An AVM is an abnormal connection between the arteries and veins. It is usually formed before birth. AVM’s are most often found in the brain. They can also be found in the spleen, lung, kidney, spinal cord, liver, rib cage, eye and reproductive organs.

AVM’s are areas in the blood vessels where blood flows directly between arteries and veins without passing through small vessels called capillaries.

AVM’s can sometimes break causing bleeding in the affected area. In the brain this can be a cause of stroke.

Associated Symptoms

Symptoms widely vary depending on location of the AVM. Possible symptoms include but are not limited to:

  • Headache
  • Seizure
  • Vision problems
  • Memory loss
  • Sudden paralysis or weakness
  • Decreased coordination/movement
  • Dizziness
  • Difficulties with communication
  • Difficulties with cognition
  • Hemorrhage
  • Pediatric patients may present with Heart failure, Macrocephaly, Prominent Scalp Veins

Description of Rehab Evaluation

Depending on the problems caused by AVM, your evaluation may include:

  • Occupational therapy evaluation: to assess movement disorders of the small muscles of the hand and arms, problems with visual motor or visual perceptual skills, delayed development and problems with activities of daily living such as, eating, getting dresses, brushing teeth, toileting, feeding and eating.
  • Physical therapy evaluation: to assess movement problems of the large muscles, balance and walking.
  • Speech and language evaluation: to assess problems in word finding and communication, eating and swallowing and cognition.

Common Rehab Treatment Interventions

  • Activities of Daily Living
  • Gross Motor Training
  • Fine Motor Training
  • Cognitive Skills Training
  • Swallowing Treatment
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