If you have ever experienced a concussion no doubt you have been told to got into a "shut down" period. But how long is too long? An article published in February of 2015, by Pediatrics, the Official Journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics, tackled this question. The article titled Benefits of Strict Rest After Acute Concussion: A Randomized Controlled Study compared the benefits of Strict Rest (i.e., 5 days of no activity) to Usual Care (1-2 days of no activity with a gradual, stepwise, return to normal activity). The authors studied 88 adolescent patients who presented at the Emergency Room within 24 hours of suffering a concussion. The results indicated that the Strict Rest group showed no greater benefit than Usual Care group. Additionally, Strict Rest may have contributed to an increase in post-concussive symptoms such as fatigue and headaches. There was also a decrease in school and after school activity attendance the Strict Rest group. The authors also found that post-concussive symptom reporting may have increased for the Strict Rest group due to a lack of activity. Based upon the study's findings, the authors concluded that Usual Care (1-2 days with a gradual, stepwise, increase of activity) is the more appropriate course of action for adolescents who suffered a concussion or mTBI. Adolescents who followed the Usual Care discharge plan returned to a pre-concussion level of activity with fewer post-concussive symptoms in fewer days than the Strict Rest group.
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