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Sports Medicine Feature

Source: Wikimedia Commons and Max Andrews

Updated Guidelines Redefine “Rest” After Concussion

Tracey Romero • Wed, May 24th, 2017

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When the world’s leading concussion experts met in Berlin, Germany, in October 2016, to create the 5th International Consensus Statement on Concussion in Sport, one of the major revisions to the guidelines was on how “rest” after a concussion should be defined.

Jeffrey Kutcher, M.D., a sports neurologist and national director for The Sports Neurology Clinic at The Core Institute in Brighton, Michigan, who helped create the consensus statement, said in a press release that “there is not sufficient evidence that long periods of complete rest/inactivity promote recovery” and that the new guidelines recommend instead to “rest for a day or two and then get active.”

He added though that there should be no contact sports until the physician gives the all clear.

Kutcher also said in the release that there were three other areas of the consensus statement that had important updates as well:

  • Concussion Diagnosis: Kutcher said that it is important to remember that signs and symptoms of concussion can also be the result of other conditions, and that a concussion and these other possible causes may overlap.
  • Sideline Assessment: The revised statement also suggests that the new SCAT5 (Standardized Concussion Assessment Tools) like previous versions can be helpful in the first 72 hours after the injury onset, but past the first 72 hours it holds little value.
  • Recovery: Kutcher said that in the new statement they also advise that cognitive function should never be the exclusive criteria for any concussion management decision.

“I was honored to meet in Berlin with some of the world’s leading sports concussion experts to create a consensus statement that will help those who suffer a concussion, and the physicians that care for them,” Kutcher said in the release.

You can find the full concussion consensus statement here.

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