DYK Helmets Do Not Stop Concussions: An article that must get traction

I can tell you there is more coming on this issue – from here and other platforms – but this Regressing (part of Deadspin) article really needs to be highlighted here for those seeking accurate concussion information.  I would be remiss if I didn’t – virtually – give Kyle Wagner a “good game” for writing a beauty!

‘Hockey’s About To Get The Bullshit “Anti-Concussion Helmet” Treatment’ appeared 7/23/14, here are some great excerpts.

Lets begin with the opening salvo;

Virginia Tech thinks hockey helmets are bullshit, which is more or less true. In turn, it wants to look at the differences between hockey’s helmets and football’s recently evolved versions, and bring the concussion-stopping advances to hockey. This is pretty much bullshit.

Then the all-important – simplistic – overview of the concussion process (emphasis mine);

The brain floats suspended by fluids in the skull, and when it suffers concussion, it both smacks into the inside of your skull and incurs rotational force, irreparably damaging the brain stem.

Why we wear helmets;

Helmets, meanwhile, are there to protect your skull from fracturing in the impact of a collision. They provide this protection, and the best helmets have interior mechanisms that can offer some small aid in decelerating a collision.

A wonderful note in the article, that may be glossed over by most readers, but it very peculiar to many of ‘us’ in the know and actually understand/grasp both the concussion injury and the statistics that are thrown out about them;

If the above numbers seem low to you—a combined 64 concussions for eight college football teams over six seasons, or just about 1.3 per team per season—then you’ve likely read enough to have seen players talking about getting their “bell rung” often enough that those Virginia Tech numbers wouldn’t just represent a decrease in risk by half, but exponentially. If the available data say anything, it’s that they are hugely incomplete.

Further on the above excerpt, 1.3 concussions for AN ENTIRE TEAM for AN ENTIRE SEASON is just asinine, Continue reading

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Mr. Rodgers Not Exactly Correct

If you follow me on twitter you know that I made a comment about the recent statement from Aaron Rodgers – concussed Super Bowl MVP – about helmets;

In his remarks he said the helmet he now wears, compared to the one he wore when he started in the league in 2005, has prevented him from “a couple” of concussions, including one against the New York Giants in a playoff game last season.

Rodgers was part of a panel of other quarterbacks that were also Super Bowl MVP’s hosted/moderated by Bob Costas – apparently a charity event.  Regardless if there was an actual quote from Rodgers about prevention of concussions from helmets or it was simply inferred by the context, it is not correct and could provide false hope to others.

Helmets were designed to attempt to eradicate skull fractures and brain bleeds, the most heinous of brain injuries that were felling many players at the turn of the 20th century.  As technology has progressed we have seen fewer and fewer of this often life-threatening injury; unfortunately it does still occur.  The helmet shell along with the interior padding is designed to absorb the massive linear forces that cold fracture a skull or provide enough trauma to rupture vessels in the head.

Concussions are a slight bit different – even though both are brain injuries – a concussion is mainly a neurometabolic and microscopic structural issue.  Concussions are set off in a variety of ways but the biggest culprit is angular acceleration/deceleration and rotation of the skull (most commonly those type of collisions in ALL Continue reading