June 30, 2014
1 min read

Active recovery can help young athletes after concussion

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BOULDER, Colo. — Contrary to previous practices in which young athletes with concussions completely discontinued all activities for 2 weeks, a presenter here called for 2 to 3 days of initial rest followed by the gradual introduction of active rest.

During active rest, patients can talk to their friends, play video games and perform other minimal activities and do not need to be completely inactive, according to Aaron Provance, MD, of Children’s Hospital Colorado, in Aurora, Colo.

“As soon as they get through those 2 or 3 days, we are starting to get them back into some of those things, but not increasing symptoms. So, more of an active recovery,” Provance said at the International Extreme Sports Medicine Annual Congress.

In the past, when patients had periods of complete post-recovery rest, Provance and other physicians found it actually hindered their ability to return to school and social activities.

Although there are currently no data to support this particular concussion recovery practice, the literature is coming soon, according to Provance.

Provance also discussed changes to sideline evaluations in the latest Zurich guidelines on sport concussion.

“A player who has any signs or symptoms of a concussion should be evaluated by a health care professional, be it an athletic trainer or a physician,” Provance said. “If no health care provider is available onsite, they should be removed from play and then go to an urgent care facility and be evaluated there.”


Provance A. Concussion – Epidemiology and Current Guidelines. Presented at: International Extreme Sports Medicine Annual Congress; June 13-14, 2014; Boulder, Colo.

Disclosure: Provance has no relevant financial disclosures.