Head trauma (CT) is an important topic in accidentology. At the origin of the latter, is most often an accident of everyday life (including sports), a traffic accident, or an accident at work: the brain is shaken or hit violently. A head injury is said to be mild when the person has not lost consciousness and does not have amnesia following the shock. While for most mild head traumas, the event had no consequences (no motor sequelae), some people may report bothersome symptoms such as neck pain, persistent headaches, dizziness, and trouble sleeping.
Researchers of the University of Laval found that in adolescents who have suffered a mild head injury while playing sports, aerobic-type physical activity would be effective in alleviating these post-concussion symptoms. It would even be profitable to start these physical activities in the first week following the accident, concludes their study published in the journal Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise. The “aerobic” type exercises involve the ability to maintain a certain intensity of exercise over an extended period of time and involve large muscle groups in continuous motion. This is’endurance : running, cycling, swimming …
The priority: develop a personalized exercise plan
“Ten years ago, most healthcare professionals recommended complete rest after a concussion »Recalls the first author of the study, Professor Pierre Langevin. “We had to wait for the symptoms to disappear before gradually resuming physical activities. In recent years, interventions involving aerobic exercise have been the subject of clinical studies and we have analyzed the results. The researchers looked at six studies involving 277 adolescents from 2015 to 2019. These studies evaluated interventions involving on aerobic activities performed at an intensity that did not exacerbate the symptoms still present.
Moreover, the latter should not cause any recurrence of symptoms which had disappeared among the participants. The science team found that two important things emerge from the analyzes, the first being that aerobic exercise that does not increase symptoms is more effective than rest in alleviating post-concussion symptoms. Then as soon as the period of complete rest is over, it is safe and effective to introduce aerobic exercise always taking care not to increase the symptoms. But the idea is not to let patients self-prescribe a physical activity program, especially when it comes to teenagers.
As Professor Pierre Langevin emphasizes, “supervision by a health professional is necessary for develop an exercise plan the intensity of which will take into account the particularities of each patient. Parental involvement is also essential for the implementation of the program. Even though data shows that aerobic exercise is beneficial for rehabilitation after a concussion sports-related in adolescents and that the risk of worsening the condition is very low, the scientific team believes that it will take some time before the health community changes its ways of doing things and makes a recommendation. official. “Change is likely to be slow and gradual. », Concludes Professor Pierre Langevin.