Delaying treatment for concussion can result in having more severe symptoms and much longer recovery
In a study published in JAMA in January the question of recovery times after concussion was investigated. According to the results of the study, the time it takes to begin treatment has a direct link to the severity of symptoms.
There has been a great deal of research into recovery times after concussion and it is known that adolescents take longer to recover than adults do. This has been investigated from the point of view of perceptions about recovery and preinjury factors, but little time has been put into investigating whether timely treatment of the concussion impacts recovery.
It appears that in this study that early medical treatment of the concussion is directly linked to faster recovery and fewer symptoms lasting a long time. The researchers believe that differences in recovery times are due to the number of days individuals waited before they sought treatment.
The study examined young athletes. The entire group was examined one week after they received their first medical treatment for concussion. The researchers measured levels of impairment in areas of vision, balance, sleep and cognitive ability. 1 Week post treatment both groups had similar results.
The results found that those athletes that waited to get medical treatment for their concussions were more than four times more likely to have recovery times of longer that 30 days. Delaying treatment also resulted in more severe vision and motion related symptoms at their diagnosis and had much longer recovery times for those symptoms compared to the group who got treatment early on.