What is the Q Collar, the device NFL players are wearing around their necks

(NEXSTAR) – If you’ve got been watching any NFL video games not too long ago, you may need observed some players sporting white (or in some circumstances, black) horseshoe-shaped collars around their necks. But what are they?

First of all, these collars aren’t new. Some players, like former Carolina Panthers linebacker Luke Kuechly, had been wearing them as early as 2016. Now, it looks as if new players are wearing them each week.

Known as a Q-Collar, the device is meant to guard athletes’ brains throughout head impacts. The Food and Drug Administration licensed the advertising of Q30 Innovations’ Q-Collars in 2021, saying they “could scale back the prevalence of particular modifications in the mind that are related to mind harm.”

Dallas Cowboys working again Tony Pollard (20) pictured earlier than an NFL soccer sport towards the Washington Commanders, Sunday, January 8, 2023 in Landover. (AP Photo/Daniel Kucin Jr.)

When an athlete – or any individual – is hit in the head or physique, they might endure a traumatic mind harm, generally known as a TBI. A number one explanation for TBI is blunt trauma accidents, which are amongst the commonest in sports activities, in line with the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke.

In a blunt trauma accident, an individual’s mind will usually transfer unrestrained in the cranium, the FDA explains. This is usually generally known as a “slosh.”

According to the FDA, the Q-Collar compresses towards the jugular veins in the athlete’s neck, growing the quantity of blood in their cranium’s blood vessels. The elevated blood quantity then “creates a tighter match of the mind inside the cranium.” That tighter match can then scale back the “slosh” motion.

It is not simply NFL players and different athletes that you’re going to see wearing Q-Collars. Last fall, the US Army Medical Research and Development Command awarded Q30 Innovations a $2.8 million contract to fund analysis and improvement of the Q-Collar to find out if it will possibly scale back blast-induced TBIs amongst troopers.

In its 2021 authorization, although, the FDA warned that Q-Collars should not be utilized by athletes with sure situations and may’t stop concussions or severe head accidents. Even Kuechly suffered a concussion in the weeks after he started wearing the Q-Collar.

Adil Hussain, DO, a bodily drugs and rehabilitation physician who makes a speciality of mind harm drugs at Rancho Los Amigos National Rehabilitation Center in California, informed ABC News after the FDA’s authorization that, in principle, the Q-Collar works like a seat belt for the mind.

Washington Commanders working again JD McKissic, proper, wears a Guardian Cap soccer helmet and a Q-Collar throughout follow at the staff’s NFL soccer coaching facility, Wednesday, July 27, 2022 in Ashburn, Va. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

But Hussain and different consultants expressed considerations about athletes overestimating the device’s potential to stop concussions or extra extreme mind accidents – one thing that has not been supported by analysis.

The FDA expressed its personal considerations in October 2022, citing uncertainty about a part of the examine that led to the Q-Collar’s approval in a abstract of its choice, The New York Times experiences. The examine emphasised the distinction in mind tissue modifications detected in scans for athletes wearing the collar versus those who weren’t, claiming those who did put on the collar had fewer modifications. According to the New York Times, the FDA mentioned the hyperlink between modifications in examine members’ mind tissue and actual mind accidents had but to be “validated.”

Experts talking with the outlet famous that whereas the thought of ​​defending the mind from inside the cranium is worthwhile, research supporting the Q-Collar’s effectiveness aren’t. They pointed to the information in the examine as not making sense and that the scans are tough to interpret, including that few conclusions could possibly be drawn based mostly on the outcomes. Even Q30 Innovations acknowledges extra analysis is wanted to find out the advantages the collar can present.

Still, you may count on to see athletes throughout a number of sports activities wearing the collars. Q30 lists a number of athletes as its ambassadors on its web site, together with Dallas Cowboys working again Tony Pollard, Philadelphia Eagles working again Boston Scott, and retired Pro Bowler Vernon Davis.

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