Exercise after concussion - what is the newest data
December 13th, 2021
After a significant concussion, new data is showing us that exercising after the injury as long as symptoms do not worsen is associated with better outcomes. Aerobic exercise that is mild to moderate in intensity that does not trigger a worsening of symptoms will enhance metabolic and immune function that aid in the healing process. I also would add omega three fatty acids as fish oil here as well.
The authors state: "This multicentre study found that early treatment with subsymptom threshold aerobic exercise safely speeds recovery from sport-related concussion and reduces the risk for persistent post-
concussive symptoms, an important result given the impact of delayed recovery on adolescent quality of life. Adherence was good and there were no adverse events from this non-pharmacological treatment. These results suggest that physicians should not only permit, but consider prescribing, early sub-symptom threshold physical activity to adolescents as treatment for sport-related concussion and to reduce the risk of persistent post-concussive symptoms." (Leddy et. al. 2021)
They noted a 7 day reduction in return to full recovery. They also found that post concussion symptoms after a month were 9% in the exercise group and 31% in the stretching control group.
There is an FDA approved concussion rapid test for game time called SyncThink's Eye Sync. The company looked over 1600 teenagers and adults over 1 year. They used deep learning to make judgements based on visual function changes from normal. This data point is used along with other sideline decision tools to make a better more objective decision on return to play.