Concussion Treatments - Aerobic Exercise Found to Reduce Recovery Time

Concussion Treatments - Aerobic Exercise Found to Reduce Recovery Time

A study recently published by the journal JAMA Pediatrics found that adolescents who sustained a concussion (regardless of age, sex, time from injury, or previous concussions) recovered nearly 25% faster when performing supervised aerobic exercise  than compared to those who did not (1).

"Until now, nothing else has been proven in any way effective for treating concussion," said Barry S. Willer, PhD, senior author, director of research in the UB Concussion Management Clinic and professor of psychiatry in the Jacobs School. "This is the best evidence so far for a treatment that works" (2).

This is the first study of its kind to link aerobic exercise to concussion recovery! This is exciting news as more research is surfacing regarding the pervasiveness of concussions and the repercussions of them.

Please see some fast facts about concussions provided by

  1. A concussion is a mild form of traumatic brain injury (TBI) caused by a bump, blow, or jolt to the head. A concussion can also be caused by violent movement or jarring of the head or neck.

  2. People who suffer from concussions generally fully recover quickly. However, in some cases, symptoms can last for days or weeks.

  3. Those who have already had one concussion seem more susceptible to having another.

  4. The most common causes of concussions are sports injuries (football, hockey, rugby, basketball, etc.), bicycle accidents, car accidents, and falls.

  5. For about 9 in 10 people with concussions, symptoms disappear within 7 to 10 days.

  6. At least 25% of concussion sufferers fail to get assessed by medical personnel.[6]
    Most cases of traumatic brain injury are concussions.

  7. In the US, athletes suffer from roughly 300,000 concussions every year.

  8. Immediate consequences include headache, nausea, vomiting, blurred vision, fatigue, or unconsciousness.

  9. In certain severe concussions, symptoms can linger for weeks or even months, due to a complication called post-concussion syndrome.

  10. Loss of consciousness is thought to occur in less than 10% of concussions.


  1. John J. Leddy, Mohammad N. Haider, Michael J. Ellis, Rebekah Mannix, Scott R. Darling, Michael S. Freitas, Heidi N. Suffoletto, Jeff Leiter, Dean M. Cordingley, Barry Willer. Early Subthreshold Aerobic Exercise for Sport-Related Concussion. JAMA Pediatrics, 2019; DOI: 10.1001/jamapediatrics.2018.4397

  2. University at Buffalo. "Concussion treatment: Adolescent athletes 'prescribed' aerobic exercise recovered faster: Study is the first randomized clinical trial on treatment of acute concussion." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 4 February 2019. <>

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