Research Reports - Is rest after concussion "The Best Medicine?"

J Head Trauma Rehabil. 2012 Jun 8

Silverberg ND, Iverson GL

Practice guidelines universally recommend an initial period of rest for people
who sustain a sports-related concussion or mild traumatic brain injury (MTBI) in
daily life or military service. This practice is difficult to reconcile with the
compelling evidence that other health conditions can be worsened by inactivity
and improved by early mobilization and exercise. We review the scientific basis
for the recommendation to rest after MTBI, the challenges and potential
unintended negative consequences of implementing it, and how patient management
could be improved by refining it. The best available evidence suggests that
complete rest exceeding 3 days is probably not helpful, gradual resumption of
preinjury activities should begin as soon as tolerated (with the exception of
activities that have a high MTBI exposure risk), and supervised exercise may
benefit patients with persistent symptoms.

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