By John D. Cowden, MD, MPH
Dr. Cowden is an associate editor with NEJM Journal Watch Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine, from which this story was adapted. Full coverage is available at the link below.
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.