Importance of Rest
Rest is one of the most important and widely used interventions to promote recovery following a concussion. The basis for recommending physical and cognitive rest is that rest may ease discomfort during the acute recovery period by mitigating post-concussion symptoms by minimizing brain energy demands following concussion.
Complete rest during the acute phase (24–48 hours) after injury is generally recommended. After this, a child or youth can be encouraged to become gradually and progressively more active. The rule of thumb is that returning to usual or daily activity levels should not bring on or worsen symptoms. The exact amount and duration of rest is not yet well defined in the literature and requires further study.
IMPORTANT: Recovery from a concussion is very individualized. There is tremendous ongoing interest in the field to help us to better understand how to support a child or youth who is recovering from a concussion.
While it is clear that a concussive injury has an adverse affect on cognitive functioning and balance during the early stage (24-72 hours after injury), there is a diverse set of physical, cognitive and emotional symptoms that may follow. An important rule of thumb is that in cases where early concussion symptoms are greater and more severe, recovery may be slower.
The CATT resource for managing concussions is located at this link under the "manage" tab.
The final determination regarding concussion diagnosis and/or fitness to play is a medical decision based on the clinical judgement of a community-based health care provider (e.g. family or clinic doctor). However, the early actions of teachers, coaches, teammates, classmates and other school professionals to 1) remove the child/youth from play, and 2) notify parents/caregivers are critical to promoting the opportunity for a full and quick recovery.