For young people who have been affected by a concussion, the simple joys of childhood can be harder to find. When it comes to living with symptoms such as dizziness, headaches, and fatigue, there is not much in the way of scientific support available to them, other than allowing time to heal the injury.
Exploring the Benefits of Low-Intensity Exercise
At Toronto’s Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital’s Concussion Research Centre, investigators recognized the need for further research in youth concussions and initiated a study to determine how low-intensity exercise and relaxation may help concussed youth in their healing process. By working with 200 young people between the ages of 10 and 18 suffering from concussions, their intention is to ascertain whether an active rehabilitation approach could benefit affected children.
Combining Activity and Relaxation
Participants are assessed via brain and fitness tests and based on the results, researchers assign each child a personalized exercise program with an included relaxation component. With the support of a guide written for patients with concussions, the youth are sent home to follow the regimen and are expected to come back for regular check-ins.
Changing the Way We Treat Concussions
Part of the strategy being used in this study is recognizing that children with concussions may need extra time and care, something that challenges the high-intensity rehabilitation that is often prescribed. Instead of pushing patients to work to their edge, the study endeavours to offer a supportive environment that honours a young person’s individual recovery plan.
A concussion is a form of traumatic brain injury and its implications can be far-reaching. For a young person who has suffered from a concussion, being unable to participate in the things that they once enjoyed can be devastating. With the continued research and efforts being made towards improving the quality of life for children with concussions, the possibility of a bright, full future for these young people becomes clearer.