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Concussion Clinic - Walking Program Guidelines

It is not uncommon after a concussion to feel very fatigued.  This is a signal from your brain that you need to rest so it can heal.  However, after a few days this rest can become counter-productive.  There is research that shows that complete bed rest does more harm than good.  With this in mind we encourage you to start getting back to everyday activities as soon as you can.  This includes walking.  It is important to listen to your symptoms and only do what you can handle without your symptoms increasing.  You can do lots of small bursts of activity throughout your day with rest breaks (pacing) and will start to feel better more quickly.

Walking program guidelines:

Each stage is designed to be a day, if you get an increase in symptoms at any point go back to the previous stage on the following day and progress again as tolerated.

  1. 24 hours of very few or no symptoms with being up and moving around your home (symptoms triggered by attempts at cognitive activities are ok at this stage).
  2. 10 minutes of easy walking (stay in your home or yard, keep the environment calm, wear sunglasses if you have light sensitivity).
  3. 15 minutes of easy walking (may try in a busy environment, i.e. a park).
  4. Each day you may add 5 minutes of walking until your PT evaluation.  At that time you will be guided through a more intense increase in your activity to get you back to your desired level of “exercise”.

All walking here should be non-stressful and easy paced.  This is not meant to get your heart rate up, rather to help your body relax and get some blood flowing.

**If you are symptom free and have completed a minimum of 15 minutes of walking you may schedule a PT evaluation as early as 10 days after your concussion. If you would like to further progress your activity prior to your concussion clinic visit, call the rehabilitation clinic to schedule a PT-only evaluation prior to your next clinic visit.

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This page is not specific to your child, but provides general information on the topic above. If you have any questions, please call your clinic. For more reading material about this and other health topics, please call or visit Children's Family Resource Center library, or visit www.childrensmn.org/educationmaterials.

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