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Enabling athletes to return to play
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Researchers in the UB Concussion Clinic are pioneering a treatment for athletes and others with post-concussion syndrome. The novel approach offers hope to people with a condition for which there has been no effective remedy. And it has put athletes across the country, including NHL players, back on the ice and on the field.
“He’s probably close to or probably just as good as he had been prior to all these injuries.”
In patients with post-concussion syndrome, concussion symptoms such as headaches, dizziness and nausea last beyond the normal time frame of a few weeks. Typically, doctors say resting is the fastest way to recover.
But the Concussion Clinic’s novel treatment is enabling patients to take control of their lives and speed recovery. The approach calls for people with post-concussion syndrome to complete an individually tailored program of progressively intensive exercise. Over time, the regimen relieves nearly all symptoms, as clinic director John Leddy and research director Barry Willer reported in the January 2010 issue of the Clinical Journal of Sport Medicine.
“At first, when I started exercising, I had a lot of symptoms come back, but I just kept going with it. And then eventually, after a week or two, I started to notice the headaches diminishing,” says Brian Krempa, a patient who came to the clinic with post-concussion syndrome following his sixth concussion.
“He’s probably close to or probably just as good as he had been prior to all these injuries,” says his mother, Nancy Krempa, who called her son’s recovery “a success story.”
For Leddy and Willer, the work has just begun. They would like to see new patients, including veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan with head wounds, benefit from the treatment, too.