Tuesday Quick Hits


We have been offering suggestions to the NHL on how to change the game for the past few weeks (see here and here), as you go through the searches more and more people are doing the same, especially up north.  The Globe and Mail with author David Shoalts proposed most of the same information we had;

  • Culture change (respect)
  • Equipments
  • Treatment
    • “The NHL should tap into the long list of reputable concussion experts willing to help and develop a sensible plan for treating concussions. Then it should get the National Hockey League Players’ Association to join it in strongly encouraging the players to follow it.”
  • Rule changes (see outlawing all head contact)
  • Game changes (see speed)
  • Fighting

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We could only find two concussions in the NFL last week, this goes to show that without the fine journalists this process in the regular season was very daunting.  Those players were on the same team, New York Giants: DJ Ware and Aaron Ross.

If anyone has more information as the post season progresses we would greatly appreciate it.

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More misinformation about mouth guards, this time its a new company spouting out potentially fraudulent claims.  Nothing like selling beach front property in Arizona (my comments in bold);

Experts acknowledge that the force delivered to the jaw is transmitted to the skull that surrounds the brain. This can result in potential concussions (the force of the head moving causes the concussion not the jaw). There are professional opinions that suggest wearing a customized mouthguard fitted to the wearer can help to reduce the frequency of concussions and severity (professional Snake Oil salesmen, or those vested in this industry, not ONE independent researcher). “Although no definitive studies have proven or disproven the mouthguard/concussive injury link, it is clear that the device plays a significant role in player safety,” said a Grill Armor dental technician (although band-aids on your forehead studies have not proven or disproven the concussive injury link it is clear that band aids prevent cuts to the head and therefore a role in player safety).

This must stop!

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Repetitive concussions are getting press even in the often overlooked sports, including women’s basketball, this is a case of a player at the University of New Mexico;

The 2011-12 hospital march continues this week with Deeva Vaughn making the latest visit. The junior post suffered her third concussion of the season at practice over the weekend and is out of the lineup indefinitely.

“It’s going to be a while,” Lobo coach Yvonne Sanchez said. “It concerns me because Deeva seems to be getting more susceptible to (concussions), and this is not something you can take chances with. There’s a whole protocol she has to go through now, and that’s good. We need to find out what’s really going on and make sure Deeva’s fully healthy.”

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2 thoughts on “Tuesday Quick Hits

  1. SS January 17, 2012 / 13:42

    “Experts acknowledge that the force delivered to the jaw is transmitted to the skull that surrounds the brain. This can result in potential concussions (the force of the head moving causes the concussion not the jaw)”

    Are you clarifying for your readers what Grill Armor, the company producing the mouth guards, is saying? Or are you saying that only the force of the head moving causes the concussion, which is sort of true but only depending on how you look at it.
    When a player sustains a hit to the chin/jaw, the energy is passed through the jaw and into the head. There is a transfer of motion which means that a hit to the jaw or chin can be just as dangerous as a jarring impact to the skull. What you say in parenthesis has already been stated by Grill Armor, the company producing the mouth guards.

    “There are professional opinions that suggest wearing a customized mouthguard fitted to the wearer can help to reduce the frequency of concussions and severity (professional Snake Oil salesmen, or those vested in this industry, not ONE independent researcher)”

    I find what you stated here strange. It appears as though you don’t fully understand the function of the mouth guard in protecting against a load in the form of shock. The mouth guard acts as a medium for absorbing the impact so your body doesn’t have to. When a shock load is sustained to the jaw (a hit to the chin), the energy is passed through the jaw bone, through the gums, into the teeth, and thus into the mouth guard, where some of that energy is absorbed before being passed through the upper teeth and into the skull. Without the mouth guard, a higher proportion of the initial energy applied to the jaw is transferred to the skull, where the potential concussion takes place.
    That is all in theory, until proved or disproved, and Grill Armor states that this information is in accordance with the opinions of professionals.

    “‘Although no definitive studies have proven or disproven the mouthguard/concussive injury link, it is clear that the device plays a significant role in player safety,’ said a Grill Armor dental technician (although band-aids on your forehead studies have not proven or disproven the concussive injury link it is clear that band aids prevent cuts to the head and therefore a role in player safety)”

    What you say in the parenthesis here seems rather frivolous and unwarranted. Comparing the use of band-aids on your forehead to prevent concussions to Grill Armor’s mouth guards is approaching unprofessional. Grill Armor states that although there are no DEFINITIVE studies proving or disproving the relationship between mouth guards and concussions, the device still does play a role in player safety. This is without doubt a true statement, and just like the rest of what Grill Armor has claimed in the excerpt you label as “misinformation”, the company has not attempted to mislead its target population. Grill Armor has admitted that it is false to claim that data supports mouth guards having a direct relationship in preventing concussions, but instead choose to say that whether the usefulness of their product extends into concussion prevention or not, the product is still useful in injury prevention, which is entirely correct. Basically the company said that the oral protection from a mouth guard is obvious, and in addition there is the potential for concussion prevention.

    In conclusion, I don’t understand how you can compare Grill Armor’s pitch for guarding against concussions to advertising beach front property in Arizona. Everything stated by Grill Armor is fair play, and it looks to me like you want it to be misinformation so you can add fuel to your fire.
    Let me tell you that I am not associated with Grill Armor, and have never heard of them until I stumbled upon this article through a Google search on concussions in the NHL. I am concerned about concussions in sports, and one day I hope to work for a company that uses cutting edge technology to protect ourselves from the risk of concussions. Obviously with a website devoted to spreading concussion awareness, you understand the damaging long term and short term effects of a concussion, which needless to say are very serious. Having said that, I believe your attack on Grill Armor’s pitch is unwarranted and a tad bit overzealous (in the sense that you are quick to denounce the company for using the attention concussions has received from the press to their own advantage).

    • Dustin Fink January 17, 2012 / 14:03

      Comment appreciated…

      Counterpoints:

      The mouth guard acts as a medium for absorbing the impact so your body doesn’t have to. When a shock load is sustained to the jaw (a hit to the chin), the energy is passed through the jaw bone, through the gums, into the teeth, and thus into the mouth guard, where some of that energy is absorbed before being passed through the upper teeth and into the skull. Without the mouth guard, a higher proportion of the initial energy applied to the jaw is transferred to the skull, where the potential concussion takes place.

      This is accurate, however the force needed to create a concussive blow, as we currently understand, is far greater than a force that only disturbs the jaw/teeth/mandible WITHOUT disturbing the head/neck. In those cases the mouthguard is warranted and needed, I AGREE 100% AND HAVE NOT BACKED OFF THAT. Which plays into the role of safety… Absolutely those and others like this company that produce oral protection are vital to player safety, however only for oral/dental protection…

      Basically the company said that the oral protection from a mouth guard is obvious, and in addition there is the potential for concussion prevention.

      Just as there is potential for band-aids on the forehead, they would prevent lacerations and abrasions from occurring, therefore a part of player safety. The analogy still holds water.

      Having said that, I believe your attack on Grill Armor’s pitch is unwarranted and a tad bit overzealous (in the sense that you are quick to denounce the company for using the attention concussions has received from the press to their own advantage).

      I have attacked many oral device companies for the same exact thing. Using the concussion issue to promote a oral/dental device is misinformation at its best. The problem as I have seen and heard it many times is that coaches, players and parents read this material as it capitilizes on the concussion issue and BELIEVE that what they are buying will attenuate concussions. This is simply not true. Companies use clever marketing, fine print, and advanced level language to “talk around” the issue while painting rosy pictures.

      Again the main issue with any mouth guard/device is simply this: In order to create a concussive event the brain must be shifted/traumatized enough to cause a negative cascade response of chemicals and amino acids. Current research/information holds this to be dynamic movement of the brain inside the skull. Forces great enough to effect the teeth/jaw YET NOT GREAT enough to effect the skull/brain in movement, do not elicit concussive episodes. Mouth gear cannot attenuate the forces that would create traumatic rotation, acceleration, deceleration or shearing of the brain, it is pure physics.

      Thanks again I appreciate your candor and honest assessment…

      df

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