Highly Targeted Aerobic Exercise Improves Concussion Recovery Times in Teens

March 12, 2019, Kitchener, Ontario

Posted by: Robert Deutschmann, Personal Injury Lawyer

Man in Blue and White Jersey Playing LacrosseConcussion in teens is a major public health concern. Research has shown that the teen brain is

  • more easily damaged,
  • that  the brain damage symptoms last longer,
  • that long term brain damage and neurological disease is likely in those who suffer repeated brain damage from concussions
  • mood changes, suicidal tendencies and sleep disruption are common
  • self-medication with drugs and alcohol as coping mechanisms is a serious concern
  • memory, and coordination are impacted by brain damage

A great deal of work has been done in developing concussion identification protocols and rehab strategies for post-concussion management. At one time the recommendation was that post-concussion the patient be forced to ‘rest’ their brain by laying in a dark room and remaining unstimulated by light and sound for a period of time.

Several studies now are suggesting that moderate targeted exercise may be a good treatment for teen concussions.

In the first study of 103 post concussion teens the researchers assessed each patient within 10 days of their injury. They test group were given highly targets aerobic exercise. They recovered in an average of 13 days while those who performed stretching exercises took 17 days to recover. The control group took longest to recover from the injuries.

Part of the patient assessment included measuring the amount of exercise that each patient could tolerate without worsening their symptoms. Their plan was then designed to keep their exercises intensity below that threshold. The exercises included walking on a treadmill, riding on a stationary bike or walking indoors and outdoors. The teens were required to report their compliance to the routine and to record their symptoms daily.

None of the teens were allowed to engage in contact sports, team practices or gym class. They were also given advice about school work and they were advised to refrain from the excessive use of electronic devices as both activities are known to worsen post-concussion symptoms.

The article on Sport related concussion is available on Research Gate and you can read it here.



Posted under Accident Benefit News, Brain Injury, Concussion Syndrome, traumatic brain injury

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