Despite all of the improvements in how athletes respond to and manage brain injuries, the actual treatment for concussions and traumatic brain injuries has largely stayed the same. People who suffer brain injuries are routinely prescribed “rest” and monitored as they recover. But, the notion of rest is often misunderstood.
Too often, those who have experienced brain injuries rest their bodies while they hope to recover without resting the actual part of their body that needs to heal. While physical rest is important to help prevent further brain injuries, cognitive rest is even more important.
Summer Ott recently reviewed the idea of cognitive rest and called for changes that emphasize true resting of the brain after a neurologic injury. That form of rest can be hardest for many of us though. Cognitive rest means letting work pile up and trying to prevent any sort of mental strain. Even more difficult to live up to, cognitive rest also means no TV, computers, smartphones, tablets, or other media screens we all love to look at so much.
It is difficult to purposefully limit and isolate yourself while you heal from an injury which doesn’t seem to actively disable you, but those who have ignored doctors orders can attest to the importance of proper rest. If you want to limit the chances of any concussion having life-long implications it is essential you rest your brain and body until they are ready to get back to work.