Can absolute rest reduce concussion symptoms?

    A new study finds that a week of absolute rest; no work, no exercise, no watching TV – kind-of rest – reduced symptoms in people who suffered concussions.


    For this research study, completed at the Sports Concussion Center of New Jersey, high school and college age participants rested for a week after a concussion. For some the rest happened in the week after they got a concussion, for some it was much later, as much as 7 months after the concussion.

    Participants scored their symptoms on a scale, and for all participants, symptoms improved after a week of absolute rest. They reported less difficulty sleeping, better concentration, and less mental fogginess.

    This is a small study with only 49 participants, and the researchers did not compare the results to people who did not have the period of rest – but the findings fall in line with some other research that has already been done on rest after concussions.

    In their weekly conversation, WHYY’s Behavioral health reporter Maiken Scott and psychologist Dan Gottlieb discuss the findings – and their implications for our health in general.

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