JAMA – New Evidence Against Restricting Physical Activity After Concussion

By John D. Cowden, MD, MPH

Engaging in physical activity early after concussion is associated with a lower rate of persistent symptoms in children, according to a JAMA study.

Researchers surveyed some 2400 children aged 5–18 years with acute concussion and their parents in the emergency department and at 7 and 28 days.

Physical activity within 7 days, compared with no physical activity, was associated with significantly lower rates of persistent symptoms at 28 days (29% vs. 40%). Among patients with symptoms on day 7, rates of persistent symptoms at 28 days were lower in those who engaged in early physical activity at any level — light aerobic, moderate, and full — compared with no activity.

Comment: Evolution of concussion management continues as there is more compelling evidence that we may be wrong to recommend that all children with concussions observe strict physical rest until symptom-free.

JAMA article (Free)


Current Internal Medicine resident at Boston University Medical Center, future Hematology and Oncology fellow at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Harvard Medical School.

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