Is Too Much Rest Bad For Concussions?


A new study has emerged that refutes the common idea that bed rest for concussion victims is recommended. The study tells a different tale that long resting for concussion patients is not recommended and can in fact be harmful to the individual.

Concussion have become more and more frequent in recent years. With high-impact athletics and the physicality that youth players and pros alike concussions are expected and are on the rise. In fact, in the past decade, emergency department visits for sports-related traumatic brain injury have increased by more than 60%. Concussions in general make up a whopping 10%+ of high school sports related injuries.

The widespread acceptance of strict bed rest after concussion has led medical professionals and sports trainers alike to recommend the “treatment.” The purpose of this recommendation is to give the brain a chance to rest from cognitive and physical activity until some of the small symptoms have diminished. A concussion patient does not want to re-injure their brain during the rehab time as it could have long lasting and more substantial effects. This “fact” is however being discredited by countless professionals.

Dr. William P. Meehan III and Dr. Richard Bachur, of The Micheli Center for Sports Injury Prevention in Waltham, MA, explain that the “relative lack of evidence is due, in part, to the difficult nature of quantifying and tracking levels of physical and, particularly, cognitive activity.”

The discrepancies are also tied to the amount of rest recommended by clinicians. Many professionals recommend different times. Given that everyone is different and some concussions are different than others, there needs to be more of a defined time. The consensus takes the side of 24-48 hours of rest while many clinicians preach about a method called “cocoon therapy.” This method is best described as concussion patients resting is a dark room for multiple days.

“We should be cautious when imposing excessive restrictions of activity following concussion and mindful that the discharge instructions we provide patients may influence their perception of illness,” said Dr. Danny G. Thomas.

Dr. William Meehan III and Dr. Richard Bachur agree that, “a recommendation of reasonable rest for the first few days after a concussion followed by a gradual resumption of cognitive activities seems prudent.”

Medical professionals are beginning to see that concussion patients should rest a reasonable amount and then follow up with a doctor for basic testing and a check up.

via Tyde Pavlinik

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