Physical Activity After Youth Concussion: Study

Physical Activity After Youth Concussion: Study
January 20, 2017 • “Opson LNCC News” Blog

A Pediatric Emergency Research Canada Concussion Team study looked at the effects of mild activity following concussion.

The study published in JAMA (Journal of the American Medical Association) December 2016 found that resuming some physical activity within seven days of a concussion was associated with lower rates of persistent postconcussive symptoms (PPCS)

Lead investigator Roger Zemek, MD, FRCPC, clinical research chair in pediatric concussion, University of Ottawa, and director, clinical research unit, Children's Hospital of Eastern Ontario, Canada noted rest has long been the cornerstone of concussion management writing “We know that there are physiological, psychological, and functional benefits of early physical rehabilitation in other disease processes, such as stroke, which is an example of a severe traumatic brain injury.” He added “Some physiological reasons why physical activity may be better than rest may include improved cerebral blood flow and the release of factors during exercise which promote neuroplasticity and brain healing.

Psychologically the message that the patient is going to get better is an important factor in recovery. In general while exercise is good medicine, Dr. Zemek noted it's also important to recognize that allowing youth recovering from concussion to engage in mild physical activity is very different than allowing full return to play.

Tags:  youth  concussion  study


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