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Phoenix doctor: Rest not only treatment for concussions

(AP Photo/Tony Avelar, File)

PHOENIX — Rest is not the only treatment options for concussions, a Valley doctor said Friday.

In fact, there are rehabilitation options out there.

“It is important that we recognize that concussion is treatable, and it is not just something that we wait for somebody to get better,”  Javier Cardenas, director of the Barrow Concussion and Brain Injury Center at Barrow Neurological Institute in Phoenix, said.

Cardenas and 37 other concussion specialists said they have been seeing patients who miss weeks, even months, of school after suffering a concussion. While they do push for certain kinds of rest, Cardenas said doing nothing and allowing the brain to heal may not be the best option.

“We advocate for removing the athlete from play, in the event of a concussion,” he said. “And what we’re suggesting is that after the initial symptoms improve, but maybe not resolve, that we can actively rehabilitate an athlete, and non-athlete after a concussion.”

Cardenas said those who have a concussion may be able to do some light running, weightlifting or other physical activities that keeps them out of harm’s way but active.