Most people think rest is the best treatment for a concussion, but a new study recently posted by statnews.com points out the benefits of using physical activity to help recover from the head trauma.
As part of an individualized treatment program, we know that resuming physical activity – following a period of rest – after a concussion can actually help with the recovery process. Health care providers have been using exercise as part of the therapeutic regimen for concussions for the past few years because we feel that in recovery, there comes a point where stimulation and returning the patient to a routine can help.
After a concussion – which is a traumatic head injury that causes the brain to move back and forth or twist inside the skull – the brain does need time to recover. We recommend rest for three to five days to allow the person’s concussion symptoms to improve. As symptoms improve, we encourage the patient to start their daily activities gradually, such as returning to work or school.
As one recovers from concussion, it is important to remember that:
- Most concussions resolve over an average of seven to 10 days.
- The use of physical activity is one tool in a patient’s treatment plan tool box. We may also suggest physical therapy with an emphasis on balance exercises.
- Concussion management varies from patient to patient based on the person’s response to treatment. What works for one person may not for another.
Even though we know there is some benefit to adding simple activities into their daily routine to help a concussion patient’s recovery, patients should work with their provider to see what they can tolerate.