Exercise and Cognitive Stimulation Are Important to the Recovery Process
When you suffer any type of injury, including a blow to the head, it’s common to assume that the best remedy is rest—let your body heal naturally, so to speak. There’s no discounting that some degree of rest is a critical aspect of treatment for a concussion, but studies consistently show that you’ll maximize your recovery by doing more than just taking it easy. A carefully managed regimen of exercise and cognitive stimulation will help accelerate and enhance the recovery process.
Well, that seems counter-intuitive, doesn’t it? But here’s why exercise and mental stimulation are so critical. In the aftermath of a concussion, you can expect inflammation and a temporary interference with the brain cells at the site of your trauma. When that happens, those cells often can’t send out the signals necessary to secure oxygen. When brain cells don’t get enough oxygen, they can’t function properly. Though other neural pathways can step up and help deliver oxygen to the hungry brain cells, it’s harder on your brain when it has to do that. A carefully managed program of physical exertion and mental calisthenics can help stimulate those brain cells so they start taking in oxygen through normal pathways. Your doctor can structure a program that maximizes your potential for recovery with minimum risk of injury or aggravation of your existing condition.
Here are some general guidelines for implementing an effective program into your recovery:
- Focus on gentle cardio that keeps your head stationary—A stationary bike or elliptical machine is ideal. Limit yourself to 30 minutes of low-intensity effort.
- Stimulate your brain immediately after the cardio—Read something; do a crossword puzzle; or play a game of cards.
- Take it easy for the rest of the day—You may even choose a short guided meditation, as the goal is to calm your autonomous nervous system.
- Stay away from screens—Otherwise, you can engage in normal activities.
- Don’t rush back to work or school—Give your brain the time it needs to fully heal.
Contact Us to Set Up an Appointment
At Advantage Healthcare Systems, we have extensive experience working successfully with individuals who suffer a concussion or other type of traumatic brain injury (TBI). Call us toll-free at 1-877-487-8289 or fill out the form provided below to schedule an assessment. We offer locations across Texas, including Fort Worth, Dallas, and San Antonio.