NFL Trying Techonology?

This post come via Senior Researcher and Editor, Mike Lutz

Mark Maske of the Washington Post ran a story recently about the happenings in the NFL in terms of technology.

“We see impacts with an enormous amount of energy and the player is not concussed,” said Richard Ellenbogen, co-chairman of the NFL’s head, neck and spine committee. “And then we see a hit with less energy and the player
is concussed. We have not been able to match the two. . . The goal is to see if we can correlate the impacts with the outcome in terms of concussion.” That goal will soon lead to placements of devices known as accelerometers in players’ helmets to measure the force of hits to the head they absorb. The NFL committee plans to test three types of the devices – versions used in helmets, earpieces and mouthpieces – for possible use by players beginning next season.

This is a good goal to have, and as Kevin Guzkiewicz noted there is no better time than now to begin the data collection.  There simply is not any useful information Continue reading

Editorial by Dawn Knight

Dawn Knight, an author who writes for the Washington Post, penned an editorial piece about concussions and how more needs to be done in the education aspect of this issue.  LINK to entire editorial from Washington Post.

I’m no expert, but I learned a lot about concussions after my son suffered a severe one during a rugby practice in August. People who have had concussions are not actually more susceptible to concussions, I discovered. However, if they are not fully healed and try to return, they are very likely to suffer another concussion – and a concussion on top of a concussion can be very dangerous…

It was scary to watch what the concussion did to him. For weeks he was a different person, often confused, unable to focus on school and enduring severe headaches and nausea. When he would start feeling better, he would try to catch up on school work, but that would lead to a headache and set him back again. He went in for an MRI and more evaluations, but they only indicated that he needed more time to recover. There was nothing we could do to hurry it along.

A great perspective to write from, and the ending of the article hammers home what we here have been saying all along about education;

Football players are going to get hurt – it’s the nature of the game, but head injuries cannot be taken lightly. The same set of requirements my son had to pass — evaluated independently of the team doctor — is a start. Beyond that, there needs to be an education program for the players and coaches about the long-term effects of concussions.