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Can Moderate Exercise Speed Concussion Recovery?

On Behalf of | May 12, 2023 | Brain Injury

Concussions are among the most common of all brain injuries, and they can leave people unable to do their jobs or participate in daily activities, like athletics, for weeks after they get hurt. One of the challenges created by a concussion or similar traumatic brain injury is the general lack of viable medical treatment for mild-to-moderate concussions.

Oftentimes, people simply need to wait for their bodies to heal and then undergo rehabilitative services if they retain any functional limitations after they finish healing. It is quite common for medical professionals to recommend near-total rest following a brain injury so that people don’t re-injure themselves. However, recent research indicates that may not actually be the best approach.

Mild-to-moderate exercise can help with healing

After decades of recommending rest for those with brain injuries, experts may soon have to adjust their practices. Researchers looking into how exercise affects the brain’s healing process have shown that it may facilitate a slightly faster recovery process. At the very least, there was no reason to believe that careful, limited physical activity would automatically worsen a brain injury.

Aerobic exercise increases the flow of blood to the brain and improves the overall rate of oxygen delivery, which can potentially facilitate faster healing and also increased neuroplasticity. Researchers found that subthreshold aerobic exercise by evaluating how someone responds to an exercise regimen and then decreasing the intensity until their workout no longer triggers or worsens the symptoms of their brain injury.

Obviously, this very involved process is not one that the average individual could perform at home without assistance or specialized supervision. Up to 30 minutes of such activity per day could be beneficial for someone with a concussion. Physicians may recommend gentle physical activity, possibly under the supervision of a physical therapist or other kinesthetic professionals.

Proper treatment can quickly become expensive

Physical therapy, occupational therapy and other rehabilitative support for those recovering from a concussion or other brain injury are often quite expensive. Especially if someone cannot work because of their injury, they may struggle to cover the costs associated with the recommended course of treatment.

Note that seeking legal guidance and ultimately pursuing a personal injury claim can be a way for someone to cover the numerous expenses generated by a brain injury that was caused by another’s negligence, recklessness or intentional conduct.


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