Physical activity and concussion

Coach/Teacher, General, Official/Administrator, Participant/Parent

July 24, 2023

The trail unexpectedly curves, but the bike cannot turn in time. The wheels below hesitate on the unfamiliar ground and the bike falls sideways, the rider along with it. Sitting up, the rider puts a hand on their pounding head and wonders what to do next.

Recently, a group of researchers looked into this question. After reviewing over 40 papers on strategies to help with concussion recovery, the group found that complete rest until all symptoms resolve is not necessary. Light activity, such as walking, within the two days after injury may help with recovery, if the activity only mildly increases symptom intensity.  The researchers also found that incorporating physical activity about 2 days after injury may shorten recovery time. It is important for the athlete to also avoid activity that may result in a fall or collision after a concussion. In this way, athletes who use physical activity as part of their concussion recovery may be able to get back on their bikes sooner.

Learn more in British Journal of Sports Medicine:

Learn more about mountain biking injuries and how to prevent them on Active and Safe:

Learn more about concussion with the Concussion Awareness Training Tool: