HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) – Professional football and the U.S. Army may seem like two careers on complete opposite sides of the spectrum, but they have one major thing in common: concussions. Research shows concussions are on the rise, both in the NFL and military.
The U.S. Army received a $500,000 grant from the NFL in November for research to help prevent traumatic brain injuries.
“This is a problem that does affect the Army, when paratroopers fall, part of their landing procedures are to fall, roll and hit the ground, so they can undergo the same kind of impact here where they fall and smack their heads,” said Army Research Laboratory engineer David Lowry.
Engineers at the Army Research Laboratory are designing tethers that will prevent a whiplash-like fall when a player or soldier is hit to the ground. The tethers would be attached to the helmet and would lock up when hit, restraining the head and lowering the acceleration rate at which the head hits the ground, possibly preventing a concussion.
This research goes beyond the field and will eventually be used to protect our men and women on the front lines.
“The funding we received from the NFL Head Health challenge is giving us the opportunity to develop these new materials and new tether techniques that we can then transition to testing for soldier equipment,” said Lowry.