New guidelines for caring for young athletes with concussions favor movement over rest more than previous recommendations. The advisory, published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine, suggests that getting the patient to start moving—slowly, with gradual increases—may shorten recovery time. The authors are very clear that this does not mean returning to the field of play right away, however. Rather, where patients have been instructed to rest until symptoms completely disappear previously, there now seems to be evidence that most young athletes should be encouraged to start being physically active within a day or two after injury—trying a simple walk around the block, for example. Absence of pain or dizziness would confirm that the patient is not overextending. In the study, patients increased the amount of time they were active each day until they experienced symptoms. This approach appeared to stimulate brain recovery without worsening symptoms, according to the researchers.
Concussion Recommendations Continue to Evolve