UB researchers are the first to show that a controlled individualized exercise training program can bring athletes and others suffering with post-concussion syndrome (PCS) back to the playing field or to their daily activities.
In a paper published in the January issue of the Clinical Journal of Sport Medicine, the researchers report that a program of progressive exercise developed individually for each participant and performed at levels just below the onset of symptoms is safe and can relieve nearly all PCS symptoms.
Their results counter the accepted wisdom that PCS should be treated with rest, reassurance and antidepressants, and that physical activity should be avoided.
“Perhaps the most exciting aspect of this study is that all of the subjects that participated, both athletes and non-athletes, got better eventually, although the athletes certainly improved the fastest,” says Barry Willer, professor of psychiatry and rehabilitation sciences and senior author on the study.
“It also was reassuring to discover that the use of exercise was safe and did not prolong symptoms, a worry expressed by other practitioners.”