Maybe you first reaction to this question would be: rest as much as possible in a dark room to let your brain recover. And I could understand this answer as it was a standard remedy for concussion over the last few decades. However, due to an increased recent amount of research in this area this approach of managing concussion has changed. Why? There was little scientific proof that the rest-dark-room method worked. This was a starting point to search for other potential remedies. In the past few years, the researchers turned their attention to the exercise-is-medicine approach.

A review of recent studies, which examined the effects of low-to-moderate intensity aerobic exercise on concussion symptoms, showed that exercise is indeed one of the most effective, evidence-based strategies for managing concussion symptoms, after a brief period (24 to 48 hours) of rest after concussion. In other words, the science now suggests that exercise is better than rest. Please, notice, that there is still a lot of information to be discovered, such as what type of exercise, how frequent, how intense and how long is needed to optimize the recovery from concussion. Besides, an appropriate exercise after concussion should be prescribed by and done under the supervision of the professionals.

How exactly does exercise help recover from concussion is a topic of current research. There are a few theories, where the main one is related to our autonomic nervous system, that regulates our independent physiological processes, such as breathing and heart rate. Based on this theory, the autonomic nervous system is disturbed after a concussion, with its sub-systems becoming “disconnected.” Low-to-moderate aerobic exercise seems to engage the autonomic nervous system in a way that helps restore the connection between these sub-systems. Future research on this topic can give us more certainty about this theory.

Curious? HERE and HERE are the sources

Tatsiana Haponava, PhD

a certified nutrition coach, educator and researcher with a PhD degree

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