Professional Concussion Culture: Troy Polamalu

If you are at all tuned into sports you undoubtedly heard Troy Polamalu of the Pittsburgh Steelers be uncomfortably candid about concussions. Polamalu has been upfront on this issue before and as we highlighted the issue is with the professional athlete; the ones informed and being paid large amounts of money to provide a service.

I would say that I really don’t have an issue with these comments;

“There’s so much built up about team camaraderie and sacrifice, and football is such a tough man’s game,” Polamalu told the Dan Patrick Show. “I think that’s why it’s so popular, why so many blue-collar communities and people feel really attracted to it, because it’s sort of a blue-collar struggle that football players go through in terms of the physicality of the game and the commitment you need. … It’s that commitment you need to play football. You feel sore, you’re beat up, you’re injured, you’re legitimately injured, most people may take three months off to work in an office, we choose to play the next week.”

Nor do I take an exception to Polamalu saying he has lied to stay on the field, that is the culture of football; which I feel is OK for professionals, only. The issue is that this information trickles down and any degree

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Polamalu – I Hear You

Troy Polamalu the recent poster boy for concussion management has spoken for the first time since the  “concussion-like” spell.  He was interviewed via The Republic and had some very salient comments;

“I’m well aware of the research, well aware of the frenzy that’s kind of surrounded this particular injury,” he added. “I also realize that with the amount that I have had that I’m probably under a lot more scrutiny, and we’re under a lot more scrutiny than other organizations.”

I have always thought of Polamalu as someone who is of full capacity and really, an over all a competitor.  There inlays the struggle of athletes, playing hurt.  But are concussions an injury you can play hurt though?  As of now there is ZERO indication that this should even be considered for adolescents.  Professional athletes are adults and as we can see from the above comment aware, but they are making a living. Continue reading

Playing With Fire

We have discussed how playing with a brain injury can be dangerous; more immediately dangerous for the younger athlete.  However, continually disturbing the brain while it is recovering only prolongs the issue and is a detriment to long-term brain health.  This is the part of sports that gives credence to the awareness and education initiative.

Apparently the NFL, specifically the Pittsburgh Steelers, does not fully grasp everything involved with and around concussions.  I would think that of all the teams that should be well versed in the history of concussions and health risks it would be the former employer of Mike Webster.  Along with Webster, the Steelers have been on the cutting edge of research, perhaps not the team – rather those that are associated with them: Continue reading

Bill Simpson Enters Football Helmet Race

As we learn more about the concussion issue there are people trying their hardest to provide as much protection as possible for those that play the game.  From new assessment techniques to proper rehabilitation of the injury there is a myriad of different ways we can help out.  The most important is erasing the stigma and educating all those involved in sports, particularly football.

Right now (and for the discernible future) there is no equipment, including helmets, that can protect/attenuate/prevent concussions, it is just a physics impossibility.  However technology has come a long way in reducing the force transmitted to the head via helmets, with Riddell, Schutt and Xenith being the main focus and Rawlings a recent entry.  There have been a lot of people looking at auto racing helmets for their ability to disperse forces, but there is a problem with them. Continue reading