New Research Suggests a Balanced Approach is Better for Kids with Concussions


Concussions, a mild traumatic brain injury, affect millions of Americans every year. Half of all reported sports-related concussions occur during high school football practice or games. The effect of concussions on young people has been studied extensively, as the long-term effects of the injury could potentially be severe, especially if the child is re-injured.

Symptoms of concussion include dizziness, nausea, and lowered motor function. These symptoms must be caught early and a treatment plan generally includes lots of physical and cognitive rest. But a new study suggests that instead of harsh restrictions, each child should be given a more personalized wellness plan.

The study’s goal is to encourage schools and doctors to take a more balanced approach when it comes to treating concussions. Currently, many of those who suffer concussions are ordered to be put into isolation from school and sports. Even if the body feels good, the brain may not be ready for activity. But the new study suggests that there could be such a thing as too much sleep and that kids need to ease their way back into school and other activities. By allowing the brain to take baby steps with its increase and activity, it may be able to heal faster.

The study, published recently in the journal Pediatrics, recruited 90 young participants between the ages of 11 and 22 who had been diagnosed with concussion in the 24 hours prior to beginning. In a randomized, controlled trial, half of the children were told to rest at home for one or two days, followed by a gradual step-by-step return to regular activity. The other group were asked to rest for five days. The researchers wanted to see if a strict rest prescription, which is the current norm, was actually beneficial to recovery in kids.

Researchers found that the children who were in the strict rest group took longer to recover and experienced more symptoms than the children who took steps to return to normal. 10 days after the treatment period, both groups were assessed again. The study team found that headaches and nausea were worse in the strict rest group, as well as negative emotions such as sadness and irritability. The results show that each child needs to be assessed to see if strict rest is the best way to approach concussion treatment, as many kids may feel better faster with a step-by-step recover. It is hoped that for the millions of American kids that suffer concussions every year, this new research will protect them and heal them in an efficient and safe way.

Story Link 

Used under Creative Commons Licensing courtesy of Maciek Lulko

This article is made available for general, entertainment and educational purposes only. The opinions expressed herein do not necessarily reflect those of The Joint Corp (or its franchisees and affiliates). You should always seek the advice of a licensed healthcare professional.