A new study shows that prolonged periods of rest in teenagers, after suffering a concussion might be harmful for the brain and emotional health.
There have been many disagreements on whether resting the brain can help to a better recovery. Research showed that kids who used their brain less while in recovery from a concussion has shown better improvements of the symptoms. The study was based on observation, which cannot be certified. The new research is said to have used more reliable methods.
“Contrary to expectations, strict rest for five days immediately after concussion did not help teenagers get better compared to our current advice of one to two days of rest followed by a gradual return to activity,” told Reuters Health researcher Dr. Danny G. Thomas.
Doctor Thomas the department of paediatrics, emergency medicine at the Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin in Milwaukee said that their study has shown that teenagers who have been advised to rest for five days, later reported the appearance of more symptoms. He added that doctors should be careful when imposing excessive activity restrictions, as it may affect their view on the illness.
Even so, the optimal period for the brain to rest remains uncertain. A recovery after a concussion has to aid the brain to rest until the early symptoms disappear. After that the brain has to gradually return to activity. The recommended period of rest is between 24 to 48 hours, but many doctors patients to take longer periods of rest. Some of them recommend the “cocoon therapy”, which consists of spending several days in complete darkness, in order for the brain to rest, wrote in Paediatrics, Dr. Thomas
The study randomly picked 88 patients with ages between 11 to 22 years, who came to the emergency with concussions. They were given some, five days of rest and others one or two days. Resting means no work, no school and no physical activity whatsoever.
The research showed that resting for five days hasn’t shown better improvement of the symptoms or the ability to think clearer. The ones who were given five days of rest, needed more time for their symptoms to improve.
Investigators tend to believe that this has to do with emotional distress. Them missing from school, falling behind with subjects or missing the interactions may develop depression which leads to physical and emotional symptoms.
In conclusion, doctors said that medical resting recommendations may vary on the case. But it should be recommended a few days of rest followed by a checking from the paediatrician, sports medicine physician or other type of medical providers who can handle the case according to the special needs.
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