A new study suggests there’s no clinical benefit to extending the amount of strict rest for student-athletes after a concussion.
For the study, published online in the journal Pediatrics this month, the authors enrolled 88 patients between the ages of 11 and 22 who came to the Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin Emergency Department and Trauma Center within 24 hours of suffering a concussion. One group of patients was limited to strict rest for five days, and another followed the traditional, gradual return to activity after a day or two of rest.
Among both groups, more than 60 percent of patients said their symptoms were resolved within 10 days. But it took three days longer for half the patients in the strict-rest group to report they had recovered than it did for the usual-care group. There was no significant difference between the groups on computer-based neurocognitive tests and balance scores three or 10 days after the injury. But on a paper neuropsychological test, the strict-rest group performed better at day three and worse at day 10 than the control group.
A version of this article appeared in the January 14, 2015 edition of Education Week as Sports Injuries