Study Finds That Long Rest After Concussion Not Good for Kids
In a contradiction of findings in January last year, a new study finds that resting for a longer period after a concussion injury is actually not good for children.
The new study recommends only one to two days of rest at home before children who suffered a concussion should return to normal activities, including school work and physical activity. Experts who took part in the study said that was the amount of time for concussion symptoms to begin resolving.
The study used a randomized trial of patients between the ages of 11 and 22. Some of the patients were prescribed strict rest for 5 days at an emergency department, while another group were told to rest at home for one to two days until concussion symptoms began to lessen. The patients who rested longer reported more concussion symptoms at the end of their rest period than the group who rested only a day or two.
Although the study did not offer more specific pediatric guidelines for concussion treatment, experts involved did suggest that “cocoon therapy” – in which the concussion patient lies in a dark room for multiple days – does not benefit young people with mild traumatic brain injury, or concussion.
“More isn’t always better,” said Dr. Christopher Giza, a professor of pediatric neurology at Mattel Children’s Hospital at the University of California, Los Angeles, who was not involved in the research. He added, “There was no advantage to prolonged rest.”
“There are potential adverse consequences if you over-restrict activity without respect to individual symptoms,” said Dr. Gerard Gioia, chief of pediatric neuropsychology at Children’s National Medical Center in Washington, who was also not involved with the study.
“If you are restricting them beyond what they need,” Dr. Gioia said, “they start to get worried and think, ‘I can handle it, but I’m not being allowed.’ Then you might see mood changes or anxiety.”
The study also suggested that patients who were treated more carefully and prescribed more rest often saw themselves as sicker, and were therefore more likely to self-report lasting symptoms. Dr. William Meehan, who was involved in a larger childhood concussion study published last year, wrote the accompanying commentary with this recent study, and disagrees with the findings.
Meehan co-authored a study last year which found that, for many children, it was enough to cut back on homework or other mental exercises for 3 to 5 days after a concussion. “Then you can gradually reintroduce them to cognitive activity. They should do as much as they can without exacerbating their symptoms.”
After anyone suffers a concussion, it is important to pay attention to symptoms and get rest to help heal the brain. This is particularly important in children and young adults, because their brains are still forming.
The Strom Law Firm Can Help with Personal Injury Cases Related to Concussions and TBI
If your child received a concussion or traumatic brain injury (TBI) as a result of negligence on the part of the school or sports league, you may have a personal injury case. The attorneys at Strom Law, LLC can help. We offer free consultations to help get you on the road to recovery, so contact us today. 803.252.4800.