Concussion recovery including complete rest is not so efficient
For a long period of time complete rest was considered the best recovery from concussion. Concussion most of the time is caused by physical activity, such as sport game. In such cases, the athletes are advised to make a complete break from any kind of physical activity until the concussion is gone and all its symptoms cannot be diagnosed. However, according to a new study, patients with concussion, who start doing moderate physical activity within a week or two after the injury, reduce the variety of concussion symptoms almost by half. These symptoms normally last more, than one month.
The study included patients, who suffered from concussion but started doing physical activity shortly after the injury. Mostly patients intentionally do not follow the medical recommendations, related to physical activity, so the study did not imply making the patients risk the efficiency of recovery process. The study included the patients, who voluntarily decided to resume regular exercises.
In general, the fact that patients mostly do not follow the medical recommendation, related to concussion recovery, should be alarming. However, the study showed that this can actually help the recovery process go faster. If exercises are brought back to routine within a week after concussion, the severe post-injury symptoms that last more than one month are most likely to disappear faster. This study is not the first one to doubt the need of complete rest in terms of post-concussion recovery, which proves once again that maybe it is not the best way to recover from post-injury symptoms. However, it is the first study to encourage the new, non-conservative way of recovering after concussion and the new view on the need to restrain the physical activity for a long period of time.
By no means the study claims that patients should resume any physical activity that can be harmful. The exercises that can help recovering from post-concussion symptoms include light to moderate physical activity, such as swimming or walking.
It is still not completely clear what are the exact borders between harmful and useful physical activity, what is the right time period for restraining and when it is the best time to resume. This proves the need of further studies, which will continue contributing to an innovative strategy for concussion recovery.