Aerobic Exercise for Sport-related Concussion: A systemic review and meta-analysis (15 min)
Introduction: Approximately 25% of people with sport-related concussion (SRC) experiences persistent symptoms. Experts recommend symptom-limited aerobic exercise as a rehabilitation option for persistent symptoms after concussion. However, this recommendation is based on a limited body of knowledge. The objective of this systematic review is to assess the effects of symptom-limited aerobic exercise programs compared to control interventions on symptom intensity in individuals with SRC.
Methods: A structured search was conducted in databases. Randomized clinical trials (RCTs) including aerobic exercise programs as an intervention for SRC were included. Following selection, the risk of bias and GRADE recommendations were applied to pooled studies for quantitative analysis. Standard mean differences (SMD 95% CI) were calculated. A descriptive analysis was also performed.
Results: Seven RCTs (326 participants) in adolescent populations were included. Four RCTs had a low risk of bias. Symptom-limited aerobic exercise programs have a significant beneficial effect on the perception of symptoms (6 studies, 277 participants, low quality evidence, pooled SMD 95%CI: -0.44 [-0.68, -0.19]). The effect of symptom-limited aerobic exercise on symptoms perception is also beneficial when introduced in the acute phase following a SRC.
Conclusion: Symptom-limited aerobic exercise programs are beneficial in improving symptoms of adolescents following a SRC.
Pierre Langevin completed his physiotherapy training at Université Laval, Quebec, Canada, in 1997 and gained his Canadian IFOMPT credentials in 2002. He holds a Master of Clinical Science from University of Western Ontario completed in 2010. He is currently completing PhD on clinical intervention of the neck and vestibular system on mild traumatic brain injuries. Pierre is the co-owner of Physio Interactive and Clinique Cortex. As a Clinical Professor and lecturer in physiotherapy at Université Laval, he has taught in that program since 1998. He is sharing his professional time between clinical work, mainly with neck and back pain patients, teaching and engaging in clinical research on back and neck pain. He is an instructor, examiner and the Credentials Chair for the Canadian Physiotherapy Association Orthopaedic Division. He has published scientific peer-reviewed papers and has been presenter of scientific posters and podium presentation in provincial, national and international congress. He holds 2 post graduate courses on evidence-informed practice for neck pain and concussion. Finally, he has received the 2017 Excellence award and the 2020 interprofessional Quebec Council award of the Ordre de la physiothérapie du Québec.