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View Full Version : NFL players experimenting with military grade EXO Skeleton CRT pads in their helmets,


Vinny
01-30-2013, 05:18 PM
https://twitter.com/TexansTalk/status/296758648284258304

Vito has been taking a lot of orders lately. He’s the charismatic CEO of Unequal Technologies, a Philadelphia company that manufactures military-grade Kevlar padding for sports equipment. Since 2010, Vito has been touting Kevlar as the best shock-suppression material in the world and boasting that his patented “EXO Skeleton CRT” — CRT for “concussion reduction technology” — absorbs as much as a quarter of the force a player takes to the head or chest, significantly reducing the risk of injury.“If Kevlar can stop a bullet, it can damn sure stop a blitz,” Vito told Wired.

Over the past year, his pitch has convinced more than 20 NFL and NHL teams to use his pads in their equipment. Two dozen professional players are using EXO Skeleton CRT pads in their helmets, and more than 100 are wearing it in shoulder pads, elbow pads and other gear.

As the NHL and NFL grapple with an epidemic of concussions, Kevlar-reinforced helmets are increasingly viewed as a magic bullet. The technology is proving particularly attractive to players who have sustained head trauma and desperately want to keep playing. And later this summer, Vito plans to take his product mainstream, unveiling a multi-million dollar advertising campaign aimed at the hundreds of thousands of youth league players around the U.S. But in the rush to make their players unbreakable, pro teams aren’t asking many questions of Vito beyond how quickly he can do the job.

Neurologists intimately familiar with sports-related concussions warn that there is no scientific evidence that Kevlar can reduce the risk of head trauma. Worse, they fear the pads could make the problem worse by masking symptoms. The leagues have yet to independently test the effects of Kevlar, and neurologists – including one who has treated many concussed NFL and NHL players — expressed surprise when told it was being installed in helmets.“We need to look at this scientifically and come up with some process of examination on whether this works,” says Dr. Michael Collins, director of the UPMC Sports Medicine program. “At this point in time, to my knowledge, I don’t know of a fully controlled study that shows the effectiveness of [Kevlar] in mitigating the instance or severity of concussions.”

HJam72
01-30-2013, 06:33 PM
Cool, now they can go back to head-huntin'.

Thorn
01-30-2013, 07:11 PM
It doesn't matter how good the cushioning is. When a moving head comes to a sudden stop the brains momentum is still there and it still moves inside the skull.

MeLoveTexans
01-30-2013, 07:52 PM
It doesn't matter how good the cushioning is. When a moving head comes to a sudden stop the brains momentum is still there and it still moves inside the skull.

I don't understand why they just don't inject a layer of memory foam into all the players skulls. Problem solved

CloakNNNdagger
01-30-2013, 08:51 PM
It doesn't matter how good the cushioning is. When a moving head comes to a sudden stop the brains momentum is still there and it still moves inside the skull.

Exactly, and this clanging of the brain inside the skull does not require any direct trauma to the head......just any deceleration event to any part of the body. The player can be hit at body level (without head contact) from the front, from the back or from the side and create much the same brain trauma.....especially as it repeatedly happens throughout each game at most positions........over periods of years. CTE can occur with no previous history of direct head trauma concussion. It can occur with repeated asymptomatic subconcussive hits.

So then what is really needed to prevent concussions are seatbelts and airbags for our brains inside of our skulls. To further clarify what I've tried to explain, let's look at "shaken baby syndrome." Shaken baby syndrome is caused by shaking a screaming baby back and forth to make them stop crying. Even though their head never hits anything, the shaking leads to brain damage. Would wearing a baby helmet have helped? Of course not. So how can a helmet possibly eliminate concussions in football. It can’t. Any protective device that claims to prevent concussions in a contact sport is false advertising and may only serve to give athletes a false sense of security.

CloakNNNdagger
01-30-2013, 09:10 PM
https://twitter.com/TexansTalk/status/296758648284258304

Unfortunately, military helmets are developed to try to minimize penetration by "missiles" and minimize concussive direct hits to the head.........to try to avoid death or acute intracranial life-threatening bleed.......from a singular or very limited number of events..............not recurring traumas over long periods of time. They are not meant to successfully protect the brain from automatic fire hits on a daily basis over periods of years.

Vinny
01-30-2013, 10:47 PM
Unfortunately, military helmets are developed to try to minimize penetration by "missiles" and minimize concussive direct hits to the head.........to try to avoid death or acute intracranial life-threatening bleed.......from a singular or very limited number of events..............not recurring traumas over long periods of time. They are not meant to successfully protect the brain from automatic fire hits on a daily basis over periods of years. when you get a chance to read the entire article you will find that it isn't a puff piece for the league (not saying that you are implying that). It's well written and takes a moment to read (five pages long) but addresses the concussion issue with all due cynicism.

It’s hard to hear about guys like Webster and Henry and the 300 former players suing the NFL for negligence and not want desperately to believe in the miracle of Kevlar. But the evidence Kevlar protects players from brain injury is, so far, slim. Unequal Technologies is not, under the rules, modifying padding already installed in approved equipment. It is only bolstering the existing pads, and so Kevlar has not been subject to testing by the NFL or NHL. “Kevlar has come up at some of our meetings, but nothing substantial,” said Dr. Henry Feur, a member of the NFL’s Head Neck and Spine Committee and a team physician for the Indianapolis Colts. “Reducing the G-forces in a collision may help with concussions, but it has yet to be proven. I don’t think Kevlar is going to address the ultimate problem, which is the brain crashing against the skull.” “We call that the risk-compensation theory,” Tator said. “Hockey equipment used to be defensive equipment, but they’ve turned into offensive equipment to actually inflict damage on the opponent.”The bigger danger is that reinforcing helmets with Kevlar – providing “Novocaine for the brain” – could compound the epidemic of concussions by providing athletes with a false sense of security. Two weeks after sustaining “concussion-like symptoms,” both Polamalu and Bergeron returned to the field with Kevlar in their helmets.“My number one concern is that if these guys are retrofitting their helmets, are there other things going on that would indicate they’re at higher risk,” said UPMC’s Michael Collins.

CloakNNNdagger
01-31-2013, 09:27 AM
when you get a chance to read the entire article you will find that it isn't a puff piece for the league (not saying that you are implying that). It's well written and takes a moment to read (five pages long) but addresses the concussion issue with all due cynicism.

Rep coming your way.

When you originally posted this thread I could not get into the link, but shortly thereafter I came across the original article which was published in July of last year. I did indeed read it and very much enjoyed it in its entirety. I would recommend it to anyone interested in the subject. It is an excellent and HONEST analysis of a problem which in all likelihood will never be solved as long as football remains a contact sport.



Armor on the Field: The NFL’s Headlong Race to Build the Unbreakable Linebacker (http://www.wired.com/playbook/2012/07/kevlar/all/)
By Sean Conboy
07.09.12

Dutchrudder
01-31-2013, 09:35 AM
Well, if the league weighs them down enough with all the extra padding, then they won't run as fast and concussions will go down!

Double Barrel
01-31-2013, 10:01 AM
There is enough money and focus on this issue that I think some type of break-through technologies are in the not-to-distant future.

CloakNNNdagger mentioned brain airbags, maybe facetiously, but I think there will be some kind of genetic and/or other tech that comes along to "upgrade" players to reduce the effects of traumatic head impact.

The NFL is trying a 'grassroots' effort right now to teach correct mechanics to little league players. But the head sloshing around in the skull will still be the same. The only way they can truly protect the brain will be something that is inside the skull, not outside of it.

Thorn
01-31-2013, 11:39 AM
The only way they can truly protect the brain will be something that is inside the skull, not outside of it.

What's the difference between medically enhancing surgery and medically enhancing drugs? It seems to me that by defination this would violate NFL rules. In any case it's not happening anyway because medical science is not even close to something like that. You're talking genetic engineering if you want to do it right.

Double Barrel
01-31-2013, 12:45 PM
What's the difference between medically enhancing surgery and medically enhancing drugs? It seems to me that by defination this would violate NFL rules. In any case it's not happening anyway because medical science is not even close to something like that. You're talking genetic engineering if you want to do it right.

While I agree with your overall point, I think they will justify medically enhancing surgery with safety.

And I would not rule out genetic engineering at some point in the future. Us Star Trek fans see this kind of stuff as inevitable.

Dutchrudder
01-31-2013, 12:54 PM
There is enough money and focus on this issue that I think some type of break-through technologies are in the not-to-distant future.

CloakNNNdagger mentioned brain airbags, maybe facetiously, but I think there will be some kind of genetic and/or other tech that comes along to "upgrade" players to reduce the effects of traumatic head impact.

The NFL is trying a 'grassroots' effort right now to teach correct mechanics to little league players. But the head sloshing around in the skull will still be the same. The only way they can truly protect the brain will be something that is inside the skull, not outside of it.

You don't need brain airbags, you just need to disarm players by taking away their ridiculously hard plastic shells that cover their heads. Nobody is going to run into a brickwall head first with hard foam helmets. The fact is, defensive players use their helmets as a weapon, like a battering ram, to inflict maximum damage on the other player. If you take that away, you will see guys adapt and use their shoulder or make heads-up tackles instead. It's extremely difficult to go head-hunting with your shoulderpads.

Double Barrel
01-31-2013, 01:03 PM
You don't need brain airbags, you just need to disarm players by taking away their ridiculously hard plastic shells that cover their heads. Nobody is going to run into a brickwall head first with hard foam helmets. The fact is, defensive players use their helmets as a weapon, like a battering ram, to inflict maximum damage on the other player. If you take that away, you will see guys adapt and use their shoulder or make heads-up tackles instead. It's extremely difficult to go head-hunting with your shoulderpads.

True in what you are saying about hard hits, but a lot of brain damage is being caused to linemen and running backs from the constant hits of normal and routine blocks and tackles.

Like CloakNNNdagger mentioned up thread, the damage to the brain "does not require any direct trauma to the head......just any deceleration event to any part of the body."

Hard hits can be reduced and eliminated and this brain damage problem will still exist.

"A lineman in the NFL or in college," Bell says, "at those two levels, incurs about a thousand to 1,500 hits at about 20 Gs. That's like running your car into a wall at about 30 miles an hour, 20 miles an house. So, you're doing that about 1,500 times in a season."

Source - NFL veteran quits, fearing future brain damage (http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-505270_162-57435281/nfl-veteran-quits-fearing-future-brain-damage/)

CloakNNNdagger
01-31-2013, 01:08 PM
What's the difference between medically enhancing surgery and medically enhancing drugs? It seems to me that by defination this would violate NFL rules. In any case it's not happening anyway because medical science is not even close to something like that. You're talking genetic engineering if you want to do it right.

I guess NFL players are only afraid of needles when it comes to blood testing.

Nevertheless A surgical or genetic modification to "pad" the brain will not happen. The brain needs to be loose in the skull in order to accommodate the intermittent normal swelling that occurs regularly to a response to blood flow/pressure changes, salt/water changes, oxygen/carbon dioxide ratio changes, tissue inflammatory changes, minor head or brain traumas, and even altitude changes. If the brain does not have a totally "floating free space" (cerebral spinal fluid [CSF]) between it and the inner skull walls, pressure will be transmitted directly to the brain.........not causing permanent brain damage over a period of years, but rather over a period of minutes to hours, after which time the brain is just as likely to find its way floating in formaldehyde than in CSF.