The Pro Football Concussion Report

A Fan's Look at Head Injuries and the Concussion Crisis in Football

Reducing Concussions by Strengthening the Neck?

The Iron Neck Strength Conditioning Tool
The Iron Neck Strength Conditioning Tool

02.19.14

One result of the awareness created by the NFL concussion lawsuits is the myriad of concussion solutions hitting the market. Improved helmets, mouthgards, sensors, tests, techniques, supplements and other gear including one of the most recent, a neck-strengthening piece of equipment being introduced at this year’s NFL combine. The “Iron Neck” will be presented by inventor Mike Jolly to an audience of NFL strength and conditioning coaches as part of a product showcase during a conditioning clinic.

In the video on his company website, Jolly claims that the only way to reduce concussions in football is by strengthening the neck in order to “dissipate the force of a violent blow to the head.”

Another interesting piece of research to be published recently was a study showing that football concussions are reduced at higher altitudes. A study led by researchers from Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center found that the number of reported NFL concussions were significantly reduced at games played in higher altitude stadiums.

Also in the news is a study that will be presented April 2014 at the American Academy of Neurology annual meeting. The study finds that football helmets currently used on the field may do little to protect against hits to the side of the head, or rotational force. According to the study, football helmets on average reduced the risk of traumatic brain injury by only 20 percent compared to not wearing a helmet. 20%? Wow.

 

Alarmingly, those (helmets) that offered the least protection are among the most popular on the field. ~ Frank Conidi, MD – Neurology, FSU School of Medicine

 

The helmet studies in particular have attracted a lot of attention from the helmet manufacturing community. The NFL website just published a piece discussing some of the recent controversy surrounding the helmet wars. The NFL recently ended their long partnership with Riddell as the league’s “official” helmet.

Unknown is the relation or impact that decision has on the recent NFL concussion settlement and the outstanding lawsuits that also named Riddell as a defendant. According to the New York Post, the private equity firm that controls Riddell had a difficult time in 2013 finding a buyer for the whole company because of the liabilities associated with football concussions.


 

 

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