Sponsor Message:
Non Aviation Forum
My Starred Topics | Profile | New Topic | Forum Index | Help | Search 
Concussions, Contacts Sports And Mental Health  
User currently offlineStarAC17 From Canada, joined Aug 2003, 3354 posts, RR: 9
Posted (1 year 7 months 4 weeks 1 day 10 hours ago) and read 1916 times:

I haven't seen a thread about it yet (in fact football threads have been lacking on A.net this year) but I'm sure most of you living in North America are aware of the tragedy in Kansas City surrounding the murder/suicide of Jovan Belcher and his girlfriend on Saturday. For those if you overseas who don't know about this there are some links below.

http://www.suntimes.com/news/nation/...-player-involved-in-shootings.html

http://www.freep.com/article/2012120...s-KC-police-say?odyssey=nav%7Chead

Also I want to say it now, this is not about gun control and the US gun culture!!!

I say this because this man was a linebacker and even though he was 25 Belcher took hits for probably 20 of those 25 years of his life. Unless proved wrong it is obvious there was mental health problems here which I think were because of hits to the head and concussions leading to brain damage.

Now there have been many stories of both the NFL and to a lesser extent the NHL from making their games safer because retired players are having issues but now even players younger than me like Belcher and even Sidney Crosby having serious side effects. As an avid fan of both hockey and football, hitting makes these games but how do we make it safe for them while allowing the hitting (may not be possible)??

Furthermore when a player is showing symptoms from Concussions how do we get them to be more open about it because there is a very real stigma with players that if they are at a risk for it they are out of a job. Because of this a lot of it gets shoved under the rug and you get situations like this.

Thoughts??


Engineers Rule The World!!!!!
42 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineAesma From France, joined Nov 2009, 6537 posts, RR: 9
Reply 1, posted (1 year 7 months 4 weeks 1 day 10 hours ago) and read 1907 times:

Get rid of the armor and it may get safer.


New Technology is the name we give to stuff that doesn't work yet. Douglas Adams
User currently offlineMaverick623 From United States of America, joined Nov 2006, 5570 posts, RR: 6
Reply 2, posted (1 year 7 months 4 weeks 1 day 9 hours ago) and read 1901 times:

Quoting StarAC17 (Thread starter):
I say this because this man was a linebacker and even though he was 25 Belcher took hits for probably 20 of those 25 years of his life.

I doubt he took hits at 5.

More like 10-12 years...

Quoting StarAC17 (Thread starter):
Unless proved wrong it is obvious there was mental health problems here

That's not how it works. Obviously, anyone who kills their girlfriend and then takes their own life is not right in the head, but to blame concussions without knowing anything about the guy is just ludicrous.



"PHX is Phoenix, PDX is the other city" -777Way
User currently offlinePHX787 From Japan, joined Mar 2012, 7233 posts, RR: 17
Reply 3, posted (1 year 7 months 4 weeks 1 day 9 hours ago) and read 1897 times:

Has he actually had medical records of concussions and other forms of head injury? If not, then it should be ruled out. If his brain remained intact from the bullet, the coroner should do a brain scan to find other forms of damage.


One of the FB admins for PHX Spotters. "Zach the Expat!"
User currently offlineStarAC17 From Canada, joined Aug 2003, 3354 posts, RR: 9
Reply 4, posted (1 year 7 months 4 weeks 1 day 9 hours ago) and read 1892 times:

Quoting Maverick623 (Reply 2):
I doubt he took hits at 5.

More like 10-12 years...

Fair point.

Quoting Maverick623 (Reply 2):
That's not how it works. Obviously, anyone who kills their girlfriend and then takes their own life is not right in the head, but to blame concussions without knowing anything about the guy is just ludicrous.

Concussions lead to mental health problems, we will have to wait until an autopsy is done and released but this guy is a linebacker in the NFL. He is getting hits to the head once a week for at the minimum 16 weeks a year.

Not blaming concussions entirely but it has been in the news in recent years, there has been many suicides with WWE wrestlers, football players and hockey players. The constant is that they all are involved with high impact sports that they get hit in the head.



Engineers Rule The World!!!!!
User currently offlineStarAC17 From Canada, joined Aug 2003, 3354 posts, RR: 9
Reply 5, posted (1 year 7 months 4 weeks 1 day 9 hours ago) and read 1888 times:

Quoting PHX787 (Reply 3):
Has he actually had medical records of concussions and other forms of head injury? If not, then it should be ruled out. If his brain remained intact from the bullet, the coroner should do a brain scan to find other forms of damage.

Not as of yet but from what I have listened to and read about concussions, you might not show symptoms ever. Also perhaps he kept it quiet because it could have costed him his job.



Engineers Rule The World!!!!!
User currently offlineBMI727 From United States of America, joined Feb 2009, 15719 posts, RR: 26
Reply 6, posted (1 year 7 months 4 weeks 1 day 9 hours ago) and read 1888 times:

Quoting StarAC17 (Thread starter):
Furthermore when a player is showing symptoms from Concussions how do we get them to be more open about it because there is a very real stigma with players that if they are at a risk for it they are out of a job.

You don't. These are grown men and will do what they want with their lives. Brian Urlacher openly said he'd try to cover up a concussion to try and remain in a game.

Youth sports is an entirely different ballgame and parents should be on guard for such things.

Quoting StarAC17 (Thread starter):
Because of this a lot of it gets shoved under the rug and you get situations like this.

It's too early to say whether brain damage had a part in this.

Quoting PHX787 (Reply 3):
Has he actually had medical records of concussions and other forms of head injury? If not, then it should be ruled out.

Doesn't work that way. New information is coming out that repeated subconcussive hits can be damaging as well. Just because someone has not suffered from a concussion, or a recorded concussion since not all are detected and reported, does not mean they cannot have suffered brain damage.



Why do Aerospace Engineering students have to turn things in on time?
User currently offlineiFlyLOTs From United States of America, joined Apr 2012, 458 posts, RR: 0
Reply 7, posted (1 year 7 months 4 weeks 1 day 9 hours ago) and read 1883 times:

I think to combat this there should actually be a lot of things done. I remember this year watching the Arizona-USC game when the Arizona quarterback got nailed in the head he was on the sideline throwing up and then was right back in the game. I personally am no medical expert but I did do football and wrestling in high school and got two concussions during my time in those sports, and nausea is one of the primary symptoms of a concussion.

I think that if any player reports or appears in any way to be concussed it should be a rule to be immediately tested. I know that in any schools that compete in IHSA you have to take a concussion baseline test as a requirement, so maybe those should become mandatory across the sports world so that they can do a faster test, something that could be quickly done in the locker room.

Another thing would be different equipment. I know that the there are certain football helmets that are designed and proven to give more protection against concussions, the Revolution series. I feel that modern technology could be used to move towards making better helmets.

And lastly, I think that the big hits need to stop being rewarded, and you also need to be unable to appeal the hitting a defenseless player fine so that the players will definitely think twice about hitting that player.



"...stay hungry, stay foolish" -Steve Jobs
User currently offlineStarAC17 From Canada, joined Aug 2003, 3354 posts, RR: 9
Reply 8, posted (1 year 7 months 4 weeks 1 day 9 hours ago) and read 1876 times:

Quoting iFlyLOTs (Reply 7):
And lastly, I think that the big hits need to stop being rewarded, and you also need to be unable to appeal the hitting a defenseless player fine so that the players will definitely think twice about hitting that player.

Those hits are given fines now and pretty much every week someone is getting a fined for a hit.

In terms of the NFL itself there are a lot of hits where the offensive player drops their heads and a hit that would have gone to the numbers becomes an helmet to helmet hit. Intent is hard to determine in that case.

Quoting iFlyLOTs (Reply 7):
I think that if any player reports or appears in any way to be concussed it should be a rule to be immediately tested. I know that in any schools that compete in IHSA you have to take a concussion baseline test as a requirement, so maybe those should become mandatory across the sports world so that they can do a faster test, something that could be quickly done in the locker room.

Good Idea, also I think the culture needs to change where yo can not be cut because they have a concussion without compensation to help take the fear of losing ones job if they are open about it.



Engineers Rule The World!!!!!
User currently offlineDocLightning From United States of America, joined Nov 2005, 19417 posts, RR: 58
Reply 9, posted (1 year 7 months 4 weeks 1 day 9 hours ago) and read 1875 times:

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 6):
Doesn't work that way. New information is coming out that repeated subconcussive hits can be damaging as well. Just because someone has not suffered from a concussion, or a recorded concussion since not all are detected and reported, does not mean they cannot have suffered brain damage.

  

Low-level repeat head trauma leads to diffuse axonal injury, but slow and chronic. It also causes microbleeds and other issues. Because a lot of the hits are taken on the front of the head, which is where decision-making and planning occurs, violent behavior is a common result. OJ Simpson is a beautiful example. As is Michael Tyson.


User currently offlineBMI727 From United States of America, joined Feb 2009, 15719 posts, RR: 26
Reply 10, posted (1 year 7 months 4 weeks 1 day 8 hours ago) and read 1863 times:

Quoting DocLightning (Reply 9):
Low-level repeat head trauma leads to diffuse axonal injury, but slow and chronic. It also causes microbleeds and other issues.

The thing is that the dialog mostly ignores this. The NFL puts their commercials out there with the actor in a lab coat telling parents that he's testing new equipment and kids learn to tackle properly and it's okay. And they have a ton of talk about concussions and concussion protocols but little about subconcussive hits.

The result is probably going to be a bit like an alcoholic who insists he's not hurting himself because he's never passed out drunk.



Why do Aerospace Engineering students have to turn things in on time?
User currently offlinesoon7x7 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 11, posted (1 year 7 months 4 weeks 1 day 7 hours ago) and read 1848 times:

Apparently he wasn't brain dead enough to miss his target. It is a bunch of crap. No one is responsible for their actions anymore. It always comes down to an excuse, he intended to murder his girlfriend then himself. Case closed. American football, another American Icon is apparently on the hit list along with "Christmas Trees", Free speech and the 2nd amendment. What about hockey players?, Downhill speed skiing?. I've had four concussions and haven't shot anyone yet...can't afford the lawyers. Lastly, he was clear headed enough to thank the NFL for his opportunity to play Pro Ball. doesn't sound like his thought process was fogged or short circuited. Sounds more like he had a self control issue. Now that is typical in Pro Sports. Not just football.

User currently offlineBMI727 From United States of America, joined Feb 2009, 15719 posts, RR: 26
Reply 12, posted (1 year 7 months 4 weeks 1 day 6 hours ago) and read 1837 times:

Quoting soon7x7 (Reply 11):
Apparently he wasn't brain dead enough to miss his target. It is a bunch of crap.

In this case I think that at best it is seriously jumping the gun to implicate brain injury as a contributing factor, seeing as Belcher apparently put his hand through a window in 2006. Not that he couldn't have had a damaged brain at that point, but to me that indicates a situation that is likely different from those of Junior Seau and Dave Duerson.

Quoting soon7x7 (Reply 11):
American football, another American Icon is apparently on the hit list

I don't want to see the game watered down or changed.

But that doesn't change the fact that it can be very dangerous. People need to know the full risks and potential fallout from playing football and know as much as possible about how to mitigate those risks. Players, and their parents, should have as much information as possible to make the right decisions.

That said, football isn't going to die. I mean, people still smoke. Guys are still going to play football for their shot at glory and millions of dollars. Plenty of players will still make the decision to set their families up financially for generations even if it means shortening their lifespan.

Malcolm Gladwell stated that football may become like boxing and the military in that it is something middle class parents won't want their kids to do. (I'm not sure military demographics support that, but you get the idea) Football isn't going anywhere. You might see some drop in the number of players, perhaps some restrictions on younger players playing contact football, and other things but the game isn't going anywhere. One thing I've heard discussed is if football may be like hockey where it largely moves out from under the auspices schools, which face tighter budgets and may not want the potential liabilities.

Quoting soon7x7 (Reply 11):
2nd amendment.

This case is a much better one for the pro-gun control crowd to discuss than the Aurora shootings for example. In that case you had an insane man hell bent on perpetrating a massacre. But with Belcher, if a gun was not readily available (I don't know where the gun may have come from) he may not have shot his girlfriend and himself in a fit of rage or depression. I haven't seen details as to what, if any, premeditation there may have been, but this seems like the more impulsive sort of violence that could have been averted with stricter gun laws.

Quoting soon7x7 (Reply 11):
I've had four concussions and haven't shot anyone yet...

Brain injuries are a crapshoot, and that is generally true whether you've been in a car accident, been shot, or spent your life playing football. People react differently.

It's not just these violent outbursts or emotional instability. Brain injuries cause basic quality of life issues too, like Jim McMahon saying he walks into rooms and cannot remember why he went there at age 51.

Quoting soon7x7 (Reply 11):
doesn't sound like his thought process was fogged or short circuited. Sounds more like he had a self control issue.

Probably. But whatever mental or emotional problems one may have, running into other people at high speed, generally head first, isn't going to help.



Why do Aerospace Engineering students have to turn things in on time?
User currently offlineltbewr From United States of America, joined Jan 2004, 13040 posts, RR: 12
Reply 13, posted (1 year 7 months 4 weeks 1 day 2 hours ago) and read 1816 times:

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 12):
Malcolm Gladwell stated that football may become like boxing and the military in that it is something middle class parents won't want their kids to do. (I'm not sure military demographics support that, but you get the idea) Football isn't going anywhere. You might see some drop in the number of players, perhaps some restrictions on younger players playing contact football, and other things but the game isn't going anywhere. One thing I've heard discussed is if football may be like hockey where it largely moves out from under the auspices schools, which face tighter budgets and may not want the potential liabilities.

  

Even beyond the potential head injury issues are deeper social issues including the abuse of women by men, sexual irresponsibility, economic disadvantage, lack of good male role models and family structures, the culture of violence including an excessive use of guns too many of us live in, the culture within American Football and others.


User currently offlineAesma From France, joined Nov 2009, 6537 posts, RR: 9
Reply 14, posted (1 year 7 months 4 weeks 22 hours ago) and read 1780 times:

So, nobody answered me. Ever heard of rugby ?


New Technology is the name we give to stuff that doesn't work yet. Douglas Adams
User currently offlineWestJet747 From Canada, joined Aug 2011, 1830 posts, RR: 10
Reply 15, posted (1 year 7 months 4 weeks 21 hours ago) and read 1770 times:

Quoting StarAC17 (Reply 4):
there has been many suicides with WWE wrestlers

The spike in WWE wrestler suicides is widely blamed on hormonal issues caused by long-term steroid use.

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 6):
Just because someone has not suffered from a concussion, or a recorded concussion since not all are detected and reported

   Excellent point. One of my team trainers once told me that more than half (can't remember the exact statistic) of concussions go unnoticed by the players suffering from them, so it's rather difficult for the player to report them if they are unaware they have it.

Quoting soon7x7 (Reply 11):
I've had four concussions and haven't shot anyone yet

Irrelevant. Eric Lindros shouldn't even be alive with number of concussions he's had, yet he functions rather well considering...whereas some like Sidney Crosby will suffer only a couple and have to sit out for a year from the post-concussion effects. As BMI727 said in an earlier post: "People react differently."

Quoting Aesma (Reply 14):
So, nobody answered me. Ever heard of rugby ?

Yep. I started playing it when I was 14 and stopped a couple summers ago. Made a lot of hospital trips along the way. Why do you ask?



Flying refined.
User currently offlineBMI727 From United States of America, joined Feb 2009, 15719 posts, RR: 26
Reply 16, posted (1 year 7 months 4 weeks 21 hours ago) and read 1764 times:

Quoting WestJet747 (Reply 15):
One of my team trainers once told me that more than half (can't remember the exact statistic) of concussions go unnoticed by the players suffering from them, so it's rather difficult for the player to report them if they are unaware they have it.

There's the unnoticed ones, and then there's also the unreported ones.

Quoting WestJet747 (Reply 15):
Eric Lindros shouldn't even be alive with number of concussions he's had, yet he functions rather well considering

He's not even forty yet. He may seem alright now, but when he's in his fifties and begins forgetting things that may change.



Why do Aerospace Engineering students have to turn things in on time?
User currently offlineStarAC17 From Canada, joined Aug 2003, 3354 posts, RR: 9
Reply 17, posted (1 year 7 months 4 weeks 21 hours ago) and read 1762 times:

Quoting soon7x7 (Reply 11):
Apparently he wasn't brain dead enough to miss his target. It is a bunch of crap. No one is responsible for their actions anymore. It always comes down to an excuse, he intended to murder his girlfriend then himself. Case closed.

This isn't about not being able to function, its about hits to the head affecting the brain chemistry enough to change mental state. Also no where did anyone say he isn't responsible for his actions but I think its a safe assumption that someone who does something like this isn't right in the head.

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 16):
He's not even forty yet. He may seem alright now, but when he's in his fifties and begins forgetting things that may change.

A family friend of mine has a friend who knows Lindros and he clsims he is struggling with very severe depression, as he gets older I don't see it getting any better.

Quoting WestJet747 (Reply 15):
Quoting Aesma (Reply 14):
So, nobody answered me. Ever heard of rugby ?

Yep. I started playing it when I was 14 and stopped a couple summers ago. Made a lot of hospital trips along the way. Why do you ask?

I think his point is that Rugby is just as violent as football but they are more conservative with the hitting because they don't have the gear that a football player has.



Engineers Rule The World!!!!!
User currently offlineWestJet747 From Canada, joined Aug 2011, 1830 posts, RR: 10
Reply 18, posted (1 year 7 months 4 weeks 21 hours ago) and read 1757 times:

Quoting StarAC17 (Reply 17):
I think his point is that Rugby is just as violent as football but they are more conservative with the hitting because they don't have the gear that a football player has.

I know what his point is, I just want to hear someone try to convince me that one is safer than the other. I've played both sports at various levels and they're both dangerous in their own ways.

Personally, I've had worse injuries from rugby than I've had from football.



Flying refined.
User currently offlineBMI727 From United States of America, joined Feb 2009, 15719 posts, RR: 26
Reply 19, posted (1 year 7 months 4 weeks 20 hours ago) and read 1754 times:

Quoting StarAC17 (Reply 17):
A family friend of mine has a friend who knows Lindros and he clsims he is struggling with very severe depression, as he gets older I don't see it getting any better.

Considering what's happened to Dave Duerson and Junior Seau, that is not a good sign.

Quoting StarAC17 (Reply 17):
I think his point is that Rugby is just as violent as football but they are more conservative with the hitting because they don't have the gear that a football player has.

I think that one useful step might be playing more flag football at youth levels, either before they put on pads or slightly delaying when kids begin tackle football. The main value would be that it requires players to aim for the waist area rather than the head, which would hopefully persist with many players until their careers (usually high school) are over.



Why do Aerospace Engineering students have to turn things in on time?
User currently offlineDocLightning From United States of America, joined Nov 2005, 19417 posts, RR: 58
Reply 20, posted (1 year 7 months 4 weeks 19 hours ago) and read 1740 times:

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 12):
In this case I think that at best it is seriously jumping the gun to implicate brain injury as a contributing factor, seeing as Belcher apparently put his hand through a window in 2006. Not that he couldn't have had a damaged brain at that point, but to me that indicates a situation that is likely different from those of Junior Seau and Dave Duerson.

It will never be possible to prove that chronic low-grade traumatic brain injury (TBI) is responsible. Even if an autopsy were to show such injury, that does not prove that it caused this behavior.

This man had been playing contact football probably since age 12. If he put his fist through a window at age 19, it could be that he already had some low-grade TBI (certainly possible after 7 years of football) or it might have shown that he already had poor impulse control by another mechanism (inborn). Either way, further chronic, low-grade TBI would further degrade his impulse control.

Now, there are two hypotheses:
1) Men who choose football, MMA, boxing, etc. as sports are inherently more likely to behave violently in general, which is why they favor such sports.

2) Men who play football, MMA, boxing, etc. sustain chronic low-grade TBI which leads to violent behavior.

It would be difficult at any point to exclude hypothesis (1). However, it can be shown that men who play football, MMA, boxing, etc. have a tendency to develop violent behavior that gets worse with age and duration of participation in the sport. This is in contrast to the normal pattern in young men who tend to calm down as they get older. This suggests that hypothesis (2) is correct while not excluding hypothesis (1). In fact, many football players will tell you that they like football because it allows them to hit other people in a socially acceptable setting.

In any one case, it is never possible to prove that low-grade, chronic TBI is responsible for a violent behavior. It is only possible to prove that it was *not* responsible if the autopsy is able to find intact brain tissue that does not show evidence of this kind of damage.


User currently offlineAesma From France, joined Nov 2009, 6537 posts, RR: 9
Reply 21, posted (1 year 7 months 4 weeks 19 hours ago) and read 1735 times:

Yes my point was that rugby was more "civilized". It doesn't mean there are no injuries and I don't watch any collective sports so I wouldn't know for sure, but I don't hear about brain damage associated with the sport. In fact I have heard of football (soccer) associated with it, when hitting the ball with the head.


New Technology is the name we give to stuff that doesn't work yet. Douglas Adams
User currently offlineStarbuk7 From United States of America, joined Apr 2008, 599 posts, RR: 5
Reply 22, posted (1 year 7 months 4 weeks 17 hours ago) and read 1709 times:

Belcher had history of violent relationships. Also looks as if he had a problem with alcohol as well.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/arti...dra-Perkins.html?ito=feeds-newsxml

Not saying that concussions were not a contributing factor, but the evidence may point otherwise.


User currently offlineBMI727 From United States of America, joined Feb 2009, 15719 posts, RR: 26
Reply 23, posted (1 year 7 months 4 weeks 17 hours ago) and read 1701 times:

Quoting DocLightning (Reply 20):
It will never be possible to prove that chronic low-grade traumatic brain injury (TBI) is responsible. Even if an autopsy were to show such injury, that does not prove that it caused this behavior.

True, and apparently, unlike Duerson and Seau, Belcher shot himself in the head so it may be difficult or impossible to find damage to the brain, let alone determine whether it contributed to his behavior.

Also, Sports Illustrated is reporting that Belcher and his girlfriend owned several guns and would go shooting together. Kind of torpedoes the pro-gun crowd "If only she were armed" argument. Belcher joked with a friend a couple of days earlier about needing guns to deal with his now orphaned daughter's future boyfriends.



Why do Aerospace Engineering students have to turn things in on time?
User currently onlinefr8mech From United States of America, joined Sep 2005, 5362 posts, RR: 14
Reply 24, posted (1 year 7 months 4 weeks 11 hours ago) and read 1667 times:

I won't get into the science, because, quite frankly, I don't feel like looking a bunch of stuff up, but I will relate some anecdotal stuff and lay out a hypothesis based on my observationsand experience. Anyone want to look at the data and prove or disprove, have a ball.

Quoting Aesma (Reply 1):
Get rid of the armor and it may get safer.


This, on it face, may seem a flippant remark (and maybe it is) but, I think there is some validity to it.

I think it stands to reason, that as football has evolved, so has the equipment. The equipment has probably become better at protecting its wearer, but, at the same time has made the wearer less able to judge what is going on. The wearer will then tend to hit harder or stay in the game longer because the hit just didn't "feel that hard".

Let me digress into my past a little bit to make a point.

Firefighters used to wear blue jeans, 3/4 boots and a trench coat made of leather, canvas or rubber. Consequently, entry into a burning structure was limited to rescues and very small fires (regardless of what you see in the movies). As bunker gear has developed, the firefighter is able to go further into a structure, not only to effect rescue, but for fire suppression in support of property protection.

During rapid intervention training (basically, firefighter rescue) it was drilled into our heads that firefighters are going deeper because they don't feel the heat and are unable to gauge when conditions are getting untenable. And, the difference between tenable and untenable is just a couple of seconds.

Are more firefighters getting hurt/killed because they are unable to gauge conditions, I really don't know. But, can you see where better gear and equipment can cause more injury?

Back to football: can better or more equipment be a contributing factor increased brain injury? I certainly think it bears looking into to.

I leave you with one more thought on the matter: when someone is in a car wreck, the internal organs, especially the brain, suffer more than one impact. The initial impact (and sudden stop) with the seat belt or the steering wheel (as the case may be). Then, when "you" stop moving, your brain keeps moving and then hits your skull, rebounds and hits the back of your skull. I fail to see how a helmet prevents the harder hits from causing this same rebounding.



When seconds count...the police are minutes away.
User currently offlineDocLightning From United States of America, joined Nov 2005, 19417 posts, RR: 58
Reply 25, posted (1 year 7 months 3 weeks 6 days 17 hours ago) and read 1641 times:

Quoting fr8mech (Reply 24):
I leave you with one more thought on the matter: when someone is in a car wreck, the internal organs, especially the brain, suffer more than one impact. The initial impact (and sudden stop) with the seat belt or the steering wheel (as the case may be). Then, when "you" stop moving, your brain keeps moving and then hits your skull, rebounds and hits the back of your skull. I fail to see how a helmet prevents the harder hits from causing this same rebounding.

  

The helmet spreads the force out around the cranium, which helps to prevent cranial fracture. It also gives the skull a bit of extra deceleration room and thus decreases the risk of brain damage.

HOWEVER, the acceleration still occurs. And, as you rightly point out, the first injury (the impact of the brain on the inside of the cranial vault) is "cous" (pron: "koo") and then there is a second injury when it rebounds back to the opposite side of the cranium called "counter-cous." Very often, people who have had a closed head trauma will show signs of injury to both the area of impact and the brain region diametrically opposite to the area of impact. "Cous/Counter-Cous."

So there can be damage to the grey matter, or the cortex, which is where the neuronal cell bodies are that actually do the processing work. There can also be shear damage to the axons making up the white matter, inhibiting communication between different regions of cortex. Both are different sorts of bad news.


User currently offlineStarAC17 From Canada, joined Aug 2003, 3354 posts, RR: 9
Reply 26, posted (1 year 7 months 3 weeks 6 days 15 hours ago) and read 1621 times:

Quoting fr8mech (Reply 24):
Back to football: can better or more equipment be a contributing factor increased brain injury? I certainly think it bears looking into to.

There has been talk on adding Kevlar into the helmets to give the skull more room to de-accelerate reducing concussive hits. IIRC James Harrison was working with manufacturers to research this.

Also there has been talk this week which I heard on PTI is that the NFL would go back to leather helmets to deter helmet to helmet hits.



Engineers Rule The World!!!!!
User currently offlineDocLightning From United States of America, joined Nov 2005, 19417 posts, RR: 58
Reply 27, posted (1 year 7 months 3 weeks 6 days 14 hours ago) and read 1620 times:

Quoting StarAC17 (Reply 26):
There has been talk on adding Kevlar into the helmets to give the skull more room to de-accelerate reducing concussive hits. IIRC James Harrison was working with manufacturers to research this.

I don't see how that will make much of a difference. A helmet is of a given size. When the helmet stops, the head inside that helmet has an inch or so to stop, as well. Even if kevlar could magically add another half inch to the room by making the side-wall of the helmet thinner, the deceleration space is still very small.


User currently offlineBMI727 From United States of America, joined Feb 2009, 15719 posts, RR: 26
Reply 28, posted (1 year 7 months 3 weeks 6 days 14 hours ago) and read 1620 times:

Quoting StarAC17 (Reply 26):
Also there has been talk this week which I heard on PTI

Watching PTI, or anything on ESPN really, is something one should do in moderation and with a massive dose of skepticism and probably disdain as well.

Quoting DocLightning (Reply 27):
I don't see how that will make much of a difference.

It won't. The NFL can roll out as many commercials with actors playing scientists as they want, but what it amounts to is like trying to make a car accident safe.



Why do Aerospace Engineering students have to turn things in on time?
User currently offlineWestJet747 From Canada, joined Aug 2011, 1830 posts, RR: 10
Reply 29, posted (1 year 7 months 3 weeks 6 days 14 hours ago) and read 1613 times:

Quoting Aesma (Reply 21):
but I don't hear about brain damage associated with the sport

That's true, I've had two major concussions from playing rugby, so it does happen, but you don't typically hear about brain damage associated with the sport.

I think I've got an answer for why: the rules make it so. In football, the play is dead as soon as the player's knee or hip touches the ground, whereas in rugby the ball is recycled or a ruck forms and the play continues. It simply doesn't make sense to hit a player up high since he will be able to up quickly again and keep attacking, so the only reasonable course of action is to tackle the ball carrier at his centre-of-gravity (midsection) to bring him to ground so that your fellow defenders have a favourable position to get the ball back (and hold up the attack).

I'm not sure if I can explain that any simpler for those not familiar with the rules of rugby union, but I tried.

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 23):
Kind of torpedoes the pro-gun crowd "If only she were armed" argument.

The gun crowd has been oddly silent with respect to this situation in my opinion. But I don't live in the US, so that may be why I haven't heard much.

Quoting fr8mech (Reply 24):
can better or more equipment be a contributing factor increased brain injury?

Yes and no. Yes, because it's possible that with greater helmet technology, players may feel that they are invincible and will have a greater propensity to lead with their heads. No, because I think your question is too broad. Equipment in general is on the decrease. Players are constantly looking for ways to reduce the amount of equipment they wear (as well as making it lighter) so that they have greater range of motion.

Quoting StarAC17 (Reply 26):
There has been talk on adding Kevlar into the helmets

Isn't kevlar super expensive? Wouldn't that almost double the price of helmets?

Quoting StarAC17 (Reply 26):
I heard on PTI is that the NFL would go back to leather helmets to deter helmet to helmet hits

The thing about the guys on PTI is that they're paid to talk, and talking is what I assume they did here. Anybody that plays any level of football will tell you that headshots will happen by accident too, so wearing leather helmets would be incredibly dangerous for the eventuality of an accident hit to the head (or using one's head).

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 28):
but what it amounts to is like trying to make a car accident safe.

Exactly. It's going to happen whether you like it not, you just have to find ways to deter it and make it safer.



Flying refined.
User currently offlineDocLightning From United States of America, joined Nov 2005, 19417 posts, RR: 58
Reply 30, posted (1 year 7 months 3 weeks 6 days 13 hours ago) and read 1605 times:

Quoting WestJet747 (Reply 29):
Isn't kevlar super expensive? Wouldn't that almost double the price of helmets?

Yes, but brains are expensive, too.

Quoting WestJet747 (Reply 29):
That's true, I've had two major concussions from playing rugby,

Well, that explains an awful lot.     


User currently offlineWestJet747 From Canada, joined Aug 2011, 1830 posts, RR: 10
Reply 31, posted (1 year 7 months 3 weeks 6 days 12 hours ago) and read 1595 times:

Quoting DocLightning (Reply 30):
Yes, but brains are expensive, too.

Touché. But having coached kids football, I can't help but worry about the cost. Many kids in urban areas are only able to play football because of generous donations to programs that supply equipment to kids whose families can't afford it. If helmets double in price, these kids, who don't even hit each other in the heads to begin with, will suffer because we cannot afford to dress as many of them.

With all that said, if safety standards are ever changed as to include kevlar lining in helmets, I feel that it should only be a requirement at a competitive level where there is a discernible risk of significant contact with the helmet. I want to say ages 13 or 14 and up.

Quoting DocLightning (Reply 30):
Quoting WestJet747 (Reply 29):
That's true, I've had two major concussions from playing rugby,

Well, that explains an awful lot.

The brain might be mush, but these rugged good looks are what get me the promotions  



Flying refined.
User currently onlinefr8mech From United States of America, joined Sep 2005, 5362 posts, RR: 14
Reply 32, posted (1 year 7 months 3 weeks 6 days 12 hours ago) and read 1593 times:

Quoting WestJet747 (Reply 29):
Players are constantly looking for ways to reduce the amount of equipment they wear (as well as making it lighter) so that they have greater range of motion.

Kind of bolsters my point. If equipment is getting better at diffusing the impact, the equipment can get smaller and the player can continue to absorb hits.

Quoting WestJet747 (Reply 29):
Isn't kevlar super expensive? Wouldn't that almost double the price of helmets?

So? Even the lowliest of NFL teams should be able to afford an increase. The better question is whether or not the benefit is worth the cost. If a levlar helmet can somehow make the helmet and head "one unit", then we take one of the deceleration spaces out of the equation. But, you still have the issue with the movement in the skull.

To tell you the truth, I think leather helmets would decrease brain injury, but increase the bumping and bruising. You would also need to look at shoulder pads at that point. Too hard a hit to the leather helmet and...

Plus, still need to think about adding a face mask to the leather helmet.



When seconds count...the police are minutes away.
User currently offlineBMI727 From United States of America, joined Feb 2009, 15719 posts, RR: 26
Reply 33, posted (1 year 7 months 3 weeks 6 days 12 hours ago) and read 1594 times:

Quoting fr8mech (Reply 32):
So? Even the lowliest of NFL teams should be able to afford an increase.

NFL teams aren't really the issue. Those are grown men who should know the risks and if they wish to take them, and get paid handsomely for it, it's their business.

These sorts of issues are more important when it comes to youth and high school football.



Why do Aerospace Engineering students have to turn things in on time?
User currently offlineStarAC17 From Canada, joined Aug 2003, 3354 posts, RR: 9
Reply 34, posted (1 year 7 months 3 weeks 6 days 10 hours ago) and read 1587 times:

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 28):
Watching PTI, or anything on ESPN really, is something one should do in moderation and with a massive dose of skepticism and probably disdain as well.

I didn't pay any heed to what they said on this issue but I assume the headline was accurate that a prominent NFL defensive player was working with manufacturers to develop a solution.

Quoting WestJet747 (Reply 29):
Isn't kevlar super expensive? Wouldn't that almost double the price of helmets?

It is but at any high level of football it can be afforded.

Quoting WestJet747 (Reply 29):
Anybody that plays any level of football will tell you that headshots will happen by accident too, so wearing leather helmets would be incredibly dangerous for the eventuality of an accident hit to the head (or using one's head).

They will but I do think a lot of the time the defensive player will do it to inflict pain and from what I have seen from the last few weeks of watching football is a lot of offensive players drop their heads when the tackle is coming to draw the flag or get the league to punish the defensive player. Leather helmets make you think again.

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 33):
These sorts of issues are more important when it comes to youth and high school football.

That's where changing the culture of how to tackle needs to be reformed because by the time players get to college and on to the pros it is too hard to change.



Engineers Rule The World!!!!!
User currently offlineBMI727 From United States of America, joined Feb 2009, 15719 posts, RR: 26
Reply 35, posted (1 year 7 months 3 weeks 6 days 10 hours ago) and read 1580 times:

Quoting StarAC17 (Reply 34):
I assume the headline was accurate that a prominent NFL defensive player was working with manufacturers to develop a solution.

They can work with whomever they want, but the only real solution is to not have people slamming into each other at full speed.

Quoting StarAC17 (Reply 34):
by the time players get to college and on to the pros it is too hard to change.

When it comes to college and the pros I don't want them to change, since I am entertained by the games.

Quoting StarAC17 (Reply 34):
a lot of offensive players drop their heads when the tackle is coming to draw the flag or get the league to punish the defensive player.

I don't think they're doing it to draw flags, after all, it doesn't seem much different than what they did before. I think mostly they are trying to brace for the hit and protect the ball. I don't see much difference in the way offensive players play now, and for that matter, not much difference in how defenses play either.



Why do Aerospace Engineering students have to turn things in on time?
User currently offlineStarAC17 From Canada, joined Aug 2003, 3354 posts, RR: 9
Reply 36, posted (1 year 7 months 3 weeks 6 days 10 hours ago) and read 1576 times:

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 35):
They can work with whomever they want, but the only real solution is to not have people slamming into each other at full speed.

Which you have to learn at a younger age, also you can ram them at full speed but go for the numbers. The head hits are what we are trying to stop.

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 35):
When it comes to college and the pros I don't want them to change, since I am entertained by the games.

I happen to agree, I love the game also and prefer big hits as opposed to 40 yard bombs.



Engineers Rule The World!!!!!
User currently offlinekiwiinoz From New Zealand, joined Oct 2005, 2165 posts, RR: 5
Reply 37, posted (1 year 7 months 3 weeks 6 days 9 hours ago) and read 1574 times:

It's an interesting topic. Possibly related to the muder-suicide in the US, the Rugby Association is wanting greater focus on the issue:

http://www.nzherald.co.nz/rugby/news...icle.cfm?c_id=80&objectid=10852127

You will note the refernces to John Kirwan. He is a sufferer himself and has done a lot of campaigning on the issue, including these advertisements:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cZ9yRhCiLfA

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qKDcecbc8X4

Additionally, an Australian Rugby Union player and his wife have recently gone public with their ordeal:

http://www.smh.com.au/rugby-union/un...ions-dark-grip-20121129-2aj52.html

Personally, I believe it is a combination of things. No doubt, getting your head knocked around is going to contribute. I think add to that the fact that the stigma of mental illness that exists in general society is probably multiplied in the locker room means that support is probably not sought until very late.

At the elite level, it is also a very strange existence. Irregular hours, travel, loneliness, idolisation, pressure, disconnection from real human experiences, (family time, etc) can also contribute

I think what the players above are doing is great. I hope it has an impact. Terrible, terrible didease.


User currently offlineBMI727 From United States of America, joined Feb 2009, 15719 posts, RR: 26
Reply 38, posted (1 year 7 months 3 weeks 6 days 9 hours ago) and read 1570 times:

Quoting StarAC17 (Reply 36):
I happen to agree, I love the game also and prefer big hits as opposed to 40 yard bombs.

There's actually a pretty good case to be made that the more wide open modern game contributes to damaging hits. Quarterbacks are throwing more and receivers are making more plays down the field and across the middle and it sets up a situation with the potential for more devastating hits than the old "three yards and a cloud of dust" game from decades ago.



Why do Aerospace Engineering students have to turn things in on time?
User currently offlineWestJet747 From Canada, joined Aug 2011, 1830 posts, RR: 10
Reply 39, posted (1 year 7 months 3 weeks 6 days 9 hours ago) and read 1566 times:

Quoting fr8mech (Reply 32):
Kind of bolsters my point. If equipment is getting better at diffusing the impact, the equipment can get smaller and the player can continue to absorb hits.

I'm not really disagreeing with that in a general sense. I was just voicing my opinion to your question within the context of head injuries.

Quoting StarAC17 (Reply 34):
a lot of offensive players drop their heads when the tackle is coming to draw the flag or get the league to punish the defensive player

In my experience this isn't the case. I used to be a punt returner, so I got hit several times a game by guys running at full speed, and the main reason I dropped my head when a tackle was coming is far simpler: it hurt less. Your body absorbs the impact completely differently when you lower your centre-of-gravity and you're closer to the ground. Also, if you run straight-up, you're just begging for broken ribs.

Quoting StarAC17 (Reply 34):
That's where changing the culture of how to tackle needs to be reformed because by the time players get to college and on to the pros it is too hard to change.

I honestly can't see how we can change the culture at the grassroots level. I've coached youth football and we only teach these kids the fundamentals (always tackle at the belt, always wrap, proper angles, etc.). Safety is also a huge part of the program. These kids are up to 12 years old, so this "culture change" must be happening in high school. I'll venture to say it's because these impressionable high school kids trying to make a name for themselves see brutal hits on TSN/ESPN and want to replicate it on their own field. It just snowballs from there.

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 38):
There's actually a pretty good case to be made that the more wide open modern game contributes to damaging hits.

One counter-argument to that is the CFL. It's far more wide open than the NFL yet they don't seem to have as much a problem with hits to the head and other incidents of head trauma.

I'll go the other direction and say that perhaps it's a closed-quarters game that allows these DBs to come downhill and unleash devastating hits on WRs because there's less room for the ball carriers to work with.



Flying refined.
User currently onlinefr8mech From United States of America, joined Sep 2005, 5362 posts, RR: 14
Reply 40, posted (1 year 7 months 3 weeks 6 days 8 hours ago) and read 1566 times:

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 33):
These sorts of issues are more important when it comes to youth and high school football.

I watch quite a bit of elementary school football around here and, from what I've seen, the coaches and referees do a great job of keeping the kids in line. I've yet to see an injury.

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 33):
NFL teams aren't really the issue.

I disagree. The pressure is there for these guys to perform or they're done. They will play with injuries. They will play when anybody with any common sense will have packed it in for the week.

You probably see the same issues with the"elite" players at the college level. Those are the guys that want to be in the big leagues.

I really don't want to see the way football is played changed, so we have to ask a few of questions:

Are there really more injuries now than 10 years ago? 15? 20? 40?
If there are more injuries, what has changed to make it so?
Can we go back to a period where there were less injuries?

There's more.



When seconds count...the police are minutes away.
User currently offlineBMI727 From United States of America, joined Feb 2009, 15719 posts, RR: 26
Reply 41, posted (1 year 7 months 3 weeks 6 days 8 hours ago) and read 1556 times:

Quoting WestJet747 (Reply 39):
I'll go the other direction and say that perhaps it's a closed-quarters game that allows these DBs to come downhill and unleash devastating hits on WRs because there's less room for the ball carriers to work with.

It could be that increasing the size of the field would make big hits less common.

The main change in football over the last few decades has been players getting bigger and faster and that playcalling has shifted towards more passing. Both are probably not doing the players favors.

Quoting fr8mech (Reply 40):
I watch quite a bit of elementary school football around here and, from what I've seen, the coaches and referees do a great job of keeping the kids in line. I've yet to see an injury.

...that you know of. Years of football from elementary up through high school could affect a player decades down the line, even if they never suffer a diagnosed concussion. It's just really hard to know.

I've also seen something to the effect that kids do not need to be hit as hard to cause damage because of their relatively larger heads than adults that can suffer more in the way of whiplash type effects.

Quoting fr8mech (Reply 40):
The pressure is there for these guys to perform or they're done. They will play with injuries. They will play when anybody with any common sense will have packed it in for the week.

I'm okay with that. These are grown men who can make decisions for themselves. A lot of players seem to take the attitude that they know that they have a dangerous job that may take a significant toll on them but still don't want to see rules changed.

Quoting fr8mech (Reply 40):
Are there really more injuries now than 10 years ago? 15? 20? 40?

Probably somewhat due to changes in the attributes of players and the way the game has evolved.

However, I'd wager that the effect of that is outweighed simply by there being much more understanding of the symptoms and potential effects of brain injuries. More than any rules or equipment changes, brain injuries can be minimized and controlled by cutting through the stigma and debunking the old school wisdom of things like "gettin' your bell rung."

Quoting fr8mech (Reply 40):
If there are more injuries, what has changed to make it so?

Bigger, faster and stronger players and a shift in style from running heavy to passing heavy.

Quoting fr8mech (Reply 40):
Can we go back to a period where there were less injuries?

Not likely, but there is probably more that can be done to detect, understand, and minimize the effects of them.



Why do Aerospace Engineering students have to turn things in on time?
User currently onlinefr8mech From United States of America, joined Sep 2005, 5362 posts, RR: 14
Reply 42, posted (1 year 7 months 3 weeks 6 days 4 hours ago) and read 1543 times:

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 41):
However, I'd wager that the effect of that is outweighed simply by there being much more understanding of the symptoms and potential effects of brain injuries.

Agreed. Much like the spike in autism diagnosis, I think we have better tools and have broadened the definition of the conditions, therefore increasing the diagnosis rate.



When seconds count...the police are minutes away.
Top Of Page
Forum Index

This topic is archived and can not be replied to any more.

Printer friendly format

Similar topics:More similar topics...
Should The US Start A Mental Health Policy? posted Mon Jan 10 2011 15:42:06 by Boeing4ever
Sports And Commercialisation posted Wed Jun 7 2006 16:35:32 by NoUFO
Balance Between Private And Public Health Care? posted Sun May 21 2006 05:16:56 by AerospaceFan
Mental Health Help Line posted Wed Apr 23 2003 04:18:09 by Redngold
NY/NJ Sports Fans, Mike And The Mad Dog No More posted Fri Aug 15 2008 10:16:24 by STT757
More Fantasy Sports (Racing And Golf) posted Tue Jan 22 2008 14:22:08 by Allstarflyer
Religion And Its' Role In Sports posted Mon Jan 22 2007 04:44:00 by D L X
Green Tea: Health Benefits And Questions posted Tue Jun 28 2005 18:10:01 by Bongo
Memories Of You, Your Parents And Sports posted Fri May 6 2005 08:21:44 by JCS17
The Worst And Best Pro And Personal Sports Moment posted Thu Mar 31 2005 04:59:23 by TrijetFan1
Mental Health Help Line posted Wed Apr 23 2003 04:18:09 by Redngold
NY/NJ Sports Fans, Mike And The Mad Dog No More posted Fri Aug 15 2008 10:16:24 by STT757
More Fantasy Sports (Racing And Golf) posted Tue Jan 22 2008 14:22:08 by Allstarflyer
Religion And Its' Role In Sports posted Mon Jan 22 2007 04:44:00 by D L X
Green Tea: Health Benefits And Questions posted Tue Jun 28 2005 18:10:01 by Bongo
Memories Of You, Your Parents And Sports posted Fri May 6 2005 08:21:44 by JCS17