Do Not Ignore Neck Injuries

Helmets do a lot to prevent brain injuries, but the dynamics of head and neck movement should be part of the prevention equation, too.

See more of Dr. Ghajar's videos here.

We could substantially reduce concussion or mild traumatic brain injury if we had a device that took into account neck motion. That's my opinion. I think that if you got together engineers and people that know about traumatic brain injury, this problem could be solved fairly quickly. But you have to take away the assumption that all traumatic brain injury is focal and that a helmet can solve the problem. You have to step away from that and look at the dynamics of head movement and realize that there's a neck. And once you realize that, the solutions are there. And I think that while you do need a helmet-- don't get me wrong, you do need a helmet-- but it's good for skull fractures, focal injuries and so on. But there is a shearing going on that's really producing a lot of problems in terms of concussion, even more severe traumatic brain injury, and wouldn't it be great if we could just solve that problem? I think that it's solvable. It's my personal opinion. I think that from looking at the science behind shearing injury that it is solvable on the right kind of people and I would like to see-- as a person that's very interested in seeing good outcomes for people with traumatic brain injury, I would like to see more effort put into that. I think that you will not get a solution just by focusing on the helmet. You have to take the neck into consideration. Yes, there's a lot of issues on restricting or possibly restricting neck motion, but it's almost like I've got a diagnosis for cancer, but what's the treatment? Let's focus on the proper diagnosis or where the proper biomechanics are and then from that we will come to a solution.
Posted on BrainLine February 9, 2012.

Produced by Noel Gunther and Justin Rhodes, BrainLine.