Heart Rate Variability (HRV) Biofeedback is used to restore balance in the activity of the sympathetic and parasympathetic branches of the autonomic nervous system by increasing or reducing the activity of either. Researchers have postulated that a fundamental cause of refractory postconcussion syndrome (PCS) is physiologic dysfunction that fails to return to normal after concussion. The primary physiologic issues identified have been altered autonomic function and impaired cerebral autoregulation. Evidence has shown that aerobic exercise training increases parasympathetic activity, reduces sympathetic activation, and improves cerebral blood flow so it may, therefore, help to reduce concussion-related physiological dysfunction. The authors hypothesize that HRV biofeedback training will ameliorate PCS by improving autonomic balance as well as cerebral autoregulation, and that there will be a relationship between increased interval variability and postconcussion symptom reduction.

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