Another article, another study and more information to dig
On March 13, 2013, a TIME magazine article cited an article published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine entitled “Helmets and Mouthguards Do Not Prevent Concussions”. It was a statement not made by one person but a consensus of the top researchers in the world.
So why is there so much money and research being poured into better helmets and mouth guards? ...Because there are more products to be sold and more money to make by those companies selling them.
For our purposes, let’s focus on kids. Should they have a mouth piece and helmet? Absolutely YES, but equally as important is that the helmet and mouth piece fit and are in proper operating order. A proper fit can help prevent head and face injuries, dental injuries, as well as TMJ and neck injuries. That includes size, cushioning, chin strap and mouth piece. If all these are in place, you are ready to go. But why doesn’t it help with concussion? Let’s keep it simple. Think of your brain as an egg yolk and your skull as the egg shell. If you put bubble wrap around an egg and drop it, the shell may or may not break but the yolk on the inside will surely be sloshed around. That is what happens to your brain at various contact and even non-contact events. Never mind other important factors involved such as the rotation of the head and the angles and speed of the force.
Another important note to understand is the stuff that holds the brain in place is not as strong in the younger developing brain, making our children more susceptible to traumatic brain injuries.
So what can we do to help? PREVENTION.
We discussed a proper fit of ALL equipment is important. Learn more! The CDC is a great place to start. The Brain Injury Association of Maryland is another. There is so much information out there. Anne Arundel County Department of Recreation and Parks conduct classes for youth coaches 3-4 times a year. In fact, I will be presenting at the next one on April 2, 2013 at 6pm at Old Mill High School. For more information, go to http://www.aacounty.org/RecParks/coaches_information/coaches_clinic.cfm
Once you have a baseline education, keep learning! Things are always changing. Be a better observer of kids and the activities they do. And if something
does happen and you are not sure what to do, you need to get help immediately!
I will do my part to help keep you updated. I am Dr. Sok.
Dr. Alan Sokoloff, DACBSP / Yalich Clinic of Glen Burnie / 331 Oak Manor Dr. / 410-766-4878 / www.yalich.com
Dr. Alan Sokoloff is in his 27th year of practice at the Yalich Clinic and is the Team Chiropractor for the Baltimore Ravens, University of Maryland Terps, Bowie Baysox and UMBC Retrievers.