Post Concussion: Returning To Activity Brings Variable Risks

Li-Shan Chou, Ph.D Professor and Department Head Department of Human Physiology University of Oregon Eugene, OR Interview with:
Li-Shan Chou, Ph.D
Professor and Department Head Department of Human Physiology
University of Oregon Eugene, OR 97403-1240

Medical Research: What are the main findings of the study?

Prof. Li-Shan Chou: The findings from this study indicate that pre return-to-activity (RTA), the adolescents with concussion reduced their medial/lateral displacement and velocity during dual-task walking, suggesting an improvement in gait balance control, while significantly increasing these frontal plane motion variables during dual-task walking post RTA, suggesting a worsening of frontal plane COM control following RTA. These data suggest that frontal plane motion during dual-task walking are sensitive to the effects of return to activity following concussion and may reveal a possible regression in gait stability following return to activity.

Medical Research: Were any of the findings unexpected?

Prof. Li-Shan Chou: Similar comparisons for clinical symptoms, single-task walking, computerized cognition assessments indicated improvement or stability in both groups across the same testing time periods.

Medical Research: What should clinicians and patients take away from your report?

Prof. Li-Shan Chou: This study reinforces the need for a multi-faceted approach to concussion management and continued monitoring beyond the point of clinical recovery and the resumption of physical activities.

Medical Research: What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this study?

Prof. Li-Shan Chou: The potential variability among healthcare professionals in assessing concussion recovery possibly influenced the timing of return to activity. Although current best practice indicates a period of cognitive rest following concussion, which has been shown to be effective in decreasing the time required to achieve symptom recovery, the amount of cognitive activity each participant was exposed to following injury is unknown.


Return to Activity after Concussion Affects Dual-Task Gait Balance Control Recovery

Howell DR1, Osternig LR, Chou LS.
Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2014 Aug 5. [Epub ahead of print]

Last Updated on August 21, 2014 by Marie Benz MD FAAD