geldefenderTM Blog

  • Concussion awareness and concern is spreading to Europe

     

    Recently, the swell in American head injury awareness and concussion concern has crossed the Atlantic and now hovers over both European soccer and rugby.

     

    The symptoms have manifested themselves in similar ways to how they did in the USA: Medical experts and some athletes are pushing for changes in the sports to better prevent head injury. Traditionalists are resisting any sort of modifications. Officials are unwilling to accept the severity of the problem. And discussions are being held at the government level about reform.

     

    It comes as no surprise that the reactions to this concussion awareness that we saw in American contact sports, particularly football, are emerging internationally. It is, however, a little surprising that it has taken this long for other countries to start taking head injuries seriously – especially given the enormous amount of information generated in recent years about concussions’ harmful and sobering effects.

     

    Though the head injury spotlight has been on the NFL and football, concussions are no discerners of persons. And though the frequency of concussions may vary from sport to sport, when they do occur, they are always harmful and have the potential for long-reaching consequences, whether in American football or in rugby across the pond. Here’s hoping that both in the USA and abroad, player safety will continue to become a priority for all sports and that athletes’ brains safer in the future for it.

     

    *Scientists have no conclusive evidence as to whether or how the reduction of g-forces during impacts reduces the number or degree of concussions and head injuries. GelDefender products provide supplemental padding as well as cooling and comfort benefits when used with helmets and caps. Participants in activities in which head impacts can occur should always use tested and approved helmets for protection. However, no helmet or supplemental padding can protect the user from all serious head or neck injuries that can result from impacts.

  • Mixed Martial Arts study demonstrates high risk of head trauma

     

    In recent months and years, football concussions have been at the fore and in the spotlight of the head injury buzz, given that football players were the ones to bring attention to the long-term problems that head injuries cause.

     

    But a recent study suggests that the number of serious head injuries in mixed martial arts participants could double those of pro football players.

     

    Concerned about the risks and the lack of data on the subject of brain injury in MMA, a group of researchers conducted a study by watching footage of over 800 matches. They counted both the knockouts and the technical knockouts (when the referee decides that the player is too dazed to continue). They also compared the information to statistics about the competitors to determine risk factors.

     

    They found that 12.7 percent of matches ended with contestants suffering a knockout, and 19 percent of matches ended with a technical knockout. In short, almost one third of matches ended as a result of head injury.

     

    So, as in many sports of late, talk has begun about the possibility of changing rules in order to better protect athletes’ heads, especially with its recent explosion of popularity. Due to its inherently rough and physical if not violent nature, there is even talk of banning all children from participation.

     

    The numbers are staggering and concerning, a harsh reminder of the risks inherent in contact sports, so no matter what your sport of choice, remember to play it safer and protect your head.

    *Scientists have no conclusive evidence as to whether or how the reduction of g-forces during impacts reduces the number or degree of concussions and head injuries. GelDefender products provide supplemental padding as well as cooling and comfort benefits when used with helmets and caps. Participants in activities in which head impacts can occur should always use tested and approved helmets for protection. However, no helmet or supplemental padding can protect the user from all serious head or neck injuries that can result from impacts.

  • R.I.P. Will McKamey

     

    GelDefender would like to take a moment to mourn the loss of yet another young athlete to brain injury, Navy freshman running back Will McKamey. Though it’s unclear exactly how the 19-year-old was initially injured, he collapsed on the football field and, after undergoing surgery for bleeding on his brain and then slipping into a coma for three days, passed away Wednesday. His family and his team are in our thoughts this week.

  • Brain Injury Awareness Month is here!

     

    March is officially Brain Injury Awareness Month! So in honor of the occasion, GelDefender wants to send out a friendly reminder to play it safe and guard your head. Athletes, military personnel, car accident victims and countless others are now enduring long-term effects from head injuries, and though we cannot eradicate them, we can minimize the risks.

     

    Arguably, no part of your body is worth protecting more than your brain. So during this Brain Injury Awareness Month, remember that nobody, especially those who participate in high-risk activities for head injury, is immune to their many devastating effects. Educate yourself and those around you to better prevent, diagnose, and treat head injuries now, while the issue is still at the forefront of their minds. If it saves someone’s life or livelihood, no cost could be too great.

     

    *Scientists have no conclusive evidence as to whether or how the reduction of g-forces during impacts reduces the number or degree of concussions and head injuries. GelDefender products provide supplemental padding as well as cooling and comfort benefits when used with helmets and caps. Participants in activities in which head impacts can occur should always use tested and approved helmets for protection. However, no helmet or supplemental padding can protect the user from all serious head or neck injuries that can result from impacts.

  • Update from Sochi: U.S. men’s hockey team to compete for bronze medal

     

     

    The USA hockey team fell to Canada in today’s semifinal game of the 2014 Sochi Olympics, ending its bid for the gold medal. The U.S. will face Finland tomorrow to compete for the bronze medal, and Canada will match up against Sweden on Sunday for the gold medal final.

     

    The path to that last game has not been without casualties, though. In fact, two players for the Florida Panthers suffered injuries that ended their Olympic play and may cause them to miss games once the regular season resumes in the U.S. Tomas Kopecky, of the Slovakian team, sustained a head injury from an illegal high hit in a game against Slovenia last weekend, a sober reminder of the long-term consequences such moves can have. In addition, rookie Aleksander Barkov of Finland sustained a knee injury in a game against Norway, also a tournament-ending wound.

     

    *Scientists have no conclusive evidence as to whether or how the reduction of g-forces during impacts reduces the number or degree of concussions and head injuries. GelDefender products provide supplemental padding as well as cooling and comfort benefits when used with helmets and caps. Participants in activities in which head impacts can occur should always use tested and approved helmets for protection. However, no helmet or supplemental padding can protect the user from all serious head or neck injuries that can result from impacts.

  • News: Judge unsure about settlement between NFL, former players

    The NFL and the 4,800 former players who sued the league for damages from head injuries during their time playing may not be finished with their fight. A federal judge has asked both parties to provide more financial information about their $765 million settlement before she will sign off on it.

     

    U.S. District Judge Anita Brody said she is concerned that the sum won’t be enough to cover all the players who could be eligible for money under the plan and that the rules deciding which players are eligible are too restrictive.

     

    As the plan stands, players can be reimbursed between $3 and $5 million, depending on which problems the players face as a result of brain injury. But, if the estimated total of 20,000 players who could be eligible is an accurate sum, each player would only be able to received $38,000 of the settlement.

     

    Both lead attorneys said that they will provide the asked-for details and are confident that once Brody has all the information, she will see that the plan is just.

     

    *Scientists have no conclusive evidence as to whether or how the reduction of g-forces during impacts reduces the number or degree of concussions and head injuries. GelDefender products provide supplemental padding as well as cooling and comfort benefits when used with helmets and caps. Participants in activities in which head impacts can occur should always use tested and approved helmets for protection. However, no helmet or supplemental padding can protect the user from all serious head or neck injuries that can result from impacts.

  • Resting brain after injury speeds recovery

     

    A new study in the journal Pediatrics suggests that that the more rest kids’ brains have after a concussion, the faster they’ll heal.

     

    Now, this may not sound like groundbreaking news. It seems almost obvious that resting the injured muscle will help its recovery along, and doctors have long been telling those with head injuries to give their brains a break afterward.

     

    But this study is the first to back up that assumption with hard data. It followed 335 concussion patients from ages 8 to 23, and the overall pool had and average age of 15. They were periodically asked about their symptoms and about how much stress, on a five-point scale, they’d put on their brains, from complete cognitive rest to normal functioning.

     

    The findings are as follows:

    • 1) Almost half of those who didn’t change their level of functioning took 100 days or more to recover.
    • 2) Of those who cut back the most, almost all had recovered by 100 days, most within a couple of months.

    Study co-author and director of Sports Concussion Clinic at Boston Children’s Hospital Dr. William Meehan said three to five days will be enough rest for many kids, and each child should do as much as they can without making the symptoms worse, according to CBS News. There’s no hard and fast rule – each child and each concussion is different, so each recovery plan should be tailored to the child, depending on how much he or she can handle without exacerbating the symptoms.

     

    The long-term consequences of concussions are at this point well-documented and don’t need to be rehashed in this blog post. But just remember that letting your brain rest and heal properly after a concussion is a good step to minimize those consequences, especially for kids.

     

    *Scientists have no conclusive evidence as to whether or how the reduction of g-forces during impacts reduces the number or degree of concussions and head injuries. GelDefender products provide supplemental padding as well as cooling and comfort benefits when used with helmets and caps. Participants in activities in which head impacts can occur should always use tested and approved helmets for protection. However, no helmet or supplemental padding can protect the user from all serious head or neck injuries that can result from impacts.

  • New GelDefender Instructional Video

    Interested in learning more about how GelDefender Skull Caps can protect you? Or already bought one and want to know more about how to use it? Check out our new instructional video here!

     

    *Scientists have no conclusive evidence as to whether or how the reduction of g-forces during impacts reduces the number or degree of concussions and head injuries. GelDefender products provide supplemental padding as well as cooling and comfort benefits when used with helmets and caps. Participants in activities in which head impacts can occur should always use tested and approved helmets for protection. However, no helmet or supplemental padding can protect the user from all serious head or neck injuries that can result from impacts.

  • Non-concussive blows still harmful, study says

    A new study into low-impact brain injuries published by the journal Neurology looked into the accumulated effects of non-concussion blows over the course of a single season, and the results are unsettling.

     

    The study followed athletes at Dartmouth College, observing both a group from contact sports and a group from noncontact sports. The athletes received cognitive functioning tests and brain scans pre-season and wore helmets that calculated the intensity of blows to their heads during the season. Then, they underwent the same cognitive functioning tests and brain scans post-season, and the differences between the two groups was quite revealing.

     

    Before the seasons started, testing revealed few differences between the athletes who played contact sports and those who played noncontact sports. But post-season, the differences in the strength and frequency of hits to the head the two groups had sustained, even the non-concussive ones, were reflected in distinct brain imaging differences. Those who were being hit in the head more often, even if the blows were not concussive, were performing worse.

     

    According to the Fox News article, “20 percent of the contact players scored more than 1.5 standard deviations below the predicted score on tests of verbal learning and memory at the end of the season, compared to 11 percent of the non-contact athletes.”

     

    What we’re unsure of is how long-term these effects are; further study is needed. It could be that in the offseason, the brain mostly heals and bounces back, as it were, to its normal functionality. Remember, there were few differences between the two groups at the beginning of the season. And, since they were playing at the college level, it’s probably safe to assume the athletes had played many seasons prior to the one in the study. So whatever damage previous seasons had inflicted, the brain had recovered at least somewhat.

     

    But if recent research as proved anything, it’s that repetitive hits to the head are never a good thing in the long run. And this study proves that even lesser hits that don’t result in a concussion diagnosis are harmful to athletes’ brains over time.

     

    So remember that everything you do to protect an athlete in a contact sport helps. Because head blows are harmful, no matter how small.

     

    *Scientists have no conclusive evidence as to whether or how the reduction of g-forces during impacts reduces the number or degree of concussions and head injuries. GelDefenderTM products provide supplemental padding as well as cooling and comfort benefits when used with helmets and caps. Participants in activities in which head impacts can occur should always use tested and approved helmets for protection. However, no helmet or supplemental padding can protect the user from all serious head or neck injuries that can result from impacts.

  • PSE Technology Provides GelDefender Skull Caps to Selected ACC Basketball Teams

    PSE Technology, manufacturer of the GelDefender skull caps, has provided selected ACC basketball players with MAX skull caps for use in practice.

     

    When hearing of a player with a head injury, or with a team whose players have experienced multiple head injuries, PSE Technology sends the affected player and/or team GelDefender MAX skull caps for use during practice.

     

    So far, PSE Technology has distributed 22 GelDefenders to ACC teams or players.

     

    *Scientists have no conclusive evidence as to whether or how the reduction of g forces during impacts reduces the number or degree of concussions and head injuries. GelDefenderTM products provide supplemental padding as well as cooling and comfort benefits when used with helmets and caps. Participants in activities in which head impacts can occur should always use tested and approved helmets for protection. However, no helmet or supplemental padding can protect the user from all serious head or neck injuries that can result from impacts.

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