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

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Chance At A Free Helmet From Xenith

I was sent this information from Xenith, here is your chance to get an X2 or iPad2;

“Sign up to win your own Xenith 2.0 football helmet! Xenith is partnering with leading sports medicine doctors and athletes to deliver concussion awareness, injury prevention, and performance tips directly to your phone.

To sign up text the phrase football tips to the number 41411 or go to www.healthy-txt.com to sign up via email. By signing up you will be entered to win an X2 football helmet or an ipad2. Join us in helping to keep kids in the game”.

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

Another New Helmet

Last week we focused on the Austin Collie prototype helmet that we discovered via still images.  I am working very hard on cracking the case with firm information, a lot of hearsay abound. In the meantime I have also discovered that there is ANOTHER new helmet on the field this year, I have found it on the head of Steven Jackson of the St. Louis Rams.

While tying to get the information for the Collie helmet, I tripped upon Rawlings website where they are promoting an adult version of their youth helmet they have previously manufactured; the NRG Quantum, surfing through the site I saw Jackson wearing the helmet I was unaware existed.  Next, I looked at pictures from camp and did in fact Continue reading

Austin Collie 4.0? UPDATE

UPDATE BELOW

The Indianapolis Colts wide receiver has been through a lot the past year while dealing with concussions.  In fact last season I went on record to clear up the actual number of concussions he sustained last year.  Collie had three concussions last season and now in an effort to minimize his risks this year he sought out Bill Simpson;

And he reportedly has been working with auto racing safety expert Bill Simpson to design a new football helmet. Collie could not confirm those reports Thursday.

“That is for him to comment on,” he said. “No comment.”

The helmet Collie has been wearing at Anderson University appears to have more padding in the back, and its shape seems slightly different than a regulation helmet.

Last weekend when Will Carroll and I met up in Effingham, Illinois we were wondering about just this, however we had not heard anything, Continue reading

CRR App

Concussion Recognition & Response App is what it is called, however what it can do can be very helpful for those looking to help an athlete in need after a possible head injury.  With any medical app’s for smart phones it DOES NOT replace a clinical evaluation by a medical professional.  That being said any “layman” using this technology will easily be able to discern if the current injury need to go to an ER or sit out until evaluated by proper medical personnel.

The app was designed and constantly evaluated by a whole team of researchers and physicians, the two of note are Jason Mihalik, PhD and Gerad Gioia, MD.  The intended purpose of the app is to help those less informed, without proper health care available (see athletic trainer/MD) identify if a person is exhibiting signs and Continue reading

Ahead of the Game

Axon Sports has worked hard to create a resource for those looking to implement concussion management.  Not unlike Xenith helmets and “The Enlightened Warrior”, Axon has put information out to help with education and awareness.  The title page says;

Welcome to Ahead of the Game – your Axon Sports Concussion Management toolkit. This practical online resource offers cutting-edge tools, best practices, and other items to improve the effectiveness of your concussion management program design, delivery, and discussions.

If you’re involved with a School, League, Team or Club, these tools can help you get your program up and running faster and smoother.

One in 10 young Athletes will suffer a concussion this year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The actual number is likely much higher as concussions continue to go unrecognized and underreported. We also know that 80 percent of Athletes will fully recover when their concussion is recognized and managed early. What we don’t know is — who are the other 20 percent?

This information is available for a limited time for non-account holders at THIS LINK.  Another company that is trying to help the cause of erasing the stigma of head injuries, and making more aware of the concussion issue.

TCB’s Research Backs Up Va Tech Information

Virginia Tech just released information about a “low rated” helmet on the field in the NFL, the Riddell VSR4;

Riddell’s VSR-4 helmet received just one star in a study of football helmets led by Virginia Tech professor of biomedical engineering Stefan Duma and released Tuesday. Another Riddell model — the Revolution Speed — was the only helmet that earned five stars, the top rating.

Five models — two made by Riddell, two by Schutt and one by Xenith — received four stars.

According to Riddell’s stats 40% of the players wore this helmet in 2010.  In our exclusive research we found on a random sample that 32.41% of players were wearing the helmet.  And that 71% of all helmets on the field were Riddell’s (75% reported by NFL and 77% reported by Riddell).

Our stats found that of all the counted concussions last year (with a helmet ID) 64% of all concussions were in Riddell helmets, 34% in Schutt and 2% in Xenith.  We further broke down the concussion based on actual models of the helmets and found a staggering number, Continue reading

Xenith’s Building the Enlightened Warrior

Vin Ferrara is the CEO of Xenith and believes that he has found a way to make a football helmet that could revolutionize the game in terms of concussive episodes.  The X1 helmet is used by a very small number of professional players, because they are not provided by the NFL/team due to contracts with Riddell and other makers.

Mr. Ferrara is working hard on getting his product out, including great programs with lower level football, extending down to the high school level and earlier.  There is a purchasing program they have developed to get these helmets on heads as fast as possible.

I have yet to work with these helmets at my school, however I have convinced the administration and coaches to purchase some for our use.  It’s a tough task to eliminate the concussions, and we probably will not, but prevention is the best medicine, as well as being prepared.

Please click on the link to the left (Enlightened Warrior) to see what Mr. Ferrara has in mind and has put on paper.  Here is a quote:

BELIEVE IN PREVENTION
First and foremost, anyone involved in athletics should believe that prevention of neurological injury is of paramount importance. An undercurrent of “concussions are inevitable, we just have to manage them” permeates the sports world. Just because some concussions may still occur, this does not warrant an attitude of complete resignation towards preventing the injury. Prevention is possible. Prevention is critical.

I would also like to thank Mr. Ferrara for recognizing the importance of certified athletic trainers as well.

Most Recent Helmets

Here are some pictures of recent helmet designs.  I would like to say that the performance of the helmets have improved over the past 11 years, and even 4 years.  With the introduction of new helmet makers technology can only get better.  The main difference in technology over the recent years is the removal of foam as the “absorption” material and using more “air” or “dead-space” in the helmet.

Riddell Revo Speed (2010)

Schutt Ion-4D (2009)

Schutt DNA Pro+

Xenith X-1 (2009)