Acute concussion treatment includes sufficient physical rest until symptoms resolve. However, there is no clear evidence that suggests the effects of physical activity on post-injury recovery. This study aims to evaluate the association between physical activity after an acute concussion and the incidence of persistent postconcussive symptoms (PPCS).
This is a prospective, multicenter cohort study, including 2,063 children and adolescents aged 5-18 years with an acute concussion. The participants were exposed to early physical activity participation within seven days post-injury. The primary outcome included the onset of postconcussive symptoms and their severity.
Out of 2,413 participants, q,677 (69.5%) participated in light aerobic exercise, sport-specific exercise, non-contact drills, and full-contact practice. 736 participants had no physical activity. PPCS at 28 days occurred in 733 (30.4%). The researchers found that participants that engaged in early physical activity were at a lower risk of PPCS (24.6%) compared with those who did not engage in any physical activity at all (40.1%).
The research concluded that physical activity within seven days of acute injury was associated with a reduced risk of PPCS compared with no physical activity at 28 days.