Keywords: Concussion, mTBI, exercise prescription (PubMed Search)
A total of 367 patients were enrolled. Median age was 32 years Male 43%/Female 57%.
Result: There was no difference in the proportion of patients with postconcussion symptoms at 30 days. There were no differences in median change of concussion testing scores, median number of return PCP visits, median number of missed school or work days, or unplanned return ED visits within 30 days. Participants in the control group reported fewer minutes of light exercise at 7 days (30 vs 35).
Prescribing light exercise for acute mTBI, demonstrated no differences in recovery or health care utilization outcomes.
Extrapolating from studies in the athletic population, there may be a patient benefit for light exercise prescription.
Make sure that the patient is only exercising to their symptomatic threshold as we recommend with concussed athletes. Previous studies have shown that athletes with the highest post injury activity levels had poorer visual memory and reaction time scores than those with moderate activity levels.
Varner et al. A randomized trial comparing prescribed light exercise to standard management for emergency department patients with acute mild traumatic brain injury. Acad Emerg Med. 2021.