Clinical Scenario: Currently, rest following concussion serves as the keystone of concussion treatment, but substantial evidence to support it is lacking. Recent literature suggests that early physical activity may be beneficial in reducing concussion symptoms which may influence clinical recovery time. Clinical Question: Does early physical activity decrease postconcussion symptoms compared to physical rest following concussion? Summary of Key Findings: A total of 5 articles were included that examined symptom duration changes at multiple time points. All 5 studies utilized follow-up time points compared to initial examination, but there was variance in the specific time points reported. Two studies employed control groups and compared strict or recommended rest to early activity or limited rest. Three studies were observational studies that directly compared baseline measurements to follow-up assessments. Clinical Bottom Line: Current evidence suggests that early physical activity in the acute phase following a concussion may decrease the time needed for symptom resolution compared to immediate rest. Strength of Recommendation: Using Centre for Evidence-Based Medicine 2011 level 3 evidence and higher, the results suggest that early physical activity during the acute phase of a concussion may decrease symptom duration; however, a lack of high-quality studies and inconsistent interventions are limitations to this recommendation.
Landon Lempke, Abbis Jaffri and Nicholas Erdman
Landon Lempke, Rebecca Wilkinson, Caitlin Murray and Justin Stanek
Clinical Scenario: Stretching is applied for the purposes of injury prevention, increasing joint range of motion (ROM), and increasing muscle extensibility. Many researchers have investigated various methods and techniques to determine the most effective way to increase joint ROM and muscle extensibility. Despite the numerous studies conducted, controversy still remains within clinical practice and the literature regarding the best methods and techniques for stretching. Focused Clinical Question: Is proprioceptive neuromuscular facilitation (PNF) stretching more effective than static stretching for increasing hamstring muscle extensibility through increased hip ROM or increased knee extension angle (KEA) in a physically active population? Summary of Key Findings: Five studies met the inclusion criteria and were included. All 5 studies were randomized control trials examining mobility of the hamstring group. The studies measured hamstring ROM in a variety of ways. Three studies measured active KEA, 1 study measured passive KEA, and 1 study measured hip ROM via the single-leg raise test. Of the 5 studies, 1 study found greater improvements using PNF over static stretching for increasing hip flexion, and the remaining 4 studies found no significant difference between PNF stretching and static stretching in increasing muscle extensibility, active KEA, or hip ROM. Clinical Bottom Line: PNF stretching was not demonstrated to be more effective at increasing hamstring extensibility compared to static stretching. The literature reviewed suggests both are effective methods for increasing hip-flexion ROM. Strength of Recommendation: Using level 2 evidence and higher, the results show both static and PNF stretching effectively increase ROM; however, one does not appear to be more effective than the other.