brain injury patients each year travel to Bryn Mawr Rehab for our industry-leading technology, creative therapeutic approach and compassionate care.

Brain injury program at Bryn Mawr Rehab Hospital


Brain injury rehabilitation treatment options

We create specialized treatment plans based on individual patient need and severity of condition. Some of our patients come to us with extremely severe brain injuries but through our protocol of three hours of intensive therapy a minimum of five out of seven days—not to mention our creative approach which includes tailoring therapies around what motivates each patient most—many patients leave with remarkable recoveries.

For example, since restoring balance is a critical skill to relearn, we sometimes recommend equestrian therapy to develop core strength and improve stability. As skills improve, the therapies increase in complexity.

We also use technology with our patients, to help them regain the physical and mental skills they had prior to the brain injury. These technologies include:

  • The Bioness Vector and Bioness L300
  • Dynavision
  • The Lokomat body suspension mobility rehabilitator
  • Smart Balance Master balance improvement system
  • ReoGO

For mild traumatic brain injury (MTBI), often referred to as an "unseen injury," or postconcussion syndrome, we provide evaluations and tailored treatment plans. (Find out more about the classifications of brain injury.) Mild traumatic brain injury can change a person's personality, disrupt the senses and interfere with cognitive abilities, even when initial symptoms like dizziness, headache and nausea disappear. Ongoing symptoms may include memory and learning problems, unexplained mood swings, impaired planning or organizational skills and depression. Our multidisciplinary team works together to address these symptoms and improve the patient’s condition.

Treating brain injury patients from children to elderly

We’ve treated brain injuries on patients of all ages. Many come from the greater Philadelphia region, but some come from much further away. When admitted, most of these patients can’t perform half of the tasks necessary to live independently—functions like walking, dressing and speaking—yet by discharge many need only minimal assistance to complete these tasks. Of course, most of our patients continue with one of the specialized outpatient programs to further develop their independence and quality of life.

Inpatient brain injury rehabilitation and support

Our inpatient brain injury rehab patients spend an average of 23 days on the unit, some spending much less time and others spending much more time, depending on the severity of their injury. In our 41-bed unit, specially trained neurologists, physiatrists, certified rehab nurses, therapists, care managers and psychologists collaborate on an interdisciplinary care plan to establish and accomplish realistic goals. Our care unit also includes:

  • Intensive monitoring suite for patients with emerging consciousness and/or significant medical issues such as tracheostomy care
  • Secured area and observation room to accommodate patients in early brain injury recovery stages where confusion and behavioral difficulties are common
  • Specialized therapy gym that facilitates collaborative and comprehensive therapy services
  • Electronic Wanderguard tracking system

Additionally, patients have access to a simulated apartment that allows them to practice skills needed to return home as well as facilitate overnight trials in a safe, supportive environment.

Every brain injury inpatient receives care 24 hours a day from physicians and nurses specially trained in brain injury rehabilitation. Each rehab program may include a mix of high-intensity physical and occupational therapyspeech therapy, psychology and more. During daily sessions with their therapists, patients work to build strength, range of motion, balance and coordination. Psychologists provide support and counseling to promote family relationships. On a regular basis during every patient's stay, the care team meets to review progress, identify barriers to independence and create solutions tailored to the patient.

Brain injury patients also have access to the following rehabilitation services:

Inpatient brain injury support group

This support group is open to patients who have experienced a brain injury. The group is led by a psychologist with a focus on adjustment and coping issues.

The inpatient brain injury support group meets on Mondays at 3:00 pm in the Maple Unit Dining Room. For more information, call 484.596.5430.

Outpatient brain injury rehabilitation and support

After inpatient brain injury treatment, patients can transition to our intensive Neurologic Day Treatment program, traditional outpatient rehab, or begin to receive home care. With all of these programs, we focus on building the critical skills for returning to work, school, community and leisure activities. Our therapists work closely with patients to improve walking skills, upper arm function, vision, communication and any specific goals they may have for returning to their lives. For some, we provide recreational therapy and use the Bryn Mawr Rehab Hospital independent living unit for occupational training. We offer this individualized outpatient brain injury rehabilitation at several locations throughout the Philadelphia region.

In addition to physical and occupational therapy and other services also offered on an inpatient basis, our therapists may recommend one or more of the following specialized outpatient services to address more specific areas of concern:

  • Driver rehab
  • Assistive technology
  • Neuropsychological evaluation
  • Pain management
  • Vestibular (balance) therapy
  • Work hardening

Brain injury/stroke survivor support group

This support group welcomes survivors of brain injury and stroke. The group is co-facilitated by a neuropsychologist and a certified rehabilitation nurse with a focus on increased independence and adjustment to life after a brain injury or stroke. Emphasis is on open discussions amongst group members for support, networking and resource sharing. Experts and community leaders are invited to speak throughout the year.

The brain injury/stroke survivor support group meets on the second Tuesday of the month from 5:00–6:30 pm in the Administration Building, Conference Rooms 1–4. For more information, contact 484.596.5430.

Brain injury/stroke caregiver support group

Facilitated by members of our rehab team, this group welcomes caregivers of brain injury and stroke survivors. Family members learn how to cope with their loved one’s injuries and adjusted lifestyles.

The brain injury/stroke caregiver support group meets on the second Tuesday of the month from 5:00–6:30 pm in the Administration Building, Second Floor, Board Room. For more information, contact 484.596.5430.

Young brain injury survivors group (Victorious BIG)

The young brain injury survivors group offers a variety of activities to enhance the social lives of brain injury survivors of approximate age range 18–35. This group provides opportunities for survivors to meet new people as well as connect with old friends who are not only in their age group, but who have survived a traumatic brain injury. Events have included sporting events, holiday parties/gatherings, fundraising events and more. Events are typically held every two to three months (at least four to five events a year).

For information, call 484.596.5413 or email [email protected].

Family support for brain injury rehabilitation and recovery

In brain injury treatment and recovery, family support is an essential component of the healing process and families are actively involved with every step of their rehabilitation program. Out-of-town families often take advantage of our on-site family lodging, The Laurels, in order to be by the side of their loved ones whatever time of day or night they’re needed.

Even as patients are preparing to be discharged, family members are trained to make the adjustment to home living. A mock apartment on the brain injury unit offers families a chance to test-drive life in the home under the watchful eye of our experts. Throughout outpatient care, we maintain the team approach in serving patients, involving loved ones as partners and guardians of continued success.
Aspire to Excellence, CARF accredited logo

Consumers, their families, and the public look for CARF accreditation as assurance that providers strive to offer the highest quality services. CARF International is an independent, accrediting body of health and human services. CARF-accredited service providers have applied CARF's comprehensive set of standards for quality to their business and service delivery practices. This means that they have demonstrated conformance to proven standards for business practices and are committed to continuous quality improvement. Each provider’s commitment to excellence is periodically evaluated on site and reconfirmed annually.

Bryn Mawr Rehab Hospital received accreditation for the following inpatient rehabilitation programs: comprehensive integrated inpatient rehabilitation program (adults); amputation specialty program (adults); brain injury specialty program (adults, children, adolescents); spinal cord system of care (adults); stroke specialty program (adults); and interdisciplinary outpatient medical rehabilitation programs: brain injury specialty program (adults, children adolescents); spinal cord system of care (adults).

Related specialties

Amputee Treatment and Rehab

Through the amputee rehabilitation program, we offer a full range of amputee support and rehabilitation from pre-amputation evaluation to advanced prosthetic training, assuring medical management throughout the process.

Occupational Therapy

Occupational therapy and sensory integration helps patients who’ve experienced a debilitative injury or illness return to activities of daily living (ADL), such as dressing, eating, writing, shopping, toileting and driving.


The neurology team at Main Line Health treats and manages conditions such as migraines, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease and more.

Brain Injury Rehab

Bryn Mawr Rehab Hospital was one of the first facilities in the country to offer traumatic and nontraumatic inpatient brain injury rehab as well as outpatient brain injury rehab and has remained one of the best rehabilitation hospitals for brain injury treatment in the Philadelphia region for more than 30 years.

Concussion Rehab

One of the first acute rehabilitation hospitals in the country to provide treatment for brain injury, we’re recognized as a leader in the field of concussion treatment and recovery.

Pelvic Floor Rehabilitation

With three locations in the western suburbs of Philadelphia, we’re sure to offer pelvic floor rehabilitation near you. Our pelvic floor PTs treat pelvic floor conditions in men and women and we’re able to offer comprehensive treatments for these sometimes complex conditions.

Aquatic Therapy

Through the aquatic therapy program at Bryn Mawr Rehab Hospital, warm water helps patients relax, enhances functional movement, and boosts confidence and ability.

Medical Rehabilitation

Combining medical practice with therapeutic rehabilitation, the inpatient medical rehab program supports patients with a wide range of acute or chronic conditions that cause temporary or permanent disability. Our goal is always to help patients regain as much independence as possible.

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