A new study questions the effectiveness of football helmets.
Over the past few years, the NFL has seen many changes in the rules and regulations regarding player safety. Players can now be penalized by for being too rough and hitting players too hard, while many players who have a history of concussions and brain injuries have shown sever side effects from concussions while wearing helmets.
A recent study published by the American Academy of Neurology now shows that football helmets are highly ineffective in preventing concussions. Researchers have found that football helmets offer little to no rotational protection, which is a more common cause of brain damage than linear force. While helmets do an acceptable job at protecting head on collisions, linear force, research shows that helmets do nothing to protect from hits to the side of the head, rotation force.
Researchers did a drop test in order to measure the amount of protection that a football helmet offers. The results showed that the helmet with the best concussion prevention also offered the least amount of protection from closed head injuries. Researchers concluded that helmets offer only about a 20% increase in protection from traumatic brain injuries compared to not wearing a helmet at all.
The NFL and other football organizations are also facing other problems. According to the Neurology Section at the American Academy of Neurology, players are wearing helmets that offer the least amount of protection from head injuries. The American Academy of Neurology’s Frank Conidi has found that athletes in many contact sports are wearing the wrong helmets, saying the current design does little to protect the brain from injury.
Although there are currently no alternatives to provide safety against brain injuries to players, the American Academy of Neuroscience believes that current football helmets are highly ineffective from preventing concussions and other serious brain injuries in players.