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Doctors Advise Less Rest for Teen TBI Patients

As concern continues to mount over teen concussions and brain injuries, a recent research study is giving advice that seems to contradict the norm. Concussions are mild forms of brain injury. When they occur, most physicians advocate for extended rest before a return to regular activities. Where opinions differ is the appropriate duration for that rest. While some doctors assert that a day or two is sufficient, others direct their teenage patients to remain inactive for up to a week. Some physicians even prescribe prolonged rest in a dark room. US News Health is reporting about a new research study, which suggests that longer resting periods may prove counterproductive to the healing of traumatic brain injuries (TBIs).

Researchers from the Medical College of Wisconsin conducted the study involving 88 participants, aged 11 to 22, who recently suffered a concussion. Half of the participants were reportedly directed to rest for a period of two days before easing back into their normal daily routines. The other half were instructed to rest for five full day. During the rest period, the patients were instructed to refrain from school work, as well as any physical activity. According to the report, participants in both groups reported a 20% loss of mental and physical energy, leading researchers to conclude that extra days of rest were of little consequence.

Dr. Danny Thomas was the lead researcher on the study. He is quoted in the article as stating, “Strict rest for five days immediately after concussion did not help teenagers get better, compared to our current advice of one to two days of rest followed by a gradual return to activity…We found that teenagers instructed to rest for five days actually reported more symptoms over the course of the study.” Researchers explained that the teens with five days of rest, reported increased physical and emotional problems throughout the duration of the study.

More Rest Equals More Problems?

According to the article, returning to mental activity is beneficial for teens with concussions. Even if the activity they choose is playing video games, some participation is reportedly better than no participation at all. The rationale behind this theory is that the patients with longer rest times tend to dwell on their symptoms while resting, causing them to suffer more. Typical symptoms of concussions include:

*headache
*dizziness
*nausea
*visual impairments
*vomiting
*fatigue,
*light or sound sensitivity
*numbness and tingling in the extremities
*irritability
*sadness
*nervousness

According to the article, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) currently recommends up to two days of complete rest before a gradual return to physical activity. Study researchers suggest that parents follow the guidelines of the CDC when their child experiences from a mild TBI.

If your teen suffered from a TBI at the hands of another, contact the experienced attorneys of Levin & Perconti at (312) 332-2872 for a free consultation. These knowledgeable professionals will aggressively work to secure the compensation to which you are entitled.

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