However, from week to week, there seems to be about the same number of players disabled by concussions, usually by players who launch themselves through space at high speed to collide with the victims at angles that snap the neck and rattles their brains, at the same time. However, there doesn't seem to be one type of hit alone that causes a concussion; in some cases, concussions occur without a direct hit to the head, by a severe snap of the neck, for instance.
The fact that the helmets are constructed of nose-cone, hard plastic means that the G-force of impact is compounded by the hardness of the helmet casing. The critical factors in inducing a concussion seem to be: the angle of the hit, the hardness of the helmet, and speed and G-force of the incoming player. The fact that the hittee also wears a helmet in no way mitigates the impact or the damage to his neural network.
The brain's moving on impact is not the only factor involved. The whole spinal column, from coccyx to the brain, is connected in one long neural network. I know because I was blindsided in high school football, lifted off my feet and deposited on my butt, which dropped from a height of four feet to the ground. Not only did I see a shower of stars, I felt a searing pain from the base of the spine all the way up to my brain. I was temporarily incapacitated — and no hit to the brain was involved. How much harder are the hits in the NFL than the hit I incurred that day? 40:1? 100:1? And we were wearing leather helmets, not the plastic warheads today's players wear. I didn't ever feel the primary impact to my ribs; landing on my coccyx, a secondary effect, caused the neural disruption and total whiteout.
|An array of leather helmets, the fashion of the '40s|
"He asked me if I’d ever had a concussion while playing a sport. To my recollection, I never had, but there were times I felt groggy after a hard hit. He told me that the objective of certain yogic practices was to revitalize damaged brain cells, that the changes in metabolism produced during these exercises actually had neurological benefits.
“'Do you mean that certain forms of yoga could actually cure my depression and headaches?' I asked.
“'I am not a doctor or scientist, but I have witnessed the benefits of yoga in my own practice. The reason I studied yoga was because of the head wounds suffered in wartime. Fortunately, I was young enough when I began to practice for it to revitalize me.'”