Prescribed rest--both physical and mental-- is the standard treatment for concussion, but a study suggests that no single treatment strategy is effective for all patients because every individual has different nature of the injury as well as its clinical consequences.
The study has been published in the journal Neurosurgery.
Researchers from University of Pittsburgh presented a series of "statements of agreement" by a team of concussion experts from various healthcare disciplines as well as from sport, military and public health organisations.
"Matching treatments to specific symptoms, impairments, and clinical profiles may...improve recovery after concussion," said the panel of medical and other experts.
Participants indicated their level of agreement with a series of statements regarding current and evolving treatment strategies for concussion.
Current approaches emphasised on removing the injured person from sports or other activity, followed by a prescribed period of physical and cognitive (mental) rest and gradual return to participation.
But, the panel agreed that there is "limited empirical evidence" to support the effectiveness of prescribed rest--and that rest may not be the best approach for all patients.
They found that "multiple active rehabilitation strategies" might be more effective than simply recommending rest for every patient with concussion.
"Concussions are characterized by diverse symptoms and impairments and evolving clinical profiles and the recovery varies on the basis of modifying factors, injury severity and treatments," the authors wrote.
The preliminary research suggests that active treatment can be started early after concussion and that matching targeted and active treatments to the patient's clinical profile may improve recovery.
"No single treatment strategy will be effective for all patients after concussion because of the individualized natures of the injury and its clinical consequences," the authors stated.
The TEAM panel hopes their experience will help to increase awareness that all concussions are not the same and that, for some patients, treatment based on individual clinical profiles might be more effective than prescribed rest.
"Concussion symptoms and impairments are treatable, and active rehabilitations involving a multidisciplinary treatment team may enhance recovery," they explained.
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