Skip to content

How are traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) treated?

Traumatic brain injuries are usually treated according to the type of injury involved, how severe it is and what area of the brain was injured.

Mild concussions, or mild TBIs, may not need specific medical attention. Those with mild concussions may feel good and go on with their lives as they did before their TBI. On the other hand, severe concussions or severe TBIs will require medical attention. 

Regardless of the severity of the TBI, it is vital to follow the advice of your doctor. 

Do not return to usual activities until medically cleared to do so. Returning to normal activities too soon can trigger TBI symptoms and prolong healing. Additionally, you risk re-injuring yourself, and re-injury can lead to permanent brain damage. 

The treatment for severe TBIs will be laser-focused on keeping the injured person alive by getting them on oxygen, controlling the pressure in the brain, controlling blood pressure and ensuring there is no further injury to the neck or head. 

In some cases, surgery may be necessary to repair skull fractures, alleviate the pressure inside the skull, and remove pooled blood or blood clots (also referred to as hematomas).

Traumatic brain injury may also require medications. Some medications will be deployed immediately after the brain injury, and other prescriptions treat further symptoms and issues that arise during recovery. Here are some examples of medications used in TBI injuries:

  • Stimulants to increase attention and alertness
  • Anticonvulsants to prevent seizures
  • Diuretics to remove any fluid in the brain and reduce pressure in the brain
  • Muscle relaxants to reduce muscles spasms and constrictions
  • Anti-anxiety medication
  • Antidepressants 
  • Anticoagulants to improve blood flow and prevent blood clots

The long-term effects of a TBI can be difficult for those who sustained the injury and those caring for them. To learn more about brain injuries, visit

Other Brain Injury FAQs: