Brain injuries for athletes in contact sports have been steadily rising since they began to be recorded, and despite increased awareness of the traumatic and potential long-term effects of these injuries, little has been accomplished to reduce their likelihood. A study released by the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons in 2020 reports,
“Between academic years 2015-2017, the overall average proportion of concussions reported annually increased significantly compared with academic years 2010-2014 at 1.012 fold, as did the overall rate at 1.101 fold.”
As reported by the National Institute of Health in a 2014 study, “The high incidence of sport-related TBI in youth, potential for repetitive mild TBI, and its long-term consequences on learning warrants coordinated surveillance activities and population-based outcome studies.”
This increase in injuries actually is inversely proportional to the decrease in participation in high school sports. Parents have come to understand that there are deep risks associated with TBIs and athletes are withdrawing from competitive impact sports because of it.
However, an exciting new tool has been approved by the FDA for adolescent and professional athletes in impact sports. Company Q30 Innovations has announced the US launch of their Q-Collar, “the first and only FDA approved product that helps protect the brain from the effects associated with repetitive subconcussive head impacts.”
The Q-Collar works in tandem with other protective headgear and is worn around the neck of athletes ages 13 and older. It has been tested by over 1000 athletes in clinical studies in sports including soccer, football, and hockey.
So how does it work? Jugular compression increases the blood volume in the head, reducing brain “sloshing” or movement upon impact. As described by Q30 Innovations,
“A team of medical experts from different specialties invented the Q-Collar after identifying the movement of the brain inside the skull, or ‘slosh,’ as a key cause of structural changes to the brain. The Q-Collar uses jugular vein compression to slightly increase blood volume in the head, which reduces the movement of the brain that can cause injury. By creating a tighter fit for the brain inside the skull, the Q-Collar is safe and effective at helping to protect athletes’ brains from effects associated with repetitive sub-concussive head impacts.”
This is good news for athletes young and old!
Image source: Q30 Innovations