Rest Is Important During Concussion Recovery

Studies Conducted In The US Have Highlighted The Importance Of Rest When Recovering From Concussion

08.01.2014

Researchers in the US have found that people who suffer a concussion are more likely to recover quickly if they get plenty of rest.

Dr William Meehan III, director of the Micheli Center for Sports Injury Prevention in Waltham, Massachusetts, told Reuters Health that those who give their brain time to recuperate following an injury tend to fare better than those who do not.

This is something that doctors have been advising for a long time, although it has taken until now to find hard evidence to support such recommendations.
 
The team, led by Mr Meehan, assessed 335 youngsters who visited a sports concussion clinic within three weeks of sustaining an injury between 2009 and 2011.

Most of the patients had suffered a bang to the head while playing sport and they were asked to specify how active they had been in the early stages of their recovery.

According to figures published in the journal Pediatrics, the children who did less homework, watched less TV and steered clear of the internet and video games generally recovered before those who had been putting their brain to the test more frequently.

Mr Meehan was quoted as saying: "Only those engaging in the highest levels of cognitive activity had a substantial increase in their symptom duration."
 
He added that a moderate amount of brain activity would not hinder the recovery process. Overall, it takes 43 days on average to overcome the effects of a concussion.

"While vigorous cognitive exertion is detrimental to recovery, milder levels of cognitive exertion do not seem to prolong recovery substantially," he continued.

Studies of this nature can help doctors all over the world to offer better advice to people who have suffered a head injury.
 
These tests add to work conducted by scientists in New Mexico in November 2013, who suggested that brain abnormalities can still be traced in sportspeople and athletes up to four months after their injury occurred.

By this time, the symptoms of a mild concussion have usually disappeared and the findings - which were published in the American Academy of Neurology's online journal Neurology - have raised concerns that some injured sports stars may be returning to action too quickly.

Expert Opinion
The effect that serious brain injuries can have on victims simply cannot be overstated and it is well known that early intervention in the form of treatment and rehabilitation can play a vital role in the recovery process.

“Many people with a brain injury may no longer show any physical signs of it after their initial recovery and this can make it even more difficult to adapt and come to terms with their injury.

“Rehabilitation can be a long process but there is a lot of support out there for people who are struggling.”
Stephen Nye, Partner