A local teen says she's cutting concussion recovery time in half with the help of a doctor who has a new approach to treatment.
"I've always loved horses, which I think is kind of why I started," said Reese Silberman, who recovered from three concussions.
The first time in 2013, she fell off her horse and was sidelined with a concussion.
"It was scary. I didn't know I had a concussion at the time. I just knew I hit the ground really hard," she said.
It took her eight months to recover with strictly rest. However, when it happened again last year, Silberman cut the recovery time in half by getting active sooner.
"The rehab therapy kind of makes me feel like I'm working toward recovery instead of just waiting for it," Silberman said.
Doctors used to only prescribe rest for concussions until symptoms go away. The concern was long-term brain damage, but now, some doctors are taking a different approach.
"You wouldn't use 20-year-old technology to repair your ACL injury," said Dr. Summer Ott, Director of the concussion program at Memorial Hermann IRONMAN Sports Medicine Institute and UT Health.
Dr. Ott still recommends a few days of rest but introduces physical therapy if patients are ready the first week.
"I've seen this really help them feel like they are actively involved in their progression after their concussion," she said.
It gave this teen the confidence to get back in the saddle faster and more determined to keep her head up.
"I feel like I've made a lot of progress with my riding, and I feel like if something were to happen again, I would be much more prepared," Silberman said.
Dr. Ott stresses adding physical therapy sooner must be done under medical supervision. She says not everyone with a concussion should go out on their own and start exercising again.