These exercises, performed as early as the first week following a mild head injury, would be beneficial for adolescents provided they are supervised by a health professional.

Head injuries (CT) are an important subject in accidentology. The cause of the latter is most often an accident in everyday life (including sports), a traffic accident or an accident at work: the brain is shaken or hit violently. A head injury is said to be mild when the person has not lost consciousness and does not have amnesia following the shock. While for most mild head trauma patients, the event had no consequences (no motor sequelae), some people may report bothersome symptoms such as neck pain, persistent headaches, dizziness and disturbances in the head. sleep. 

Researchers at the University of Laval have discovered that in adolescents who have suffered a mild head trauma while playing sports, aerobic-type physical activity would be effective in alleviating these post-concussion symptoms. It would even be profitable to start these physical activities in the first week following the accident, concludes their study published in the journal Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise. "Aerobic" type exercise involves the ability to maintain a certain intensity of exercise over an extended period of time and involves large muscle groups in continuous motion. It's about endurance: running, cycling, swimming ... 

The priority: develop a personalized exercise plan 

“Ten years ago, most healthcare professionals recommended complete rest after a concussion. »Recalls the first author of the study, Professor Pierre Langevin. “We had to wait for the symptoms to disappear before gradually resuming physical activities. Over the past several years, interventions involving aerobic exercise have been the subject of clinical studies and we have analyzed the results. ” The researchers looked at 6 studies involving 277 adolescents from 2015 to 2019. These studies evaluated interventions involving aerobic activities performed at an intensity that did not exacerbate the symptoms still present.

 Moreover, the latter should not cause a recurrence of symptoms which had disappeared in the participants. The science team found that two important things emerge from the analyzes, the first being that aerobic exercise that does not increase symptoms is more effective than rest in alleviating post-concussion symptoms. Then as soon as the period of complete rest is over, it is safe and effective to introduce aerobic exercises always being careful not to increase the symptoms. But the idea is not to let patients self-prescribe a physical activity program, especially when it comes to teenagers. 

As Professor Pierre Langevin emphasizes, “supervision by a health professional is necessary to develop an exercise plan whose intensity will take into account the particularities of each patient. Parental involvement is also essential for the implementation of the program. Even though the data shows that aerobic exercise is beneficial for rehabilitation after sports-related concussion in adolescents and that the risk of worsening the condition is very low, the scientific team believes that it will take some time. time before the health community changes its way of doing things and makes it an official recommendation. “Change is likely to be slow and gradual. », Concludes Professor Pierre Langevin.