A week of cognitive and physical rest—which included taking time off from school or work and avoiding talking on the phone, exercising, watching TV, socializing, or working at a computer—alleviated symptoms of concussion in 49 high school and college athletes, according to a Reuters Health article based on a study in The Journal of Pediatrics.
To measure the effect of "an intensive bout of rest" after a concussion, researchers evaluated the athletes between April 2010 and September 2011 and assigned them to groups based on the time elapsed between sustaining a concussion and the onset of rest. Fourteen of the patients started the rest within a week of their injuries. Another 22 patients began resting within a month of the concussion, and 13 patients began the week of rest between 1 and 7 months after the concussion.
At the beginning of the study, all of the patients had symptoms related to the injury, such as headaches and trouble concentrating.
After the week of rest, all groups saw their symptoms improve regardless of the time between concussion and onset of rest. Among the athletes who started the rest within a week of their concussion, their symptoms improved from a score of 22 on a 132-point scale down to 7, says the article.