As critics continue to scrutinize the NFL for their timid response to a growing concussion problem, a chiropractor has invented a protective collar that aims to prevent neck injuries and head trauma in players of all ages. According to Fox News, Patrick Kerr, a practicing chiropractor, recently introduced the Kerr Collar, a lightweight device placed […]
As critics continue to scrutinize the NFL for their timid response to a growing concussion problem, a chiropractor has invented a protective collar that aims to prevent neck injuries and head trauma in players of all ages.
According to Fox News, Patrick Kerr, a practicing chiropractor, recently introduced the Kerr Collar, a lightweight device placed inside a player’s shoulder pads that drastically reduces the impact from devastating hits.
The Kerr Collar shortens the gap between a player’s pads and helmet, which means that the force from hits is more evenly distributed. Kerr noted that the emphasis being placed on helmet quality is not enough, and focusing on the neck’s role in concussions is an important step in addressing this widespread problem.
“I wanted to create a system where the helmet would interact with the shoulder pads because I understood the importance of the head and neck together during a collision, rather than just looking at a football helmet and a head,” Kerr said.
To test the collar, Kerr sought the help of the Virginia Tech Center for Injury Biomechanics. The university’s research found that the Kerr Collar reduces force transmission into the neck by about 58%, while also reducing head and neck movement during collisions by 38%.
One of Kerr’s chiropractic patients, Nick Melka, is a former football player for Columbia University who suffers from chronic neck pain. Melka was one of the first to wear the Kerr Collar during a game, and he claims it helped him to avoid further injury.
“Wearing the collar definitely saved me [from] a lot of wear and tear on my neck,” Melka said.
Athletes have been seeking the services of chiropractors for decades, and Kerr’s professional background played a central role in helping him to properly develop the collar. Back and neck pain are common among football players, and chiropractors implement a wide array of techniques to get them ready for Sundays.
The Kerr Collar is being introduced during a controversial time for the most powerful sports league in America. According to the Denver Post, Will Smith’s new “Concussion” movie takes on the NFL’s reluctance to address Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy, or CTE, a brain condition that is found in many deceased football players.
Currently, the NFL is in the process of paying out a $1 billion settlement to thousands of retired players and their families. These former players claim that the NFL knowingly concealed the risks of concussions, chronic pain, and CTE during their playing days.
As for Kerr, he accepts the fact that football will never be completely safe. However, he does believe that equipment like the Kerr Collar can help to manage the force of these heavy blows to the head and help the NFL to better protect their players.
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