So Simple It’s Stupid

I have posted many a video about concussions here on the blog but this one (thanks to Tommy Dean) may be the best for its pure simplicity and message about management;

People need to understand that concussions don’t have to involve a hit to the head.  I have seen throngs of people on Twitter and other places not grasping this.  Perhaps none more so in the product development sector; those very intuitive people with good ideas that think protecting the head will reduce concussions.  Be it a helmet addition, or better helmet, or those that want to remove helmets from the game, what they fail to grasp is that linear hits to the head with linear forces alone do not constitute the majority of concussion sequale.  The concussion comes as a result of a constellation of factors; the biggest of which is the acceleration/deceleration of the head, followed closely by the shearing (due to angular and rotational forces) of the head.  If you notice most mechanisms of injury one would easily note that knocks to the head with limited movement of the head itself, are not the vast majority of concussions seen.  The hits a person takes in sports and LIFE that are unanticipated and have multiple vectors is where we get a lot of concussions from.

For a better visual, if I were to say to you I am going to punch you in the face from the right side, and you had a chance to brace for it, there is a good chance you could absorb that blow with little to no problems.  However if I were to not say a word and walk up and hit you in the same spot with the same force, the chances you will be “hurt” are much greater.  When you anticipated the hit you would have braced and made the force almost strictly linear, with little rotation due to your neck muscles…  Where as, the sucker punch would move your head sideways and back; quickly accelerating your head then suddenly it would be decelerated by the spine range of motion limits.

I hope this has provided some positive learning for everyone…

6 thoughts on “So Simple It’s Stupid

  1. joe bloggs September 9, 2013 / 12:36

    Tommy – nice find.

    Teams should put this up and loop this on locker room monitors at every level.

    This is better than most presentations. Simple and not overwrought.

  2. formyweeson September 9, 2013 / 17:34

    Unfortunately the video doesn’t mention that playing with mismanaged concussion can be fatal..

  3. Brooke September 11, 2013 / 13:05

    Have you seen the education module for teens that goes along with this video?
    You can find it here:
    It was developed to be very simple, and teen-friendly. Great resource to share with young adults!

  4. Jolana Vanek September 12, 2013 / 23:58

    Thank you for the clear and palpable description of the process ! Receiving the hit unprepared…yes, it reminded me how the famous Houdini supposedly could take any hard hit to his stomach. But supposedly someone hit him in the stomach before Houdini could prepare for it…and that is what killed him.

    • Sports CAPP (@SportsCAPP) September 13, 2013 / 21:58

      I love this video – I have been using this video for one year now to begin my concussion education presentations. I have shown it to middle school age camp kids to high school seniors in an psychology class studying the brain. Everyone gets it and finds it entertaining and watchable and funny… and memorable (and that is the key!)

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