Concussion Myths Part 2

Continuing from our last blog post here are some more common misconceptions regarding concussion and the treatment of concussions.

  1. Rest is the main/only form of treatment for concussion.
    1. Once again, concussion research has evolved significantly and no longer is “absolute rest” the go to recommendation after a concussion is sustained. Previously, the advice given was to not look at screens, read books, exercise, or expose yourself to other stressors and to sit in a dark room until the symptoms have resolved. It’s since been shown that following this protocol, although it may help alleviate some symptoms in the short term, actually may lead to worse patient outcomes and persistence of concussion symptoms beyond the typical recovery period. The current recommendation from the international consensus guideline is to have “symptom-limited activity” within the first 24-48 hours after a concussion. Meaning, reduce factors that make your symptoms worse.
  2. It is okay to return to sports once you no longer have symptoms.
    1. Brain recovery doesn’t always correlate with symptom recovery.  Generally, concussion symptoms can go away in the first 7-10 days after injury, but it is shown that full brain recovery may take 14-30 days to recover. There is evidence that suggests that the brain is more vulnerable to additional trauma while it is in recovery, so less forceful hits can have the protentional to cause more damage to the brain and create an additive or cumulative effect. Exercise and returning to practice are important during recovery but the patient must be cleared using objective measures to see what the brain can handle before being put at risk.
  3. You must lose consciousness for a concussion to occur.
    1. Once again, dated information on concussions suggested that for a diagnosis of concussion to made there must have been a loss of consciousness following the injury. This we know for certain is incorrect. It has been widely researched that only 10% or less of diagnosed concussions resulted in the person “blacking out” or being knocked unconscious.

As always, feel free to call or book online to get your injury assessed and managed correctly. 604.988.7080 or