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Exercise may be a good treatment for post-concussion syndrome

Post-concussion syndrome raises great concerns in people with head injuries. Interestingly, researchers have found that exercise may work well to treat post-concussion syndrome, reported Science Daily on Jan. 27, 2014. Karl Kozlowski, PhD, an assistant professor of kinesiology at Canisius College in Buffalo, New York, has been pioneering an exercise treatment program for patients who suffer from post-concussion syndrome.

An injured boy
Morguefile/Free photo

Traditionally, physical and cognitive rest are what doctors prescribe for patients who suffer from sport associated concussions. Post-concussion syndrome is defined as three or more concussion symptoms which persist at least three weeks after the past treatments for the condition have not demonstrated any success. The regulated exercise routine with Kozlowski's treatment offers hope for people who suffer from post-concussion syndrome.

Initially Kozlowski and his research team wanted to determine if athletes who suffer from post-concussion syndrome could exercise at a level which wouldn't bring out symptoms but which would allow them to stay conditioned while recuperating. They observed that gradual exercise, intead of rest alone, actually helps to restore the balance of the brain's auto-regulation mechanism. These researchers feel confident that this new treatment can help lower concussion symptoms. However, Kozlowski has emphasized that it's too soon to call the exercise treatment a complete cure. He has observed that some patients respond faster or better than other patients.

With post-concussion syndrome we see a complex disorder in which a variable combination of post-concussion symptoms, such as headaches and dizziness, persist for weeks and sometimes months after the injury which caused the concussion, reports Mayo Clinic. Concussion is defined as a mild traumatic brain injury, which usually occurs after a blow to the head. Loss of consciousness is not needed for a diagnosis of concussion or post-concussion syndrome. Post-concussion syndrome symptoms occur within the first seven to 10 days and go away within three months in most people. However, he symptoms can persist for a year or more. Research showing that exercise may be beneficial for treatment of this condition is significant.

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