BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — Typical rest, dark and quiet room remedies might be a thing of the past when recovering from concussions. Two University at Buffalo Researchers have released a new medical study recommending aerobic exercising. The new method to recovery for concussion victims has been proven to help improve their condition more quickly.
“The rest therapy and the seclude yourself in a dark room and don’t come out until you feel better is kind of old school, we don’t do that. And we actually see individuals who tend to do that, don’t do as well," says Jennifer McVige, Director of the Concussion Clinic at Dent Neurologic Institute in Amherst. "If they're able [bring oxygen] to the brain using blood flow and increasing heart rate in a controlled environment then they can slowly get better."
The study included 103 patients with ages ranging from 13 to 18 who had sustained sports related concussions.
Allison Schumaci was in eighth grade in 2012 when she sustained a severe concussion during a cheerleading stunt gone wrong.
“She went from a girl that was competition cheer, field hockey, lacrosse, to a girl that couldn't walk down the driveway," her mother, Mary Beth Schumaci said.
Allison was treated by McVigue during her road to recovery seven years ago. McVigue instructed Allison to exercise- but take it slow, by walking or biking.
“I could walk five minutes on a treadmill before I got a headache where yesterday was only four and a half,” Allison said.
While the Schumaci's consider her recovery a "new normal," Allison uses her adversity as motivation and rewrite her narrative. Prohibited from playing contact sports again, she is currently a member of the Hobart & William Smith Colleges golf team. She also began a concussion work group that is now six years old, providing concussion victims a place to connect with others who have felt the same pain. The group meets on the third Wednesday of every month at Dent.